I updated my “About” page, but I thought I’d post it here too. A few little tidbits about who I am 🙂
“To the world you may be just one person, but to one person, you just may be the world.”
This quote has been a favorite of mine, mostly because I’ve been blessed to have a few of those people in my life. People who were/are the world to me, and I’ve seen firsthand the amazing impact it’s had on my life, especially during tough times. I have no doubts that God has clearly called me to make a difference in children’s lives. It’s my purpose and mission. And one of the amazing ways I can do this is by sponsoring children who are very in need of not only monetary support, but also love and encouragement. I want them to feel how I felt, and hopefully I can be their “person”.
I’m a special education teacher, who works with preschoolers with special needs and behaviors. I work in a less fortunate area, and while that sometimes proves to be a challenge or a frustration to try to connect with families who don’t want to be involved or who show forms of neglect to their children, it’s a blessing to be a part of giving these children the extra love they so desperately seek while also helping them learn and grow. My years have also been spent with countless volunteering opportunities in working with children. What can I say? I love them! 🙂
Some other facts about me? I love anything arts and craftsy to relax me. I’m a big chocolate lover, but my other favorite? Pickles. My favorite color is the bright and sunny yellow. I’m a huge polka dot lover, and it’s very hard for me to pass up anything polka dotted. I love Jesus and praise His blessings in my life.
At a time in my life when each week feels like a month, it’s hard to wait in between the letters I send to my little sweethearts. If I could, I would send them an email letter almost every day, although I realize that would be too much. But after getting Elvis’ packet in the mail this week (yay!!) I sent a package letter off to him, complete with some goodies and a birthday card, as his birthday is in late January. I hope he’ll get it right in time. I’ve also sent some letters off to my sweet girls, including a package one to Maria. I’ve been reading other sponsor blogs to bide the time, and reading up on my kiddos’ countries. This next week I should be getting Angeles’ packet and hopefully it won’t feel like too long before I get my first letter from one of them.
My letters to each of my little ones this week talked about Thanksgiving. I told each of them how thankful I am for them, because they are a member of my family now. As a teacher, we have the philosophy that once a child is our student, for however long, they become one of our kids for life. Talk to any good teacher and you’ll see how passionate she or he is about her/his “kids”. They’re our own. It’s definitely the same way with child sponsorship, I’m finding. From the moment I saw each of their pictures and fell in love, and then clicked ‘confirm’ on the sponsorship, they became mine. And I can only hope I can have a positive impact on their lives, too. I want them to feel showered in love ❤
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Here I was with 2 little angels, and my heart so much fuller. I’ve been going through some things in my personal life lately, so the timing of opening my heart up to these children and doing what I love to do most, making a difference in the lives of children, has been perfect. I smile whenever I see their pictures that I have saved in my phone. When I’m going through a particularly rough moment, I look at their pictures and think of all that they’re going through and their innocence to get me through.
For some reason, something kept pulling me to look at more Compassion kiddos. I already had 2 sponsored kids. But some of those faces that had been waiting all that time were still stuck in my head. I canceled a couple monthly subscriptions that I didn’t need to make extra room in my bank account, and I went on the website and looked through the children who had been waiting the longest. Some of them even have videos in hopes of finally getting them a sponsor. There were a few children that I felt especially led to. It was late by that time, time for me to go to bed, so I decided to sleep on it and pray about it, and if I was meant to sponsor one of them, I knew Jesus would put the name in my heart.
Well 2 days later, I knew. Angeles’ precious little face was the one who I couldn’t stop thinking about. She had a video, so I also had the privilege of seeing her shy little smile as she told the Compassion worker her answers and he translated. Angeles is a seriously sweet little 6 year old girl from Peru, and I loved the idea of sponsoring another child in the Americas as well. She loves art and she wants to be a nurse when she grows up. Already a great big heart, and I want to do whatever I can through my part to help her achieve that ambition. Look at this little sweetheart.
When I went through and sponsored her, I felt an overwhelming sense that this was absolutely right. And additionally, I felt complete. These 3 little beauties have made my heart full and complete. I know without a doubt that I was called by God to help each of them.
Angeles, mi amor, for some reason I can’t fathom you were waiting 304 days to be sponsored. I can’t wait to get the email that you’ve been notified you have a sponsor and for the first time I hear from you. I feel blessed to get to be your sponsor, because I know you end up impacting my life too.
Excited about sponsorship, I started reading blogs and others’ experiences. Which got me even more excited. I longed to sponsor more. Somehow or another, I ended up on Compassion’s website wanting to browse. I searched by the children who had been waiting the longest, because my heart broke for them that they would have to wait so long while their friends were being sponsored, that they and their families might begin to doubt and question. As I scrolled through the faces, I wished I could help them all. But once face in particular shouted right out to me and took my heart on the spot. There was no denying that the 4 year old boy named Elvis from Bolivia with the toothless smile and a thumbs up would be my newest sponsored child. I couldn’t believe that people could have passed up this face for 277 days!
As an early childhood teacher, I absolutely love 4 year old boys. And as I told him in my first letter to him, when I saw his thumbs up, I knew we were going to get along great! I just want to scoop him up and squeeze him right now!!
But Elvis, sweetheart, know that while we’re separated by distance, I’m still embracing you in hugs of love and prayers. I can’t wait to get to see more of your beautiful personality and spirit come out through your letters that I get a glimpse of through this photo. Love you, buddy!
Years ago, I correspondence sponsored a girl in Kenya through Compassion International. At the time, I couldn’t afford a sponsorship, but I still wanted to help. I fell in love with getting letters from a 9 year old girl on the other side of the world. I couldn’t believe they were filled with so much love for me. I hoped that I was able to show that much love in my letters. We wrote for a few years, before she left the program. As sad as I was, I was so busy with grad school at the time that I decided to wait some time before I started with another child, to be fair.
As more time passed, I kind of forgot. But recently after attending a Toby Mac concert and hearing him talk about it, the burning desire to sponsor a child was pushed back into the forefront of my heart. As a teacher I don’t make a ton of money, but by having a full-time job, I still have the ability to be a sponsor. I went on World Vision’s website. I work with young children, typically preschoolers, but right now I am working with kindergarteners, so I wanted someone around that age. Then I thought of those kindergarteners I work with in the morning, whose families are all from Mexico. I thought of all the children who are stuck in Mexico in poverty, and I started searching for children around that age in Mexico. I prayed a lot. When Maria’s picture popped up for the 3rd time as I was searching through (World Vision only shows you one child at a time), I knew that was my answer. Her face was so full of innocence. A bit unsure, but hopeful. I watched her video. Most of the other children her age stood next to their mothers in the video while they talked, but Maria sat there in a chair by herself and talked on her own while she played with her dress. I couldn’t understand all of what she was saying, but I loved this little girl for being brave enough to talk for herself.
Maria, mi amor, I love you so much already. I think about you and your family daily, not just when I’m praying for you. I can’t wait for you to get the letters I’ve sent, and I can’t wait until I get my first letter from you!