Thanks be to God for leading me to finally deciding which child to sponsor. I know it could have been as easy as saying to Compassion International, "Pick one for us--a 9 or 11 year old boy from South America," but it wasn't in my heart this time to just be random. (We've done it that way before, which was fine, but this time was different.)
I specifically asked our youngest son his preference. He said either a boy one year older or one year younger than him. Someone with similar interests. I wanted to find a child whose bio indicated he was fatherless. And as a bonus, I preferred his birthday be about six to eight weeks from now so that he could receive a birthday card from us at about the same time they chose a gift from us for him.I wanted him to know by his next birthday that he has a sponsor. For a time I considered sponsoring a boy from Zambia, but I had no confidence that he would write to us and that was really important to us. Compassion guarantees at least two letters a year. We've typically received more like four or five.
After a few weeks of on-again/off-again searching the Compassion site, I was considering several boys whose bio fit "kinda-sorta-but-not-really" and I felt there was a boy who just wasn't showing up on the list yet. Maybe I had the wrong continent? I also expanded the search to Asia, for reasons I wasn't quite sure.
Call me silly, but I was so betwixt that I asked on Facebook for people to give me the number 9 or 11, and a South American or Asian country. I didn't tell them what it was about. They were not to look at other comments first. My plan was to see if either number (representing child's age) AND country would be repeated. If so, it would confirm what I was sensing, that the boy would be one from Brazil, age 9 or 11, and fatherless.
However, the one boy I considered had "all opposite interests" from my son (his words). In my heart of hearts, I felt this child needed to be one whom my own child would feel a sense of connection through common likes. My boy is NOT into marbles and singing (not singing in public, that is, although he has a beautiful voice and perfect pitch and can remember ALL kinds of lyrics).
My Facebook comments did indeed have a repeat answer: Brazil. :) One said 9, the other 11.
Imagine my sheer joy when, late last night, I searched the site again for any updates or additions. I'm not sure why, but this boy named Marcos, whose picture I'd never seen before, just kept tugging at me. He is 11, from Brazil , and the bio says "lives with his mother." He likes soccer and art, two of my son's interests. (I like soccer, too, but only as a spectator. I'm all over the interest in art, though!)
And check this out: his birthday is October 3. Perfect amount of time for us to get a birthday card to him and let him know how happy we are to be his "godparents," as they like to say. (I was really tickled every time our last sponsor child would begin her letters, "Dear Godfather Paul.") I am eager to send him little stickers and such to brighten his day.
This desire to sponsor a new child was on my 101 in 1001 List, so now I can happily cross it off, and get on with the joy of communicating with our "new child."