Happy Mother’s Day! All week, we've asked bloggers to share their thoughts on motherhood -- and the importance of caring for children who have experienced the loss of a parent. Today’s final post in this series comes from Carole Turner.
Miss any of the other posts in this week's four-part series? Read them here!
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Lately, I've been pondering ways to have more kids. I know, sounds crazy. I'm 45 and can hardly handle my three kids without screaming. But even so, I'd love to adopt more. My husband, Dean, however, is not of the same mind.
Though I often become overwhelmed with the desire to mother the world, I know that adopting orphans is not always what is best for them. Most of the time, actually, I think it's better if we can help them stay with family, in their countries, living out their dreams without having to go through the loss of all that is familiar to them, on top of the loss suffered that made them orphans in the first place.
The other day, I read the story below about a girl named Preaw, who lives in Thailand. It made me happy that I've purchased chickens for families and given monthly support to World Vision at different times throughout my life. It helped me realize that I can never underestimate the difference I can make in a child's life simply by doing something that provides them with the resources to live another day, which is another day for a child to dream.
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With her fringe hairstyle and long hair tied up into a ponytail, Preaw ran straight to her two-story wooden house and hurriedly knocked on the door.
“Uncle and Aunty, hurry, come and see my mother’s heart,” Preaw cried out. “She is very sick. She has asked me to come and call you.”
That night, her mother passed away. It’s a painful memory, even now, 13 years later.
Preaw lost her parents while she was studying in primary school. At that time, 8-year-old Preaw was accepted into the child sponsorship program with World Vision.
Preaw’s mother had been sick for one year before she died. Preaw received full support from World Vision, such as milk, rice, and other dry food to help relieve their troubles.
When her mother died, Preaw and her younger sister were taken care of by their uncle.
The uncle, Daeng, and Preaw’s aunt have one daughter of their own. Daeng grew tobacco, and the family had quite a hard life. As he had carpentry skills, Daeng migrated to other towns to find work.
In the midst of life’s struggles, Preaw found comfort in an unlikely source -- the sport of archery. A cousin introduced Preaw to the bow and arrow when she was a sixth-grade student.
“Archery requires concentration and accuracy. I like archery because it helps me in my concentration,” Preaw says.
The thrill of hitting a target dead on became Preaw’s mission. As she continued in her education, she practiced consistently in her extra time.
“Problems are meant to be solved and obstacles overcome. Success is up to us,” Preaw says confidently.
Meanwhile, Preaw continued to receive essential educational support from World Vision. She received much encouragement from World Vision staff, as well as school uniforms, supplies, school fees, and special gifts for her birthday every year from Mom Thelma, her beloved sponsor.
With her archery, Preaw started to achieve results locally and was selected to attend regional competitions. Many times, Preaw uses her cash gifts as payment for her travel expenses to compete in archery in Thailand. As she continued to excel in the sport, she started to travel internationally, and her sponsor helped pay for some of those entry fees as well.
In 2007, Preaw was selected to represent Thailand in the 24th South East Asia Games, held in Nakhon Ratchasima. She won a bronze medal in recurve archery at a shooting distance of 70 meters.
Preaw has also competed in many archery contests in Thailand and overseas, such as World Archery Championships & Para Championship held in Italy in 2011. She is now training to compete in a national level competition.
“I’m not skillful yet. I still have much training to do,” she says modestly.
Preaw’s commitment to her sport is equaled to her commitment to her education. She loves to study and is not willing to miss school even for one day. She often uses her free time after finishing her house chores to review her books.
She’s come a long way from being the orphaned girl in the village.
Preaw is now a third-year student at Rattanabundit University in Bangkok, majoring in science and technology. When there are no classes, she teaches archery to children. She earns some money to pay for her personal expenses without troubling her uncle, as she is already grown up.
Today, at age 21, Preaw is determined to help relieve her uncle’s burdens and send her younger sister to a nursing school. She dreams of furthering her education and finding a job upon completion.
“Thank you very much, Mom Thelma, for your love and kindness in sending me special support every year. World Vision has given me love and support all along, advice in my studies and for my family,” Preaw says with a smile. “I really can’t imagine what my life would be like without Mom Thelma and World Vision. I would probably not have a good future like today. Thank you very much.”
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I love that Preaw calls her sponsor "Mom Thelma." She sees that this lady, whoever she is, half a world away, is doing what moms all over the world do for their kids every day -- making sure they have enough to eat, that they get an education, and that they can grow up to live their dreams with family they love.
How amazing it must be for Mom Thelma to see the impact she has had on this girl’s life. It encourages me. I can, we all can, in the way Mom Thelma does with Preaw, mother the world. Sponsor an orphaned child today.
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Read the other posts in our Mother’s Day series:
Consider sponsoring a child who has lost a parent. Your support will help bring life-giving necessities such as nutritious food, clean water, education, and healthcare. You will also have the opportunity to develop a personal, lasting relationship with your sponsored child through cards and letters.