Although I am not pregnant, our family is growing in a way that I wanted to share.
I have been familiar with Compassion International for a while, maybe a year or more, and I was aware of the work they did and the opportunity the provide for people like you and me to sponsor children in impoverished countries, and to have the opportunity to "release a child from poverty in Jesus' name". Several of the bloggers I read have been "Compassion Bloggers", where they traveled to one of the countries where Compassion does work, and subsequently blogged about their experiences in an effort to raise awareness and increase sponsorship. I can't remember the first Compassion Blogger I followed, but I think it was Melissa Fitzpatrick when she went to India and chronicled her trip on the LPM blog.
From the first time I heard about this organization and saw what they did, I thought this is something our family should do. And then life would get busy, and I'd never get around to following through with it. That's no excuse, but usually my line of thinking would be "This is something our family should do. I need to talk to Matthew about that". And then I never would.
Long story short, about a month ago, Matthew and I finally talked about it. Mattie is five years old now, and we both agreed that this will be a great way for us to give Mattie some world perspective, and help her to learn compassion for those less fortunate. I'll admit that when I first told Mattie what we were going to do, which was send some of our money, because God has given us plenty, to a little girl in a country far away who doesn't have enough, her reaction was embarrasing. Basically she wanted to keep all of "our" money for us. Which is exactly why I think this will be a good teaching experience for her.
With Compassion, you have the opportunity to browse profiles, and select the child you want to sponsor based on several search criteria (age, gender, country). Mattie and I sat down together and did this. My heart was drawn to Africa for several reasons, one of them being that I support The Mercy House, and my heart has kind of been tied to Africa through following that.
We finally selected Mary.
She's a little girl, about Mattie's age, and she lives in Eastern Uganda, near the border of Kenya.
Aside from sponsoring her finicially, one of the most important things we will be doing for her is praying for her. We are committing to lift her up in prayer along with our own children, as well as build a relationship with her through letter writing and correspondence.
Something I thought was neat was that Mary and I share a birthday.
If you think your family might be interested in doing this, please visit the Compassion International site. The cost is low, but the benefits, for sponsor and sponsoree, are well worth it.