Thursday, April 22, 2010

How a Face and a Name Change Everything

This came in the mail today. Our first letter from Sergene!

At Christmastime this year, our three kids chose Sergene, a.k.a. "Jeannie," as their adopted Compassion child. She was our Christmas present to Jesus. A picture of her hangs at childrens' level in the hallway and the kids often stop to look at their new "sister." We knew very little about her...until now!

I read aloud: "Sergene is one of ten children being raised by her aunt. Her daily duties include hauling drinking water for the family and helping with the laundry. She loves to play with tin cans. (What, Mama? I repeat that part and my children all just look at me sideways.) And she loves sheep. Do you have any hobbies? Please pray for God's protection for me from disease."

Every night, the kids pray for her by name...along with "Uncle Keve and Mr. Mawty and Mr. Jordan and Chip and Sean and Todd and Wash" (these are all Marines except for Wash. That is Sug's make-believe Marine...). They talk about her often throughout our day.

Now, they all want to write again. And I happily oblige.

In many ways, Jeannie is another one of our children. I think of her often, whenever we throw away leftover food or complain about being hungry or tired or cold. I dream of meeting her someday, hugging her shyly and then without inhibition. While our family is not currently in a position to adopt, we are in a position to love on this little girl, even from a distance. And I've told Real Gil that if I could, I'd scoop her up as she already seems like ours.

I wonder, did we sponsor her for the gifts she would receive, or the lessons we would learn? I'll speak for myself when I admit that my reasons were not completely sacrificial. One reason, of course, was clear today, as this first letter was carefully unfolded, breathed over, read repeatedly, savored, and tucked into a high drawer. If you want an immediate reason to be thankful, another reason to yearn for Heaven, although these may be secondary motives to sponsor a child, they are blessings we are enjoying in this home today.


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