Thursday, May 19, 2011

Whose pain do I feel?

So, I’m helping out with a unit in the sixth grade social studies classes at the school where I work.  It’s about micro-finance.  (Remember to cover your mouth when you yawn). However, I love global micro-finance and think it’s so cool to imagine women in small communities around the world doing things like selling peanut butter, or fruit at a market, or braiding hair, or baking bread, or whatever, to better their families and communities—women that most people would pass over and wouldn’t think could make a big difference. 

Our students are working with an organization called One Hen to develop their own small business using a loan; they’ll sell their product--key chains--and donate some of their profit to charity—a crucial element of micro-finance.  They are so into this unit and so excited about it! (of course being filmed today for a promotional video for the organization didn’t hurt).

Before the students decided on their charity to donate to they had to fill out a sheet called, "Whose Pain do I Feel?" It helped them narrow down the problems in the world that they felt tugged at their heart the most--it's different for everyone--many times for an inexplicable reason.  I've been thinking about that question myself a lot lately as a result.  Whose pain does Maggie feel?

I could answer this question so many ways....some very specific answers and some very global.  However, there is one thing I've wanted to do my whole married life and have just never done it.  Sponsor a compassion kid.  I feel that pain--the pain of kids who don't have clean water, can't wait to go to school but don't have the money, don't eat on a regular basis, are in abusive and neglectful situations, and whose parents might want a better life for their kids but they just don't have the means to do it.

All growing up my family sponsored a child--her name was Esperanza--and we wrote her letters, she wrote back; I loved it.  I taught a student at one point whose family traveled to Honduras to meet their compassion kid.  They said it was incredible.

I want my daughter to grow up with an understanding of global issues and a burden for those outside of her day-to-day.  I can't wait to take her to visit the orphanage in Kenya our church supports and to show her how much bigger the world is than wherever we happen to be living.  I can't do all of that right now--but, we can set the precedent in our home that we help out other people.....people who desperately need it.  We bought a Dora the Explorer playground ball at Kohl’s yesterday to donate to a school in China and when I told Georgia we couldn’t open it and that it was for other little kids who didn’t have any balls to play with you would have thought I’d told her she couldn’t have any more macaroni and cheese (if you know Georgia—you know this would be tragic).  But, about a ½ hour later she said to me, “That Dora ball….it’s for the other kids?” I said, “Yep.” And she said, “Okay. That’s pretty wonderful.”  Proving to me, that even the youngest kids can understand the idea of giving. 

So, I think it’s time to sponsor a compassion kid.  I think she’ll love having the picture.  She’ll carry it around and say, “Hi Jackline.  How are you?  You wanna play a little bit?”--because that’s what she says to everyone. And even though she might not completely “get it” right now-she will eventually, and she’ll know that we help Jackline have good food to eat in a place called Kenya.  And mostly, what I hope that she knows more than anything one day is that when you think about whose pain you feel the most, or maybe just a little—you should do something about it. 

So…..whose pain do you feel?

Jackline Nasei Taki--5.....from Kenya.

Monday, May 9, 2011

And I return......

It has been a long time since I've done any personal blogging....a really long fact, if you followed my previous blog,, you know that I haven't written there in almost a year.  It's not because I didn't have anything to say about my on-going experience with adoption, it's just that I began channeling my writing into a new on-line venture;  I started mom colored glasses with a good friend and her sister about six months ago.  It's a different kind of blog--one that offers mom's perspectives on anything life brings you as a mom; creating, cooking, reflecting, raising charitable kids, reading, playing, products to love, things to do, of course the experience of adoption, and so much more.  It's been a great opportunity and so enriching to hear from mom's all over the country as they too look at the world through "mom colored glasses."

But......I really missed doing it all myself too, and having my own little cyber corner so I decided to return with a whole new personal blog.  It's not just about my on-going thoughts on adoption--it's about my thoughts on life as a mom, wife, and writer (first time I've ever called myself a writer on paper--er, computer screen).

My intentions for 'pink shoes' are simple--just a documentation of things we're doing around here, things we're thinking about, things we're making, writing, experiencing, whatever.  It's an outlet I need and want and a great way to tell our story.  I'll be referencing my new on-line project, a lot (and you should definitely check it out if you haven't already) as so much of what I write there and what I'll write here will naturally over-lap--but like I said I also wanted a space here to just write about the everyday. 

It's good to be back. And.....if you don't know the story of 'pink shoes' on the link at the top of the blog in the right hand's a pretty good one (if I do say so myself).

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