child age out of the compassion program?

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Thoughts of staying in touch after child Ages out of the program
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Cheyanne Moore

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Posted 1 year ago

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Steve

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I don't think there is going to be any one right answer.  I have to preface this by saying my kids are 8 and under, so I won't be faced with this decision for awhile unless they leave the program.  However, I have a Facebook friend who was a sponsored child.  She was not able to keep in contact with her sponsor because this was before Compassion allowed the exchange of personal information after the sponsorship ends.  She longed to find her sponsor.  I think she wanted to let him know that she is a Christian and is doing fine, and to see how he is doing.

It would also depend on the relationship.  I would definitely keep in contact with most of my kids and their families.  If there hasn't been much of a relationship develop and getting letters is a struggle, then of course there isn't much use in continuing.  I'm anxious to see if anyone has a negative experience after sponsorship.

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Denise Bailey

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Hi Cheyanne, I have been sponsoring for  little over fifteen years.  I have kept contact with two grads.  One is fine.  She is a Facebook friend and we don't speak each other's language so it isn't real close.  The other gal truly needed my help so I pursued it and it took a lot of effort on my part. I had a very strong reason for doing it, my girl was deaf and did not know sign.  After she learned sign (about 1.5 years)she ended up living with another Compassion grad.  That is the person that took advantage of me.  It is sad to regret that you became involved in helping someone that needed it so very much.  I am glad she learned sign but I sent way too much money after she had learned sign.  If there isn't a compelling reason, be very careful.  Do I wonder about my graduates I love?  Yes.  Do I wish I could know they are okay?  Yes!   But I have to entrust them to the Lord because He loves them more than I do!   I don't plan on asking to be in contact with any future graduates.  Just be careful.  I think if you make up your mind how involved you will be and what boundaries you will set then it could work out.  Oh, and unless Compassion has changed the rules, you have to have sponsored them for at least around two years.  Good luck whatever you decide to do!
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Beth

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Thanks for sharing your experience, Denise. I always thought I would like to stay in touch when my children get out of the program, but now I am becoming unsure. I've already made up my mind I would no longer send money, but I have started to wonder 1) if the child or their family would stay in touch because they would expect money and 2) if there is a potential for other problems.
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Steve

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Denise, this is a very good point!!!  I, too, have  been a 'victim' of trying to help someone and becoming an enabler.  This person was not a Compassion sponsored child and drugs were involved, but it went on for a very long time until I figured it out.

Still, I would take each situation on it's own merits.  I think it's like when we decide to sponsor a child.  I fret about whether to sponsor a child, but once I make a decision I have a peaceful conviction that I have made the right decision.

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Susan, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Denise, thank you so much for sharing your story. Regrettably, over the years I have heard quite a few stories like yours in which people with good intentions can get into trouble. And regrettably, I have heard several stories in which people have gotten in over their heads and into more trouble than you did. These stories are the reason why Compassion discourages continued contact after a child completes our program. That said, I have also heard some heartwarming stories in which the continued contact went well and blossomed over the years into something really beautiful. It can be a really wonderful experience, but it can also be really dangerous. 

Here are some tips that I would give if you are seriously considering continued correspondence. It is important to exercise caution, good boundaries (most importantly the ability to say "no" when necessary), and wisdom when considering or going down the road towards continued contact on your own. Take steps to protect yourself. For example, I normally recommend that sponsors only give their email address. Know yourself and what you are capable of. From what I have seen, people who are able to safely continue contact with their child also have experience with international or intercultural relationships and are able to navigate cross cultural communication issues and some of the other issues that can arise. Best wishes and let us know if we can be of any further assistance or if you have any more specific questions.
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Cheyanne Moore

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Thank you everyone for Sharing. I would like to hear if anyone who has met their child has stayed in touch when their children completed the compassion program?

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