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Jett Superior laid this on you on || July 21, 2008 || 6:57 pm

Apparently we are Those People

We are sponsoring a child from Indonesia through Compassion International (ROLL YOUR EYES, because if I read this over on your site, I probably would, because I am a complete bastard like that). For reasons I will not go into right at this very now, there was a lot of internal turmoil for me over this one. I know, I know: I will allow the county’s child protective services to scoop up kids and deposit them into my home on a couple hours’ notice, but I’m tragically torn over mailing a barefoot kid from Southeast Asia thirty bucks a month so she can afford fancy things like, oh, a roof that is not crafted of see-through plastic and nutritional meals.

You people do remember that I’m not a slave to rationality, yes?

Maxim actually made the command decision to do so and was the one to write out the check. This came about because we recently spent some time hanging with Grant Norsworthy, who is a spokesperson for Compassion and has seen firsthand –in several places scattered across the planet– what they do for children in need. He spoke of them with great reverence and respect and conviction, so now we are the sole sponsors of six-year-old Intan, who has five siblings and has not yet begun school. Our paltry handful of dollars will, thankfully, help her get started.

Before I read much about her, I was reading the literature that came with her packet. I had grand visions of us going to the OshKosh outlet, buying up the same clearance biballs I used to outfit my own children in, and packing them lovingly with things like a babydoll and some ringpops and stickers and other things that children should be lavished with from time to time. My Auntie Jett fantasies were dashed upon the rocks of “NO, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DO THAT,” however. We are allowed to send her family a monetary gift three times per year, and we are allowed to send Intan the same no more than twice a year. I think the max is twenty-five bucks? and will be spent by Compassion staff on the child to meet specific needs she might have. As to the family gifts, they ‘direct’ the family, counsel with them as to the best way to invest the money on things like adequate housing, sanitary water supply and the like.

So it looks like Intan will be saved from me and my over-enthusiastic do-gooder ways. RULES, BAH! I will send the stickers, I imagine, brightly-colored and ridiculous ones. And some coloring pages. And maybe one of Mathias’ crazy comic books. We are limited to correspondence not greater than 8.5″ by 11″ in size, and the entire packet cannot be more than one-eighth of an inch thick. Anyone have any ideas? Postcards, photos of the States, these things have occurred to me already. What is the first thing that pops into your Muffinassed brains?

Scout’s all, “Let’s go over there and meet her.” I gave her the Let’s Not Be Pushy And Overeager Obnoxious American Whiteys speech. She’s just enough like her mother to be crazily dangerous to the world at large. I told her, though, I told her that if that little Intan grows to be a big Intan and we are still her sponsors, we’ll go watch her graduate high school. She made me promise and she made me swear, that Scout, that I will take her to Indonesia to meet this dusky-skinned little round-faced girl from a faraway place should that moment present itself.

(I’ve never had the overwhelming desire to be in that part of the world, not even when my mother told me that she fervently believes I may have a sister thereabouts, a half-sister born of the collision of a foolishly-fought war, my father’s whoring ways and his required presence on the scene at previously-mentioned war. I figure if there is a girl in Vietnam who wonders after us, she’ll maybe look up me or Fred or Henry. Hell, maybe she already has, who knows? But I’ll receive her warmly if that time comes and not worry about it overmuch if she doesn’t. I’ll explain to her that she was lucky, in a way, that our father was not in close enough proximity to break her heart over and over in the manner that he did mine and Fred’s.)

I can’t help but be reminded of About Schmidt, when (SPOILER! SPOILER!) the protagonist retires and then his wife suddenly dies and then he fucks out a little bit and then part of his fucking-out entails sponsoring a little African boy named Ndugu (I think? Whatever. It’s pronounced EnDOOgoo). He writes these lengthy, rambling letters to Ndugu which are pretty intensely inappropriate but insanely funny and just break your heart to hear them. Ndugu is his unconsciously chosen, seven-year-old, impoverished African therapist. Bless Ndugu’s teensy heart.

Oh, Intan, you have no idea how wackadoo your own sponsor is. Ndugu was a lucky little fella by comparison. One day, mebbe, when you are much, much older and it is appropriate, mebbe I’ll send you the link to my voyeurnal. Maybe I’ll help you start your own. I’m thinking that the way we were united was no accident. Your packet was just kind of haphazardly handed to us, pushed into sort of unexpectant hands, but I knew before I even glanced at it that you’d be a chubby-cheeked girl of no more than seven, that you’d have barrettes pushing back thick, dark hair and that your precious little knees would be knobby. When I finally got around to reading it, and then saw some of the others, I had to excuse myself to the bathroom. It cited your loves as telling stories, making art and listening to music of all kinds. You were the only child in that stack who possessed that express combination; I am a person whose heart believes stubbornly in the existence of Should Bes. Maybe I’ll come to find that you are, as well. I hope I –along with my little family here on the other side of this big old little world– turn out to be a blessing to you.

3 worked it out »

  1. Shamrock 7.23.2008

    /big smile/

     
  2. Jenny, Bloggess 7.23.2008

    One year I did one of those angel tree things where you send a present to a homeless kid for christmas but it was such a little box they gave me. I wanted to stuff it with gold but I didn’t have any handy and also I was living on rice and popcorn. Instead I did scooby doo pajamas. Almost as good as gold.

     
  3. skillzy 7.24.2008

    Indonesia could use a few Jettsters.

     

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