September is "Connect With Your Sponsored Child" month. Allison Olfelt was given a unique opportunity to do just that when she traveled to Sri Lanka last month with the World Vision blogger team.
Read on to learn about Allison's experience meeting Odish and his mother -- and learn how you can visit your sponsored child.
This post originally appeared on Allison's blog, O My Family.
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We sit across from each other, exchanging awkward giggles and smiling glances. Odish, her son and my sponsored son, is our connecting link, and such a darling one at that.
Through a translator, I learn that Odish didn’t like taking a pacifier, that he throws his food on the floor, and that he always wants whatever his older brother is playing with. I nod and laugh so much my cheeks hurt.
He gets fussy, so I pull my hotel room key out of my purse. As it would with OBrother, that does the trick. A little while later, his fussiness returns, and his mama nurses him. My eyes water, and I ask if I can take a picture.
He pulls at her shirt while nursing, and I nod in common experience. His mama says he is a very happy boy and only cries if he gets left alone.
My boys like people a lot, too, I tell her. I also tell her that I am excited to watch our boys grow up knowing about each other and someday writing to each other.
When he is done, I hold him and look into his glassy, playful eyes. On my lap, he giggles and he grabs my nose. His mama is right. He is a fantastically happy little buddy.
Little buddy. I call my boys that.
She asks why we chose Odish. I tell her it is because our name starts with O, because he is close to my youngest son’s age, and because he looked absolutely precious in his picture.
Turns out he is 2235039821x more precious in real life. And his smiles! O, the smiles. We connect with giggles, and I count that he has four teeth. I ask his mama how teething is going. She says everything goes into his mouth to chew on, and the drool, it is constant.
I think, yep, that sounds about right.
Never in all the realm of possibility did I think that I would be here, sitting in a Sri Lankan village, holding my sponsored child.
Then I stop. I stick my feet down into the flow of time, and I will it to pause. Pause, darnit!
I want to absorb the entirety of this moment and keep it for myself for later and for DanO to recount to him and for you, friends and readers (who are friends I just haven’t met yet) so that I can tell you what the face of a sponsored child -- and a mother of a sponsored child -- truly looks like, feels like.
It feels like usual, like sitting at a Caribou Coffee making small talk with a mama and her baby about teething and drool. But it also feels absolutely surreal -- to ask a mama what she hopes for her boy, what her dreams are for him and his older brother, and to know that our family will play a role in that, Lord willing.
It feels like mothering across continents and oceans (oceans!), yet so close to home.
Please consider connecting with a child and their parents through the gift of World Vision child sponsorship. I have seen it with my own eyes and I truly believe in it.
Are you already a sponsor? Did you know you can visit your sponsored child? Find out how!
If you haven't yet sponsored a child, learn more about how sponsorship helps change lives, and select a child of your own to sponsor today:
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