Last weekend, our family grew as we “adopted” a child through Compassion International. I have felt a calling to do this for quite awhile. In fact, I even wrote a post about it several years ago. Once I began reading about the organization through their website and blogs of several people who sponsor children through Compassion, I knew it was the organization I wanted to support and be involved in. I wanted to sponsor right away, but at the same time, I really had a desire to wait until Noah was old enough to understand what we were doing before sponsoring a child and also wanted to find a child close to Noah’s age so they could “grow up together.” We gave in several ways around the holidays, through both choosing gifts to give to others overseas and filling shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, and I felt like Noah was able to start understanding a little of what we were doing and how we were using what God had blessed us with to serve others in need.
A couple of months ago, I saw a post on Facebook that the Compassion Experience would be in Amarillo soon. According to their website, through a 20 minute experience, you are able to “step out of your wold and into another culture…the sights and sounds of life in a poor, developing-world community will come alive as you journey with a child through the challenges of daily life.” I immediately knew this was our time and our opportunity. I debated for quite awhile about whether we should take kids or not but decided that if I wanted to sponsor a child as a family, we should all go through the experience together as a family. So, last Friday afternoon, we went to the Compassion Experience not knowing exactly what to expect and slightly nervous about how kids, especially Noah, would do! We were each given an iPod and a set of headphones (minus Kate…although she was very interested in mine!). Noah absolutely loves to wear headphones, so he was thrilled! I got the sense he was a little nervous as we began the experience, but he listened and took in all the sights as we heard and experienced the story of a girl who grew up in Uganda. Through her Compassion sponsorship she was able to afford to attend and excel in school and is even planning on coming to the states to attend college. Seeing the letters and cards she had kept from her Compassion sponsor was probably the most emotional part for me. The communication she had with the couple who had sponsored her was so precious to her. What a meaningful relationship!
The final portion of the experience was a room filled with photos and information on children we could sponsor. God led us to a little boy, Raymond, from the Philippines. Raymond’s birthday is October 16, 2010 – he was born only 4 days after Noah. His favorite activities are playing with cars, singing, telling stories, and attending church activities….all favorites of Noah as well. We knew this sweet little boy needed to become a part of our family. Noah loves looking at his picture and talking about him and already has plans to send him stickers and a coloring book. We absolutely cannot wait to get to know him and watch him grow! What a blessing!