Sunday, September 11, 2011

Writing Too Much? Seriously???

First, I wish I could post here every day, but time just does not allow.  Mothers often tell me that they wish they had the free time I have.  HA!  Not only is that a slap in my face, it's so not true.  Don't get me wrong, being a mom is tough and takes a ton of time, among other tons of things, but a lot of moms seem to have more time to work on blogs than I do, and I really do have important things to do even if I'm not a mom.

Anyway, that's my first soapbox.

Second is that I've been having a discussion, begun first by phone and continued online.  I called Compassion to inquire about a correspondence child.  I had heard nothing from her in the five months since she had been assigned to me, which is okay, except that I wanted to assure that I was still supposed to be writing to her.  In checking the records, the lady on the phone told me I write to my children too often.  She also gave me a rather lengthy explanation of letter timing, which I already know (I do sponsor more than one child).

Man, did I feel stupid!!!  I write to my children every week.  I used to write twice a month until Jack asked me to write more often because he felt so sad and lonely and wanted to get to know me better, so I began writing every week.  
Let me clarify a few things:

  1. My letters do not need to be translated because I write in Spanish, except for my boy in Haiti and my correspondence girl in Uganda.
  2. I do not always ask questions in my letters.  Many of them are to explain holidays and customs in the US.
  3. My letters are not long, except when I answer a child's letter.
  4. I often (like today) just send a card with a picture I've taken (usually of the Atlantic Ocean).
  5. My children thank me for writing to them so often.
  6. Jack says, "Sus cartas son hermosas."  "Your letters are beautiful."

Some people have said that my letters would be overwhelming to the children because there are so many.  So I asked myself, "If I were a child in poverty, and I received mail once a month, would I rather receive one letter or four?"  I don't know.  Somehow I just can't accept the "overwhelming" idea.

I have decided to be sure that I stick to short letters and to send cards perhaps twice a month without much more than a scripture and a reminder that I'm praying.  I also told the children that I do not expect them to answer every letter I send (just to make sure I'm not overwhelming them).

But I will not stop writing every week unless Wess Stafford himself knocks on my door and tells me to.  For one, I think the children would be hurt if they suddenly received fewer letters from me, and even more importantly, in all my prayer about this situation, I am confident that I am doing what God wants me to do with my letter writing frequency.

So that's my second soapbox.  I don't expect anyone else to write every week, but as an Advocate, if a sponsor asked me if writing every week is too much, I certainly wouldn't say it is.  These children need all the love they can get.

If you're a sponsor and you don't write for whatever reason, please read this post:

Letters are important, even if you send too may of them.


  1. I don't think that is too long as the kids don't feel pressured to respond letter for letter. I am sure that they feel very loved and valued but the time you pour into writing them. I would love to get letters every week!

  2. I do not believe that you can write too much. It is like saying stop loving that child too much. If you think about it if you write to your child 52 weeks in a year aren't you telling them you are on my mind and heart. Aren't you telling them that they are important and deserve to be loved. I might write one a month or 4 a month but I do know that my little girl Henith in Ecuador and my little boy, Adens, in Haiti mean more to me then words can express. When I receive a letter that says thank you for loving me or a letter that says tell my brother and sister I say hi makes me realize that no matter if I wrote 1 a week or 1 letter a day my compassion children KNOW they are loved.

  3. My ONLY hesitation in writing so much is that it might magnify the lack of letters that some kids get. I sometimes send a very simple card with a note that says "for a friend" - I encourage them to give it to a friend or family member.

    I only write once a month, but that is because I have 19 letters to write and it takes quite a bit of time.

    It's interesting that she told you that....I wonder if it was her opinion or if she is supposed to tell people. It seems like Compassion in general is begging people to write more....If I were you, I would follow up with your regional manager about that comment.

    Now I have to get back to writing my monthly letters : )

  4. Sponsorship is a relationship. The freedom each sponsor has to structure their correspondence schedule as they feel led is part of what keeps the relationships real, personal and unique.

    It's wonderful that you are able to write your children so often.

    De~Carpe Vas

  5. Thanks for your comments. I also often send stickers or coloring pages for the children to share with friends or siblings. And I do agree that the letters help them to feel important. One little girl's mother (she writes the letters) said, "My daughter thanks you for learning Spanish because she knows you are doing it for her."
    That will get me through a lot of dark days. :)

  6. I am very happy I came across your soapbox today. I've been struggling with the feeling of writing too much, but am encouraged by your post. I sometimes write 2 times a week, but usually send letters in one mailing, and like you, send short notes. I do think that I will make sure the children understand that I don't expect them to reply to every letter, though. Thanks again for taking the time to get on your soapbox - I needed to hear it!