So I'm not going to write much. I'm going to tell one Paul story and then show you some pictures. Yesterday, Paul asked, "Mom, 'member those kids we help?"
For the record, Paul remembers EVERYTHING about EVERYONE we have EVER met. EVER. (Except, of course, minor details like their names.) And he expects me to read his mind about WHO THE HECK HE'S TALKING ABOUT. Which I cannot. Especially when all of my current concentration is focused on remaining upright without swaying too visibly.
He is learning I need clarification. "Those kids? They weren't homeless but we help them and their famb'ly. Remember? From Africa?"
Me: "The Somali kids? That you helped tutor?"
Paul: "No! They live in Africa NOW. In MY country. WE MET THEM! REMEMBER?" (Sometimes I think he thinks I'm an idiot with the memory of a flea. Sometimes he's right.)
Me, thinking, thinking: "Oh! Our World Vision kids? Tokiso and Mohaila?"
Paul, sighing with the satisfaction of finally being understood: "Yes. I was trying to tell my teacher about them. Cause they's kind of like our family too, right?"
Me: "Yes. They are exactly like our family, too."
I haven't been able to read but a couple of the blogs and posts and who-ha-ha about World Vision and the latest homosexual controversy. Because I Just. Cannot. Even. It makes me nauseous. Everything makes me nauseous, but this especially.
We have sponsored children through Compassion and through World Vision for many years. (World Vision introduced us to the country and the children of Lesotho, which in turn introduced us to Paul.) When we traveled to Lesotho in May 2012 we were able to meet our children. Julius, the Lesotho World Vision representative, drove us to meet Tokiso on Monday, along with her ENTIRE family, her ENTIRE school, and about three-quarters of the ENTIRE village. On Tuesday Julius drove us to meet Mohaila, his family, his schoolmates and his teachers.
We write letters back and forth - Mohaila doesn't much like to write, but he does it anyway. I think his mama makes him. She's that kind of mama - and we watch them grow and love them from afar.
I read that World Vision lost close to 5,000 sponsors when they announced they would allow those in legal same-sex marriages to work for their organization. FIVE THOUSAND. Those numbers represent real children, y'all. Real families. Real communities. In a moment of outrage, of disagreement, children became pawns. Children just like MY children.
Mohaila's mama shared that he's still in school because of our sponsorship. School isn't easy for him. Sponsorship provides him with the support he needs to get an education - an education that is essential to his future.
Tokiso's local ADP (area development program) representative shared that our sponsorship enabled Tokiso's mother to visit a doctor. A visit that saved her life. A visit that meant Tokiso and her siblings still have a mother. World Vision provides hope; preserves families.
Paul is still learning what it means to be family. He is still learning that we are family NO MATTER WHAT. We are family EVEN IF we disagree. Family sticks together. Family loves each other. Nobody walks away. Nobody flakes out when it gets tough - because it will get tough. This family will NEVER give up on our kids. Not the ones who live in my house, and not the ones who live half-a-world away. Don't nobody mess with MY CHILDREN.
|A calvary of children riding donkeys led us up a mountain|
to a rousing welcome from Tokiso (in yellow) and her schoolmates.
|A World Vision sponsorship helps the entire community. Our sponsorship|
assisted in building a clean-water-well for the school. Which is pumped via a
MERRY GO ROUND! Just look at these babies!
|I was somehow conscripted into participating in a traditional women's dance.|
Yes, they are laughing at me. And I think the teacher in white might
have posted to YouTubes Funniest Videos or something.
|Both families cooked us an amazing lunch!|
|World Vision supports the entire family.|
Our family is forever linked with Mohaila's family.
Forever. No matter what.