What it means to be a sponsor for a child {meeting Joely}

On Friday, last week, we met Joely, our sponsored daughter through Compassion. I was nervous to meet her–would she be shy? Would she like us? I guess I didn’t need to worry. You guys, she completely stole our hearts.

I say sponsored ‘daughter’ because seeing firsthand how families view sponsorship is amazing. The consider you family and are so grateful for the sponsor. If you have considered adoption, but aren’t able to take that leap, sponsorship is an amazing alternative.

Joely needs a couple surgeries–cleft palate repair and cornea replacement {for her left eye}. We will be talking with Compassion further to see how we can help with the surgeries. We chose Joely because children with special needs are so close to our hearts. You guys, she is FULL of spunk and personality. Getting to hold her, getting to play with her made my heart explode with gratefulness. Sponsoring a child through Compassion is life-changing for them. And for us, too.

We brought her a few small gifts–this stuffed fox she named Didi, stickers, paper and crayons. It really broke the ice to have a couple gifts and to have some activities to do together.

She was a little shy at first but warmed up quickly. And once she was warmed up, she was silly and bossy. She had us laughing so hard.

Didi got lots of stickers put all over her.

Joely lives with her mother, grandmother and grandfather. She really latched on to Steve and wanted lots of piggyback rides and cuddles.

We also brought Joely a necklace so she would remember the she is ‘so very loved’. Seeing that necklace around her neck was heart-melting. This is the same necklace that Compassion is sending as a gift to anyone who sponsors a child. Precious.

I love her. Can you tell?

Above, Steve and Joely give Didi, the stuffed fox, kisses.

Before our trip, I knew child sponsorship was important, but I had no idea how life-changing it is. A sponsored child will escape poverty. The will have amazing opportunities because someone is willing to spare a few dollars a month.

Steve and I are trying to figure out how many more kiddos we can sponsor. Each of these children is absolutely precious. When a child finds out she has been sponored, the family rejoices–it’s HUGE. It’s life-changing. And the letters sent from sponors are treasures. The kids read them over and over and cling to the words of someone miles away who loves them. It’s truly humbling how so little can do so much in someone’s life.

This week we are donating 10% of all sales to Compassion International’s unsponsored children’s fund. This fund helps care for kids who have been accepted into the program but are not yet sponsored by an individual. Click here to shop.

And will you please sponsor a child or two? It’s a beautiful thing.


  1. I enjoyed your blog. I am planning to meet my sponsored children in a few months. Honestly, I am concerned how the visits will go. Your article helped ease my apprehension (some). I vowed to love and sponsor my girls whether they wrote to me or not. Iโ€™m just concerned that the visits will go badly. Other than initial shyness I havenโ€™t read anything negative.

    1. That’s wonderful you’re going to visit. It will mean the world to your sponsored kids! Let them come out of their shell as they’re ready. Hope it’s life changing for them and for you.

  2. My daughter and I were able to meet the two children that we sponsor last week in Ecuador. It was an amazing and beautiful experience!

  3. Yes! Child sponsorship through Compassion is beautiful! My husband started sponsoring through Compassion in 2000 when he was single. We met in 2002 and married in 2004. One of the boys my husband started sponsoring in 2000 was a 4 year old named Marco. In 2013 Marco turned 18 and graduated from the program. My husband “met” Marco as a single man and by the time Marco graduated we were a family of 4!

    For a very long time I just saw our sponsorship as a check we wrote each month. Following a blogger’s trip in 2013 changed that for me and I learned how importance letters were. (We sponsored one girl for a few years who used to ask “Why don’t you write me more?” I still only wrote a few times a year. Eventually she was asked to leave because of non-attendance at the project. I can’t help but wonder if she would’ve stayed if I’d been better about writing her. Lesson learned.)

    Long story short . . . we currently sponsor 8 kids! We’ve sponsored a total of 11 at different times, but are currently sponsoring 2 in the Dominican, 1 in El Salvador, 1 in Peru, 3 in Kenya and 1 in India. Our kids know the names of our sponsored kids and pray for them. The little boy in Peru was born the exact same day as our 6 year old daughter. A little girl in Kenya was born the exact same day as our 8 year old son. One girl in Kenya shares a birthday with my husband. The little girl in El Salvador shares a birthday with me–her name is Heydi so that makes it even more fun–the same birthday and same name ๐Ÿ™‚ Our kids routinely draw pictures for our Compassion kids. Just the other day my 8 year old drew something and asked if I’d mail it to our 17 year old boy in the Dominican Republic so I immediately sent it off.

    I have become extremely passionate about Compassion and have been using my voice on behalf of the kids who need sponsors!

    Thank you for sharing what you saw this week.

    1. thanks for that insight heidi….as a ‘newbie’ it’s good to hear you believe so strongly in the program and that i might actually be able to make a difference in a child’s life.

      1. You’re welcome. I didn’t realize I was replying to you personally (I thought I was just leaving a comment), but I’m glad God used it ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Lisa I thought you would like to know your trip inspired me (our family) to sponsor a child…as of this morning, we have a (sponsored) daughter – Anyil! I am so excited. I began thinking of doing something like this some time ago but never found just the right program….nothing ‘spoke’ to me. When I read about your trip, I felt so strongly this was what I had been waiting for, and knew right away it was the right move. Thank you for the nudge and for being an inspiration to others who will surely sponsor because of your trip!

  5. I just sponsored a 1-year-old beautiful girl in Rwanda last week as a result of your post. I am so grateful to have this opportunity. I truly hope I am helping. All for the price of a few Starbucks. Love that you are bringing awareness to this cause.

  6. My husband and I started sponsoring a Compassion child together when we were 18 and dating. We’ve continued on these past 19 years, we now have 4 girls we sponsor and our oldest (12 yo) is a Compassion correspondent. She has her own girl she writes to on a monthly basis. It’s been a blessing for us and for our girls to be a part of Compassion.

  7. Beautiful Lisa!! I love reading your posts, but these especially! Rarely do we get to see what a monthly donation is really doing. Thank you for showing this. God bless you and your family! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I loved reading about your experiences with Compassion. Iโ€™ve been thinking about sponsoring a child for a while. My church has events that encourages sponsorships through Compassion.
      I love your merchandise and your experiences with sponsorship encourage me to think more seriously about it.
      Jennifer Z

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