With the realization that I would never have a daughter the "conventional" way and I was very single at the time, I decided to sponsor a little girl. On a Saturday afternoon in March, I sat down at http://www.compassion.com/, clicked on "Sponsor A Child" and started looking at pictures. After a few minutes of that, I typed a few parameters in their "Search for a Child" box and very quickly I was looking at one of the sweetest little faces I had ever seen. Gabrialle was 5 at the time. She had thick, black hair and a beautiful face that reminded me so much of my niece (who is just a week younger). I knew she was the one for me. Her birthday is the day before mine and her face... her face held such promise yet had the same expression so many children waiting for sponsorship have. Lost resignation, for lack of a better term. I could not let that little face go.
I have not had the honor of meeting Gabrialle face to face as yet. She writes to me now and it is fun to watch her handwriting "grow" with her. It's fun to read as she begins to expand just a little bit on what is going on in her life. It is fun to know that half a world a way a few dollars God allows me to give goes such a long way in giving this little girl a reason to smile. And smile she does. Pictures I receive each year show that. They also show a little girl growing into a young woman. She turns 13 today. Happy Birthday, Gabrialle. May it be a wonderful, blessed day full of laughter and may you know you are loved. Loved like a daughter. I don't think I could love you more if I had given birth to you myself. You remind me there is joy in the simplest and smallest of things. You have taught me, from so far away, what it means to be gracious and grateful without being superficial.