The world as I see it

To be honest, I have never really been one for adventure. I’m an introvert by nature who’d much rather sit at home and watch re-runs of The Office, and The Big Bang Theory with a bag of potato chips by myself.

But somehow in this crazy life adventure always seems to find me- whether I’m ready for it or not.

That’s the crazy thing about life~ you can make one ordinary decision and it changes everything…

That’s what led me here. To a country the rest of the world rarely thinks about… Albania.

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A country that my life was changed by… long before I ever set foot in it.

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There’s a phrase in the non-profit field called “compassion apathy” and I admit I suffered from that for a long time.

Sometimes you really do, need to be crazy in order to be hopeful in a suffering world.

Whatever made me want to sponsor a child- I’m not sure. Maybe I was just exhausted from the apathy and I wanted to try the whole ‘action‘ thing.

I don’t know why I thought of World Vision when it came of ways to make a difference. Perhaps it was their reputation or the fact I knew people personally involved with the organization.

Whatever it was, one late-night when I was about to leave for my freshman year of college I found myself on their website…

…Where I saw the photos of two little girls who were available for sponsorship.

...this little girl who was 9.

This little girl who was 9…

...and this little girl who was 11.

…and this little girl who was 11.

I didn’t look at my bank account.

I didn’t think of the pros and cons.

I just acted.  I became a sponsor. And I did a crazy thing~ I decided to sponsor them both rather than choose.

It was an ‘impulse buy‘ and the only kind I have never regretted.

Over the last 7 years, we’ve exchanged letters and photographs…

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And the weird thing is through doing that, we have grown to form a bond that’s hard for me to describe and comprehend…

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A bond to the point~ when I realized I was going to serve in Ukraine as a Peace Corps. volunteer I knew that, if I didn’t visit them during my service… I’d always regret it.

That’s the weird thing about life, sometimes one action can change your life in ways you didn’t anticipate.

I really don’t want this post to be self-glorifying because, to me—they are ones that are special. I’m really not.

Two little girls in a far away land made me care.

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Two little girls made me want to give more.

Two little girls cured me of my compassion apathy and gave me a sense of purpose that I never had before.

As crazy as it sounds, two little girls changed my life for the better when I was meant to be changing theirs.

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“You sent me this photo”

And finally after 7 years of sponsoring them, watching them grow up in yearly photographs, and loving them through letters I got to tell them “Thank you.

That’s the crazy thing about child sponsorship… out of the blue you end up with a family you never knew you had before.

I sponsor this little guy now too.

I decided to sponsor this little guy 3 years after I started sponsoring my first two children. He’s the little brother of another child I sponsor.

And you somehow end up with the little sister you always wanted…

She bought us matching bracelets.

She bought us matching bracelets.

…who will also turn out to be one of the best friends you have ever had.

It has been a wonderful adventure.

An adventure that showed me the world as how I always envisioned it…  a world where strangers care for one another simply because they can.

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”

-Mother Teresa

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A world where strangers choose to live simply so, that others can simply live…

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A world where love is not defined by any map, religious, cultural, or language barriers.

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A world where love is just limitless.

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love”

-Mother Teresa

During our special days together my sponsored children and I had a few smiles, but a lot of awkward silence.

All of us, a little overcome with emotion.  After all what do you say to someone who you have known for 7 years and love…but you have never really met before?

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Someone you’ve never met but, who still knows your favorite colors and your hopes for the future?

It was awkward.

But it was all so real.

All so perfectly human.IMG_5100

And that’s what made those days and our time together perfect.

Somehow at the end of each day despite our shyness we all managed to say, what we needed to say : “You’re special to me. I’ll never forget you… and I’ll love you always.”

If you’ve always wanted to sponsor a child and you’re worried about the financial aspect. I’ll tell you from my own personal experience if sponsoring a child is something you really want to do: Then you will find a way to make it work(if I can, than anyone can).  Starbucks isn’t that cool anyways… Don’t let that crazy fear limit you from this opportunity….

You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.

– We Bought A Zoo

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…We all can afford to love someone… somewhere.

Through our words and our actions.

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After all love frees you.

Love changes everything and its the only thing that will change the world.

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

-Mother Teresa

You just have to be brave and crazy enough to act. But once you act, everything else becomes so simple… the rest falls into place.

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The world becomes much more beautiful…

And it will just be the beginning of an adventure.

Two little girls taught me that: I want to give with purpose.

Live life with purpose… and have my actions reflect that.

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Because of them, my life will never be the same again.

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