Ever since I was a little girl, I was always enthralled with the commercials featuring children from far away countries who needed someone to sponsor them. I would end away for information about the kids and hang their pictures in my room. Recently, I asked on Facebook which organizations different people like to financially support, and it was awesome to see how God has put certain passions inside each one of us in order to ensure that the needs of our world are addressed.

After reading through everyone's charities, my heart was consumed with a desire to finally sponsor a child of our own. Ryan and I have often talked about adopting a child, and at this point in our lives, we know the timing is not quite right. However, sponsoring a child is one step in the direction we may ultimately head in someday. I researched several different organizations that offered child sponsorship and decided that for many reasons Compassion was the perfect one for our family. We decided to choose a 4 year old boy to sponsor, as it would allow for some awesome teachable moments for Noah as he and this child grew up together. Ideally, sponsorship lasts through the child graduating from secondary school, and a 4 year old boy just felt right.

When we searched for a 4 year old boy, there was an option to see who had been waiting for a sponsor the longest. Fredly Septiano Nepafay (Nepa) had been waiting for 281 days, and he was the little boy God chose for us. Ryan and I just felt our hearts drawn to him, and as crazy as it sounds, we love him already.

Compassion has a really neat way of sending letters to children you sponsor. After receiving our packet of information about Nepa today, I was able to log into their website and create a letter electronically. I attached three pictures of our family, too, so that he would have a visual of who we are. Here is the first letter I wrote him:

Hello Nepa and family! We are so excited to say hello and introduce ourselves to you. My name is Amy (age 30), and my husband's name is Ryan (age 32). We have two little boys, Noah (age 4) and Liam (age 1). Noah thinks it is so neat that he and Nepa are the same age! Nepa, we live far, far away in the United States of America. Have you ever heard of the USA? The USA has 50 states, and we live in a state called Indiana. The city we live in is called Greenwood. We read that the town where you live, you eat a lot of corn. We have LOTS of corn in Indiana! In fact, Noah's favorite food is corn on the cob. Is that how you eat it?
Nepa, I want you to know that ever since I was a very little girl, I have always wanted to sponsor a little boy or girl just like you. God has always blessed me, and I very much wanted to bless someone else. Recently, I started looking into different organizations that help children. We really liked Compassion, and when we searched for a little 4 year old boy (to grow up alongside our son Noah), we saw your picture and just knew that God had chosen you as the one we should sponsor! Isn't that so neat?! God loves you SO much, and we already love you, too. You are SO handsome and have the most beautiful brown eyes. We have only seen one picture of you so far and hope you will send more as you grow up!
I will write to you often, and we are excited to hear from you, too. Do you have any questions for us? I will make sure to include some pictures so you know what we look like. Maybe someday when you are older, our family will be able to meet your family. Wouldn't that be neat? I have 3 questions for you. Do you have any brothers or sisters?  What is your favorite game to play? How can we pray for you? Ryan, Noah, Liam, and I are already praying for you and your family. In the Bible, it says, "Do not be afraid for I am with you" (Isaiah 43:5). Remember that God is always with you, and even though we are far away, we are always thinking of you. 

Amy, Ryan, Noah, and Liam

I wanted to share this story about Nepa because if your heart has ever felt lead to sponsor a child, maybe this will help you take the next step! I can only imagine where this journey will take our family. Hopefully, we will be able to travel to Indonesia someday to meet him! Maybe adoption is in our future. Maybe it isn't. But for now, we are excited about to get to know this sweet little 4 year old boy who lives far, far away and hope that everything we send him helps him grow to be a happy, healthy, educated, loved little boy who ultimately knows that God is behind all of the blessings each one of us receives every single day.


What a Summer!

Despite all of the promises I made to myself to keep up on this blog, once again, I have found myself caught up in our day to day lives without making much time for reflection. On a positive side, I have had a wonderful summer with Ryan and our boys! Our adventures began the second I work ended for the year on June 1st. We packed our bags, loaded up my CR-V, and started our journey toward Hilton Head Island to vacation with Ryan's family. The kids did unbelievably well the entire drive down. We even got to make a stop south of Charlotte to visit with our friends, Jason and Kim, and their sweet kids. It was awesome to finally visit their home and see where they live! I loved seeing Ryan spending time with one of the most loyal, greatest friends he has ever had. :)

After about 16 hours in the car, we arrived at Hilton Head Island. This was Liam's first trip to the beach, and Noah was the perfect age to really play more independently this year. The weather on the first couple of days was beautiful. During mid-week, the weather was rainy off and on. In fact, that was really the last time I saw rain for more than 5 minutes. I can't remember having a summer so dry and hot! The last day of vacation was super sunny, so I laid out as much as possible to soak up those rays!

Liam's first experience at the beach.

Goofy face!

Papa and Liam playing with Tobbles one evening

We spent a lot of time walking the hallway with this Mater toy from Jason and Kim on rainy days!

One afternoon we went to a really fun Gelato shop owned by someone originally from Indianapolis. It was delicious!

Liam got a new toy with his birthday money - we still play with it everyday!

Mady was a huge help with Liam. She played with him and watched after him all week. I can still remember my first trip to HH when Mady was Liam's age. Time goes so quickly!

Ryan helping Noah and Micah set up Noah's new toy he picked out to buy with his birthday money. Those boys were joined at the hip most of the week!

Coal-fired pizza....DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!

Kelli and her beautiful kids!
John and Gloria - the rock of our family. We are so grateful for their ever-inspiring example!

Our sweet fam :)
Best buddies

Liam waiting patiently for his dinner our last night in HH

Someone loves his Aunt Kelli :)

And someone loves sweet Liam :)
We had a wonderful trip with Ryan's family! John and Gloria spoiled us all week, and all we had to do was make dinner a couple of times. There is just nothing as special as spending an entire uninterrupted week with your family. I can't wait for our next trip, though it's crazy to think our kids will be 13, 11, almost 9, 6, and 3. Excited to see where we all are, what we're all doing, etc. in two years. Thank you, John and Gloria, for this wonderful trip that has filled us with beautiful memories!
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