Before we had our little Ella Belle, James and I adopted another different child. Our little boy goes by the name Yukondet. He will turn six years old this coming January, and he lives in Thailand. He's adorable, and we adopted him when he was three. I wish I could put up his picture, but it's protected so that it can't be reproduced.
We adopted him through Compassion International, which helps people to sponsor children all over the world. Yukondet is a sweet little fellow, and his parents are poor farmers in their area of Thailand. He was pets, including a pig that he really loves. We have put him through pre-school, and now he is in kindergarten. He loves the game hide-and-seek, playing with toy cars, and doing art projects. He also goes to Sunday school, where he hears about Jesus. (His weekday school is also a Christian school.)
I have to tell you that I love this little guy. I've never seen him, and it's possible that I never will, but his picture captured my heart the first time I saw it. We are so excited to be his adopted family. We get letters from him regularly, and although he gets help with writing them due to his age, it's fun to see how much of his little personality shines through. He always asks us about our dog Max, since he's very fond of animals. Just recently we sent him pictures of the new baby, so he'll probably ask about her soon, too.
I have a vision that when Ella is old enough to help with chores around the house, I might give her a bit of an allowance for the purpose of sponsoring a child in another country. I would love for her to choose a little girl of her own age to be her sister and pen pal, and I think that it's important for children to understand that the world is bigger than their own little portion of it. Also, I think it's important for them to know that most of the world's children aren't so privileged as to always know where their next meal will come from. When I was 12, I went to Haiti on a mission trip, and I had my eyes opened to the realities of what is often called the "third world." I'll write about that sometime soon. The point is that I don't want my children to grow up believing that their experience is universal. I want them to know the joy of sacrificing for someone in need, showing them the love of Christ and giving of themselves to enrich the life of another.
Meanwhile, Yukondet is learning how to read....I'm such a proud adopted "mama" of this little boy!