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  • We’ve Got A Lot In Common

    July 20, 2008

    In June, while I was at the She Speaks conference in North Carolina, I saw a video on the work that Compassion is doing on behalf of impoverished children throughout the world. If you keep up with Sophie and Shannon and Melanie, as I do, you probably already know about it.

    Now, in case y’all do not know, I am not a cryer. You could cut my arm off and I would not cry. It is very hard to jerk a tear up out of my crusty old cynical heart. I learned not to cry when I was left alone in a hospital when I was three-years-old and since then, it is almost impossible to make me cry, even when it is appropriate for me to do so. I am damaged that way.

    Yet.

    Two minutes into this video I was weeping big ugly snotty mascara-runnin’ snorting sobs. Ugly. Another good reason for me to avoid crying.

    When they turned up the lights, I walked directly to the Compassion table and handed them my credit card. The sweet gal manning the table, asked me to pick a child. I closed my eyes and shook my head. “No,” I told her, “I could never pick. You pick for me.” And so she did.

    Aside: Normally I am very suspicious of these kinds of organizations, but their overhead is as slim as the side of a ruler. Impressive. My money goes to my sponsored kiddo and her family. I like that.

    The child chosen for me (aren’t all children chosen for us, really?) is just a month older than Sean. Her name is Monserrat (cómo hermosas!) and she lives in Bolivia. I keep her picture on my desk and send up tiny prayers for her when I glance at her little face off and on throughout the day.

    When I got home from She Speaks I showed Sean her picture and tried to explain to him that we were going to sponsor her and pray for her and generally just try to keep up with her for as long as she needs us. Then I pulled out the globe and showed him where Bolivia was and then I had him find Texas.

    As he drove his finger from Boliva to Texas he exclaimed, “Oh hey! BoWivia is pink and Texas is pink! We’ve got a lot in common!”

    Indeed, we humans have a lot in common.

    36 Comments »

    1. Heather says:

      So sweet is the innocence of a child. If only we could all view the world in that manner.

      July 20th, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    2. Sarah at themommylogues says:

      I had a miscarriage in 2002, and we decided to sponsor a child through Compassion after that. Sort of an in memory kind of thing. It’s a great organization, and getting her little drawings brought new meaning to warm fuzzies.

      July 20th, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    3. Jo-Lynne (Musings of a Housewife) says:

      LOVE it! You will be thoroughly impressed with compassion. I sure have been.

      July 20th, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    4. Heidi Saxton says:

      I have a girlfriend who began sponsoring a child from Guatemala nearly twenty years ago … and when she and her husband decided to enlarge their family through adoption, Guatemala was their first choice. They now have three children from that country — and it all began because she was willing to enlarge her heart through this simple act of giving.

      When the sponsored “child” (then a young adult) heard she was going to be in his country, he traveled ten hours for the chance to see her for two. You simply cannot underestimate what a profound impact such a “small” act of kindness can change someone’s life.

      July 20th, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    5. Cheri says:

      We just sponsored a child this week. My son (11) is excited, I’m excited – and we’re both rearing to get started.

      On a whole ‘nother note: we lived in Texas when The Boy was learning about shapes, colors, etc. Once day he saw a Texas outline in the paper and proudly announced, “It’s a Texas” just like “It’s a triangle”. It was just such a hoot!

      July 20th, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    6. Jeana says:

      Oh my heart. That boy!

      And, congratulations! It’s a girl!

      July 20th, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    7. Sarah S. says:

      That is SO precious — and did she totally pick her ‘blind’ and she STILL is so close to Sean’s age?? God is wonderful. I, too, have been VERY impressed with Compassion’s financial responsibility toward the children they are representing.

      July 20th, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    8. Pam says:

      Squeezing out tears on your behalf, AM. Everything makes me cry, and I found myself doing the same thing regarding a child to sponsor via Compassion. Our little girl is named Juana. We just received our second letter and picture she’d drawn yesterday. She is five and absolutely precious.

      Congratulations on your girl, too. It is good to have things in common.

      July 20th, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    9. Julie at Elisharose says:

      We talked about sponsoring a child for years. Reading about Shannon’s trip put me over the edge. We are now sponsoring a little girl in Mexico. She is about a year younger then my daughter who is beyond thrilled to have a “sister”. We are still anxiously awaiting correspondence from her. Her name is Veronica.

      July 20th, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    10. Prairie Rose says:

      Awwwww… I LOVE that!! Thanks for sharing. :)

      July 20th, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    11. mary says:

      So Sweet!

      July 20th, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    12. Kelly @ Love Well says:

      He’s got such a sweet heart.

      July 21st, 2008 at 12:01 am

    13. Krista says:

      So cute! The things kids say… I can’t wait until mine can talk! He was dancing tonight and we all about died it was so adorable!
      I’ve been a Compassion sponsor for a long time and just recently decided to join their advocate network. (So I would have been “behind the table” like that lady!) They are a really neat organization and like you, I’m impressed by how well they keep their overhead down. And that they make it personal by connecting you with one child.

      July 21st, 2008 at 12:15 am

    14. Rocks In My Dryer says:

      It will bless your socks off, truly.

