I have to admit, my passion for Sponsorship had waned quite a bit over the past year. I don't know why. I still thought about my girls every day, and I knew I *should* be writing to them and connecting with other Sponsors on MSC ... but I didn't. I regret that time that I've lost, and I am SO relieved to feel the passion returning, hovering just beneath my breastbone.
A lot has happened since last I wrote.
Jessica from Ecuador moved, and left the program. I did not take a replacement child for her.
Anna Marie graduated from the CI program. She is still attending college, which is funded until 2017. It's nice to take a break from the constant fundraisers for her! I'll probably start up again next year to fund her senior year of college. Although she has graduated, I am still able to support her through CI because her younger sister is sponsored. Thank goodness! I was not keen on the idea of dealing directly with her college, and I did not want to sponsor her younger brother.
Yojana will graduate from the CI program in a couple of months. I had originally intended to sponsor her youngest sister in her place, but now I don't think I'm going to. Yojana is working in the city to help support her family, and she writes that she likes her coworkers.
I'm waiting for an updated Family Report from Jie to see if she is still in school or not. I think she was just old enough (like Joyce) to graduate high school under the old system at 16, but I don't know if she's gone on to college. I would be surprised if she has--her family is desperately poor and has recently expressed struggles with even feeding themselves.
There's not much to report with my young teens and youngest girls--probably because my focus has all been on the struggle of keeping the older girls in school. For this reason, I am *very* glad that the new educational system is in place in the Philippines and all the rest of my girls will be in high school until they are eighteen.
With the exception of taking Jocelyn when Yojana graduates, I have made the decision to not take any "replacement children" when any of mine graduate or leave the program for any other reason ... not until I get down to five sponsorships. As much as I love having so many, I feel like I am doing them a disservice by stretching my resources too thin. So eventually, if they do not leave the program beforehand, I will be down to Ruth, Danise, Anikka, Jasmin, Cindy and Sandy. The twins will graduate at the same time, of course, and at that time I will *finally* take a new child. That'll be ten years from now. That's mind-boggling.