Thursday, February 21, 2013

the pin, the iPod,and the Charbucks

Right after posting about our finances two days ago, we had a slew of donations come in totaling over $1,150. This included $2.09 donated by our youngest son Jericho. He received the $2 from his grandmother for Valentine's Day and had squirreled away the 9 pennies somewhere in the house.

I must give a huge "Thank You" to all of you who have joined us in our insanity and donated to this cause  - without your support, none of this craziness would have a chance.

"How is this crazy?" you may wonder.  Well, apparently we are all off our rockers, because while we  have money that we could spend on ourselves, we give it to others.

I have heard from people who are incredulous that we would prioritize another human over our own desire to have stuff  (including one very nice person who asked my 13 year-old son if he was sure he'd prefer a sibling over money to spend on "gadgets").

When I reflect on my mental condition, I keep flashing to that scene in Schindler's List where Oscar Schindler grips his gold Nazi party pin and laments over the lives he could have saved if he'd only sold it. Maybe he was nuts?

And sure, you can argue that one pin, one iPod, one cup of Charbucks - it's all a drop in the bucket.
And yes, you can make the case that you or I or Schindler aren't responsible for anyone but ourselves. Not legally obligated. This position is a rational one. I get that.

But there are these two kids in Bulgaria that I found out about. I owe them nothing. Nor do I owe anything to the countless others that I cannot help. So if you connect the dots you can see that not only do I not owe them anything, but also that these two kids in Bulgaria are drops in the aforementioned bucket

Unless you are crazy like me and just don't buy that.

First, I don't think the point of being here is to have "stuff" nor is choosing not to get more stuff a form of masochistic self-denial (and for the record, my kids have "stuff". I have "stuff". I see "stuff" being given away and thrown away at the Leverett dump, I see "stuff" on eBay, and I see "stuff" many places in between - and it's all "stuff" that someone had to have.)

Another Jericho Favorite:
Early Plumbers
Second, if we know something wrong is happening and do nothing about it, we are complicit in the act. That's place I came to with these two  kiddos - I knew they were there, living in conditions I wouldn't want my other kids to live under, and I knew I could help them and not to was cowardice. I wasn't doing it because I really couldn't, I was doing it because it made me uncomfortable and because I was being selfish.

Third, there are no human drops in the bucket. Do you consider yourself expendable? Your kids?

It's that simple.  We made a decision for these two kids, our very own not-drops in the bucket. We skip that new iPod or don't "treat" ourselves to some other "stuff" not to suffer and not to be saints, but because Kim and I have decided that these two  kids in Bulgaria are ours, and we aren't willing to forget or ignore them.  It's really that simple.


  1. We were told by a family member not to adopt our third child because we didn't have the cost of college tuition saved for the first two, and it would be unfair to them to take on a third child under such conditions. I was thinking to myself, "So it's FAIR to leave a child to die in an orphanage because she's way over there and we don't really know her, but it's UNFAIR to potentially deprive my kids of something that may or may not happen 15 years down the road?"

    Kim, I <3 your heart.

    1. Daneille,

      You love my hubs heart because he wrote this (snuck it on me!) But I am right there with him. And who is deprived? We go to our dumps "free table" every week and gather things for our yard sale (to bring our kids home). All that STUFF! Wouldn't all those people who dumped off those unopened gifts rather have a had time spent with their loved ones? Focused time? Maybe brownies included?
      Kids need parents and siblings and swimming ponds and hikes and frisbee catching and hugs and cakes on their birthday.
      And lots of love.
      Daneille we are sisters!

  2. So with you. Every time I think of a child in an orphanage my mind flashes to that scene in Schindlers List, that scene in that movie changed my life

    1. I think we should judge a lot of our choices with that scene playing in our head.

  3. Agreed from this new reader who by the way is also super "crazy" "certifiable" and other not so nice names b/c we're adding our fifth :)

  4. Praying for you all. God is good!