      July 21st, 2008 at 1:39 am

    15. Karen {simply a musing blog} says:

      Compassion is a wonderful organization. Like you, I was wary – but I have been blessed beyond measure. :)

      July 21st, 2008 at 2:25 am

    16. Jennifer (Et Tu?) says:

      Sean’s insight is just too precious. I can’t wait to sponsor a Compassion child. I think we’ll be able to do that within the next few months.

      Also, I forgot that you guys are in Texas. If you’re ever in the Austin area, a cup of coffee / glass of wine is on me!

      July 21st, 2008 at 8:39 am

    17. zoom says:

      The letters from my Compassion child just melt my heart.

      July 21st, 2008 at 10:45 am

    18. Heidi says:

      That’s one of the things that I love about Compassion, too. Their fiscal responsibility.

      July 21st, 2008 at 11:25 am

    19. 80smoviemama says:

      I have been thinking about sponsoring a child for a long time. I am one of those criers. I used to cry when Sally Struthers was doing commercials.

      I have been trying to share with my daughter who is 4 about how spoiled, I mean blessed, she is and that donating one ratty old bear out 600 stuffed animals is not really all that generous. So this is perfect.

      We already signed up and she got to pick our child. Of course it had to be a girl.

      Her name is Simeret and she lives in Ethiopia. She just turned 5 and she likes to play hide and seek. It also said that she sometimes runs errands for her mom so Jillian said we should send her some running shows.

      Thank you for inspiring me.

      July 21st, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    20. 80smoviemama says:

      running shoes, not shows

      what a dork

      July 21st, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    21. Beck says:

      WE’re trying to find enough wiggle room in our budget to sponser a child, too. It would be a great thing for our family.

      July 21st, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    22. CircusKelli says:

      You and your lovely family are good people.

      July 21st, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    23. Tom says:

      Shannon and Melanie’s posts were enough for us too. We’re sponsoring a girl in Kenya named Nakenyua, but we call her Sue. The best is when she writes to us and draws pictures. The correspondence is one of the best parts. And she prays for us – can you believe that?

      July 21st, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    24. Ann Kroeker says:

      That must be some film!

      I love it that there are responsible organizations out there really making a difference.

      And that there are great people willing to plunk down their credit card and also make a difference.

      July 21st, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    25. elaine @ peace for the journey says:

      My husband and son are currently serving with a work team in the mountains of Bolivia (Taca Cheia sp?). They’re doing repairs on an orphanage there. I couldn’t help but think of your newly adopted in relation to my husband and his work this day.

      peace~elaine

      July 21st, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    26. Doris at Threads of Conversation says:

      Wow, out of the mouths of babes!

      July 21st, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    27. diXymiss says:

      No doubt, as you eXtend yourself to bless her life, you will in turn be blessed in ways you never imagined. It’s a God thing.

      PS: I so hear you about the “ugly” crying (the kind that only gets worse if you try to hold it back). I did quite a bit of it myself this past week…

      July 21st, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    28. Jenni says:

      Oh I love it! Welcome to the big, fat Compassion “family”!

      July 21st, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    29. Lysa TerKeurst says:

      I love the line, “we humans have a lot in common.”

      Yes, we do sister. Thank you for this post.

      July 21st, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    30. Roxanne says:

      Love this. Love Sean. Love you. :)

      July 21st, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    31. Stephanie says:

      Congratulations on your new mom status! And to Sean for being a new “little brother”. He’s got it down to its most basic, doesn’t he?

      After reading Sophie’s and Shannon’s and all’s posts this past winter, I sponsored my second Compassin child, a little girl in Bangladesh. She and my El Salvadoran teen bless me so much. You will never be sorry.

      July 22nd, 2008 at 12:09 am

    32. Judi says:

      I just spoke to my husband briefly as he is returning from a visit to an orphanage in South India. I turned to your wonderful blog to make the time go fast while I wait until midnight to go to the airport to pick him up. On the phone, he briefly relayed to me how much help was needed for those little children in India – said he gave all of his travel money and we need to send more when he gets home. Then I read your post about “Compassion” and the comments from your readers. There are so many precious children needing help and so many compassionate people wanting to do something. I am glad there are organizations like Compassion to match them up.

      July 22nd, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    33. cyn says:

      Love how that boy thinks! Just wait til he starts asking when you will bring her home! :) Our kids did not understand why we “adopted” a child and did not bring him home from Guatelama. So literal, those little monkeys.

      July 23rd, 2008 at 12:06 am

    34. Kelly says:

      Sigh. The only time I cry is when I am in the third trimester. Which I am now. So I cried while reading this post. Sigh.

      Great post. Off to visit the Compassion website.

      July 23rd, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    35. Lizzie says:

      We were able to sponsor a Compassion child this year due to someone else’s generosity.
      What a privilege.
      I too am impressed with their organization.
      Lizzie

      July 26th, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    36. Becca says:

      I find it unfair that you don’t cry and yet we poor schmos who read your blog cry on a regular basis. When we had to send ElfGirl back, the floodgates turned on in me and I cry over every little thing these last several weeks.

      July 27th, 2008 at 10:15 am

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