My Hubby and I recently made the decision to sponsor some siblings of some of our sponsor children. This was something I had been thinking about doing for awhile, but it was a hard decision for me to make.
On the one hand there are several families that I am very close to and I would like to offer them more help by sponsoring an additional child. Siblings are not necessarily automatically enrolled in the Children International program. I think each family is allowed either four or five children to be in the program at any one time but once two or three children from one family are enrolled and sponsored CI tends to concentrate on getting assistance to new families. So these siblings might never get the benefits of the CI program if I didn't request to sponsor them. Also, how crappy must it feel to be the only non-sponsored kid in a family where all of your other siblings are sponsored? Being left out while watching your siblings getting all the benefits from CI and letters and perhaps even gifts from their sponsors must really suck.
On the other hand I was very worried that if I shared my attention between two siblings I would make my original sponsor child feel less special to me. That's not something I want to do at all! I also thought it might create sibling rivalry (although I fully intend to do everything equally for each child - and actually there is probably more jealousy if one child is left out rather than if they share).
After thinking about it for a long time, and discussing it with my Hubby (he was for it) and with other sponsors (some mixed opinions), I finally made the decision to stop worrying about it and just do it.
So this feels like a grand experiment - we will see how it goes...
I don't have the children on my account yet because CI has to get the field office staff to go out and sign the kids up. It will probably be a month before all the paperwork is done, the first medical visit completed, pictures taken etc...And I guess there is always a chance that for some reason or another the families don't want to sign up another child. (Although I seriously doubt that.) So barring something going wrong, I will soon be sponsoring these three new kids:
Jerica Mae in 2008
Jerica Mae is Harry's youngest sibling. I think she turned five this year. She was the only eligible child left in Harry's family that wasn't sponsored. I don't think sponsoring her will upset Harry. He will probably be just fine with sharing. I think the fact that there is such a difference in their ages and they aren't the same gender will lessen any chance of there being a rivalry between them. Also, by sponsoring Jerica I will be able to keep in touch with Harry for a long time after he graduates from the CI program. So I think (I hope!) it will be a win/win for everybody. Plus, Jerica = Adorable!
Adriana in 2008
The second child I am adding is Ana's youngest sister Adriana. I think she is eight years old. She was also the only child who was not sponsored in the familiy. I am already in the process of setting up the family with an Income Generating Project through Aura's House. So until Ana graduates high school and is ready for further education, sponsoring her sister is the only other major way I could help the family right now. Adriana looked somewhat sad in the family photos I have. I hope she will feel happier now that she has sponsor too.
Dulce in 2009
Dulce is Hermelinda's younger sister. I think she is four years old. Since I am unable to do anything major to help the family with their houseing situation and they are unable to do an IGP at this time I think that sponsoring Dulce is the best way to releive some of their burdens. Besides - as if I could resist that little smiley face! From what I know of the sisters they seem to be almost opposites in personality. It will be interesting to get to know Dulce. I wrote to Hermelinda last week and told her that she was very special to me and that because I loved her so much I would like to help her family even more by sponsoring Dulce. I told her that maybe when she is old enough, she will help Dulce write her letters just like Hermelinda's brother helps her now.
So - I hope this is a decision that will work out for everyone. I'll be a little trepedatious until I hear from Ana, Harry and Hermelinda and hear what they have to say about it!