Wednesday, February 26, 2014


It seems only fitting that this week I tell you about Vivian.

Vivian is a little girl that we just started sponsoring through Compassion International.

And Vivian was also my great-Aunt, my sweet grandmother’s sister.

We called her Aunt Bibby.

Who died one year ago this week.

I have seen the ads for Compassion sponsorship.

I have read blogs about Compassion trips.

But this post by Emily Freeman did. me. in.

I was sold before the video.

After the video? 
I could’ve sworn I’d just seen a glimpse of heaven.
(If you didn’t click on the link to Emily’s post, 
do it now.
If you read the post but didn’t click on the video--
I’m serious. 
You won’t be sorry.)

I showed the post to Monte later that evening because I wanted him to REALLY want to sponsor a child too,

not just go along with it because of me.

 I said nothing of my intentions that were rapidly ramping up
from sponsorship to flying to Uganda and adopting half 
a village of children.

I watched him read the post and I watched him as he watched the video.

He said it was good and he handed my laptop back to me.

Than he grabbed the remote and started watching television.

He didn’t say anything else.

I waited for him to say something as he got into bed that night.

But he didn’t.

I prayed that if we weren’t supposed to sponsor a child

(or adopt half a village)

that my heart be changed on the matter.

I woke up just as excited as I was the day before.

Monte finally revealed to me in a text that morning that when he read Emily’s post, he was blown away.

Especially when her sponsored child was sitting right behind her in the church service in Uganda.

(Seriously, if you are lost it is because you didn’t read the post. 
It is worth it. Read it! I’ll wait. Don’t skip the video. Go.)

But the video wrecked him.


It was decided.

We told the girls about our decision that night at dinner and asked if we should sponsor a boy or a girl.

We looked at the Compassion website of children from Uganda and the girls scrolled through all the faces.

They settled on 11-year-old Vivian.

She is just 2 months younger than Ellie.

It didn’t occur to me until the next day that Vivian was also the name of my late aunt.

It seems God intends to keep a Vivian in our family.

I wonder if Vivian from Uganda ever gets called Bibby.

It took some time for us to receive information about Vivian and instructions on how to write to her.

I envisioned us writing to her as a family.

All adding our own bits of info and personality.

But with basketball schedules and Monte’s frequent business trips,

we were having trouble finding the time.

I wrote her name on the chalkboard along with my grocery list.

Does that say Dish Eggs?

We received a letter from Vivian first.

My mother heart exploded.

Done. In. Again.

She obviously wrote this before knowing who her sponsors would be.

 She just wrote Dear Sponsor but it tore. me. up.

She thanked us for loving her. 

In advance.

Before knowing who we were.

That’s faith.

I have a feeling this Vivian is going to teach me a thing or two about the love of Jesus.

Just like the one I called my aunt.

Her letter included colored drawings of a flower, a boy carrying a bag and a house.

And she likes math!
(Math is a very sore subject at our house.
Very sore.)

She told us that if she could visit anywhere, she would go to America to see our president.


She has to go fetch clean water and firewood everyday for her household but she still knows there is a president in the United States that she’d like to meet.

So I just did it. I sat down all alone in the house, with prompts from Compassion, and wrote Vivian a letter online so it would get there faster.

I told her about our family and McDaniel’s height and how she loves basketball and Ellie loving ice skating and the theater and Nigel being little and white and a pet and how we like to laugh and how she has the prettiest smile and how she must be so smart.

It seemed to read a tad bit choppy like Frankenstein was sending the letter instead of me.

And then I rambled on and told her about this bible study I am teaching to 4th and 5th graders about the Armor of God that seemed in the read-back to dwell a bit too much on the weaponry I was bringing in for props so I threw in a,

“They are toys, of course!"

As I proofed my letter, I sent it before I was ready.

And 2 of the 3 photos I uploaded 
were sideways for some reason.

So, Vivian got quite the honest taste of her new sponsors.

Tall, theatrical, sporty, funny, not lovers of math, owners of a little white pet and into toy weaponry when teaching the word of God.

And mostly sideways.

Welcome to the family!


  1. Welcome Vivian! I love this so much. Thank you for reading, for sponsoring, and for writing to her - sideways photos and all. What a beautiful story. I'm glad you shared it with me.

  2. Stopping by from Thurs Blog Hop and wonderful post! Carrie, A Mother's Shadow

  3. He has the sweetest face and smile....thanks for sharing on the Thursday Blog Hop!

  4. What a beautiful post! I teared up when I read, "She thanked us for loving her. In advance. Before knowing who we were."

    I loved reading Emily's post too, and watching that video. I marvel at the ways God chooses to include all of us, sideways though we are, in His redemptive story.


  5. What a beautiful story...I was tearing up reading it. That quote from Anne Frank comes to mind.."How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." Visiting from LOBS!


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