Sunday, January 13, 2008

Well, I'm a parent!

When I was 9 years old, I found myself watching a program on television. Children wearing next to nothing stared back at me from inside the TV, their eyes dead and pain filled, all hope washed away from souls as they focused only on living. Their limps were thin and their bellies were swollen from lack of nourishment.

I sat there for a long time and thought about the children that were sick and dying, children that had lost hope and needed someone to help them. My heart wept for them but when I asked to sponsor one my parents told me no. It was a heart wrenching experience because I knew that I needed to help in someway but I had no idea how to.

The years went by and I have always thought about donating to Foster Parent Plan but I hadn't. There was always one more bill to pay, one more item to buy, one more thing that we needed and I never thought that I had the money to support a child in Africa or some other war torn country.

Then one day I woke up and looked at my house filled with the clutter of too much stuff. Things that I don't need but believed that I did to feel fulfillment of the soul. Sure I appeased that part of me that wanted to give. I don't throw garage sales but instead I give my gently used items to good will. I purchase the occasional food bag for the Salvation Army and give money whenever I see a charity asking for it. I buy the stars and rainbows for a dollar and write someone else's name on it (namely my kids) and I donate the toy at Christmas. I know that enough little things can equate to one big gesture but I needed to feel like I was doing something, even if it was sponsoring just one child.

So 12 years later, I have finally done what I wanted to. I have enrolled to sponsor a child in Kenya. My kids helped with the process of choosing the country and it will be a family sponsorship. I hope that through helping others I can teach my children what it means to give and to care about others. I know that I may not have tons of money but if I can go and buy Tim's every day of the week, I can afford to sponsor at least one child. I'll lose my Tim's but I really don't need the coffee.

So I am excited that I made the decision to help and I hope that others will do so as well. We receive all the information in 2 to 4 weeks so I can't wait to get it and start reading about the child that we are helping. It has been a long time in the making and this time I didn't need to ask my mom for permission. :o)

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