Saturday, October 30, 2010

Another One?!

I want another baby. I feel compelled. This urge could be said to almost border upon obsession. It feels as if I almost NEED another baby.

Before you get carried away thinking that I’m all clucky after having Munchkin, let me just clarify that I have absolutely NO desire to be pregnant or give birth again. Nope, much as I love our little one, I don’t want THAT kind of baby. Now I’ve probably got you wondering if there are in fact more than one kind of baby. There are. And I want one.

Not this kind. At least not now, at any rate. Give me a few years to think about it…

Nope, not this kind either:
I could totally go with it, but my husband would be horrified. Sad.

No, I want one of these:

Every time I read about the benefits child sponsorship offers to kids, I want to do more. Every time I get a letter from our sponsored kids, I feel the same. And it’s not just what sponsoring does for children, although amazing for sure (clean water, clothes and pencils for school, immunisations, food assistance, schooling, and so on are not to be sneezed at). It goes beyond that. Sponsoring a child tells them that someone (me) somewhere (far, far away in New Zealand) thinks about them. Cares about them. Has decided that their life is worth investing in. Sponsorship tells a child living in desperate poverty that their life matters. It tells them that they can be someone, and help someone, and get somewhere in life. But on top of this incredible difference I get to make in one child’s life, are the differences that spread across their community, and across the generations. For instance, giving girls a chance at an education increases their self esteem, their position in society, and in turn the welfare of their future families as they later invest in the health, education and welbeing of their children. Then there’s the community wells that are dug, the agricultural training that can be accessed, the midwives that are trained, the businesses that can start, and on and on it goes, each benefit flowing outwards to enable more and more and more.

So, I want another sponsored child. The thing is that we already have 3. Most people are somewhat surprised by this. Don’t be. There is just no reason why children should be dying of hunger and water-bourne disease. Not while there’s something I can do about it. Why should I sit back and enjoy my cruisey middle-class, suburban life with my filtered tap water, electricity, and supermarket fare when other’s, through no fault of their own, have nothing? I want a large family. I just don’t plan on them being my birth-kids. I see this as one way I can change the world. One child at a time. One $45 sponsorship a month at a time. One letter wending its way to Tanzania, or Nicaragua, or Bangladesh at a time.

At the moment, I have to wait. Now is not the time. We are living on a student allowance, and managing okay, but there’s not much extra to go round and at present it is going on yet more clothes for the Munchkin. But I don’t want my son to become my excuse for ignoring the plight of others. Yes, he is my first responsibility. Yes, I need to make sure he is fed and clothed and loved. But this shouldn’t become my over-riding pursuit. After all, he is well-cared for. It won’t hurt him to have a few less toys and a few less treats, and to grow up learning that there are other people in the world who don’t get to live with the wonderful things we do.

I’m still hoping that someday soon I can have another baby. I’m wondering if there’s some way I can find that $45 a month…maybe I could make and sell stuff. Yeah, don’t have time to keep my house clean, let alone get out the sewing machine. Maybe we could eat less. Well, that is always an option, but I find that my mind is telling me that I ‘need’ to eat what I eat. Considering how much people eat (or rather don’t eat) and survive on, this is probably something I could debate with my self-centredness. But how much of this is me being selfish though, and how much is to do with our cultural expectations - we grow up surrounded by them, it can be so hard at times to work out how much something is a need, and how much it is an expectation built by what society says is a need. So for eating, if I were to eat less, eat lower quality, or eat different foods than what I do now would that be truly depriving myself of needed nutrients or is it that my society thinks it might? I'm still not sure on this one.
Funny how there’s always something more that we ‘need.’ Like more clothes (the truth is that I can probably get by with very little), and a garden hose (how many people in the world do you think bucket water to their garden?). Either way, it doesn’t seem right to me to just sit back and wait out the next 2-3 years, hoping that we’ll be able to ‘afford’ to sponsor another child after that. In the meantime, who is going to give these kids hope? And will we really be able to afford it later, if we can’t now? It is not as if we are expecting a huge windfall of money or anything. Our income will hopefully improve, but I don’t imagine it will be dramatically and instantly…and besides, there will be other pulls on it then, such as buying a house and sending Munchkin to school. So I’m just going to have a little chat with God about all this, and see what He thinks. When will it be ‘time’ for another baby from Africa? Whose life does He want to change, through my actions? And how can I go about enabling that to happen?

Whose life are you changing? Do you have room in your family for one more?

Saturday, 30th October, 2010


Michelle ~ Blogging from the Boonies said...

Did you know that you can be a Correspondent for a child whose sponsor doesn't write to them? We have 2 sponsored children and 5 correspondent children. We don't have to pay the monthly $ for our correspondents, we just have to write faithfully. :)

Amy said...

Hi Michelle,
I did actually, but had forgotten that this could be a viable option for me at present as another way of having a positive impact on a child. I write to our sponsored kids usually every 3 months so could easily add a couple more kids into that. How often do you write? Amy