Then again, perhaps you aren't asking of those questions, because you already know the answers. But, I would still like to share a brief history of my sponsored children with you. I'm going to share a quick few sentences about how each of my 24 children (I know, that's a lot) came to join my family. It'll be brief, but this will still be a LONG post.
Up first, is Abu-Bakarr. I first became interested in sponsoring a child my freshman year of college. I knew that it was something I truly needed to do, now that I was out on my own and supporting myself. I clicked onto the World Vision website, knew that I wanted to sponsor in Sierra Leone, and saw a precious 5 year old boy. A little one with a giant blue shirt and adorably chubby cheeks. In February, 2008, I sponsored him.
I went almost four years without sponsoring another child. I got through college and got my first teaching job. I realized that I now had enough money to support more sponsored children. I agonized over it for several months. I thought and re-thought my budget and set aside enough money to sponsor this beautiful boy. Xhuliano is sponsored through World Vision and he lives in Albania. I sponsored him at the end of November, in 2011.
In December, 2011, I found out that Compassion International had a correspondent program. This means that there are children that are being financially sponsored by somebody, but that person, for various reasons, is not able to write to the child. Compassion, essentially, assigns them a pen pal. Writing letters to these children is an absolute blessing. That month, I was assigned Eric from Uganda and Kalpesh from India.
At the beginning of 2012, I took a look at my budget, rearranged some things, cut out some things I didn't need to be spending a lot of money on, and had enough money leftover each month to bring another child into my sponsorship family. I had fallen in love with sponsoring in Albania, and went to find another loving young man to add to my family from that country. I saw Florenc's picture and fell in love with his big blue eyes. He joined my family in March, 2012.
In June, 2012, a friend of mine, Amanda, who is also a blogger, was taking a sponsor tour to Honduras. When she found out what projects she would be visiting, she requested some children waiting for sponsors from those projects. Amanda posted several children on her blog. I was instantly drawn to Celeste, but was worried because I had just recently sponsored Florenc and didn't believe that I had any money to spare. I decided to take a few days to pray about it. As the days went on, children from Amanda's blog continued to get sponsored. At the end of that week, only two children were left, and Celeste was one of them. She became a part of my family at that time.
In August, 2012, I found out that you can pretty much have as many correspondent children as you want. I figured I always have more time in my life to write letters to these precious kids. I emailed Compassion and asked to be assigned two girls. I was given Sagitaria from Indonesia and Sadiya from India. Beautiful girls!
Later that same month, August, I discovered a brand new project. This project instantly and ferociously grabbed onto my heart. It is a project located in a red light district in India. These children face sex trafficking, drugs, and abuse on a daily basis. I immediately began fighting for these kids. Compassion sent me five packets of boys from this project that needed sponsors. Sagar was one of those boys. I prayed about it and sponsored Sagar at the end of August, 2012.
In September, after hearing several inspirational stories about former sponsored children in Rwanda, I requested to be assigned a child from this country. Adorable Kwizera Yves was added to my account in September, 2012.
Also in September, 2012, I saw Sandesh on the website. I fell in love with him instantly, but knew that there was no wiggle room in my budget. I decided to try a new approach, after praying about it and a miracle occurred. You can read about Sandesh's Story here.
In November, 2012, I asked Compassion to add a new correspondent child to my account. A couple weeks later, adorable Solomon was added to my account.
Okay, funny story here. In December 2012, Compassion announced that due to recent sponsorships, there were 250 children who needed correspondent sponsors. I emailed Compassion and told them that I would be willing to take on writing to two more children. A few days later, I hadn't heard anything from there and decided to resend my original email. Imagine my surprise when four new children were added to my account. Turns out, two different people received my two different emails and this is what results, haha. I welcomed Jhon from Bolivia, Khushi from India, Karanja from Kenya, and Melaku from Ethiopia to my family. They were assigned one at a time and on different days throughout the month.
On December 31st, 2012, I decided to use Christmas money that I had received from my family to sponsor another child. I chose sweet Dafyne from Brazil. She lives in an area where girls as young as 5 are encouraged to prostitute themselves on the street to earn money from the family.
In February, 2013, I asked Compassion for a teenage boy from Haiti to be added to my account. Handsome Wendjy joined my family that month.
In March, 2013, I asked Compassion to add a child from Asia to my account. A few days later, Fongwin from Thailand joined my family.
On Good Friday, at the end of March, 2013, I sponsored Domenik from Albania. I fell in love with his beautiful smile. I knew it was meant to be.
In April, 2013, Compassion again shared that over 200 children were waiting for correspondent children. I asked for two more children to be added to my account. They added Elias and Gemechu, both from Ethiopia.
Lastly, last month, I asked Compassion if they would add a girl from the Philippines to my account. Imagine my surprise when not a girl, but a boy from the Philippines showed up. So, Nikko joined my family. That same day, Taye was from Ethiopia was also added to my account. He was a complete surprise, as I didn't request him at all. But, I'm glad to have him!
There you have it! My sponsorship history. Whew!