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We are Stuart and Jessie - a couple imperfectly pursuing God's will for our family, which so far has included having and loving 3 children, getting debt free, and now pursuing an international adoption.
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Thursday, March 15, 2012


A few days ago I posted the viral Kony 2012 video.  I watched it, was moved, and wanted to help Invisible Children in their cause to bring Kony to justice.  As a mom working towards adopting a child, I'd say I have a soft spot for disadvantaged children, and I wanted to do something.  I checked Charity Navigator and their finances left me a bit unconcerned, so I chose not to give anything financially.  But post the video, I did.

In the week since I did that, I've read a ton of articles and tried to educate myself on both the positive and negative aspects of the campaign.  Here's where I currently stand:

I believe Invisible Children, as a whole, has been unfairly and harshly judged.  The underlying goal of IC is to raise awareness and make positive changes in Africa.  You guys...they've done that.  They've done more good in Uganda than 99% of those criticizing their actions.   See projects here.

I believe Invisible Children is unwise with their money.  One friend said it the best..."When you get the chance to set your own salary with other people's money, most people don't have any restraint."  I'd say that's a fairly accurate summary of their actions.  Complaining about what they do with their money, however, doesn't do much.  It's like complaining about what kind of eggs Trader Joe's sells.  The best thing you can do is to vote with your money.  If you don't like the white eggs, buy the brown eggs.  If you don't like what IC does with their money, give to another charity you feel comfortable with.  Stressing about a ministry that you don't even donate to is a bit, well, silly.  Unless your goal is to control where other people give.  Then I suppose it isn't.

I believed Invisible Children's Kony 2012 campaign was worthwhile and creative.  Key word: believed.  I think Kony should be well known; I believe he should be caught and tried in the International Criminal Court; and I believe he should be punished for his awful crimes against humanity.  As for selling merchandise to make it happen?  I read this article....click here for article ...and I saw what Ugandans sees.  Duh.  Of course there would be a public outcry if another country, in their attempt to support us in the midst of our 9/11 attacks, made Bin Laden famous through t-shirts and bracelets.  What idiocy.  It's one thing to make him well-known, quite another to make him look like a presidential candidate.

In retrospect, my biggest problem is not the unwise use of the finances, the ill-thought out marketing attempts, or the evidence against the plausibility of the campaign.  My biggest problem is that we are way too ready and willing to judge poor actions (no lie, I'm often holding the biggest stone), while lacking the love to do so correctly.   I have been criticized a number of times for having three children so close together, and now for adopting from an international country rather than my own.  If I've learned one thing from the criticism, it's that judgement without love is defeating and unproductive and accomplishes nothing.

So sure, judge rightly, but please do so with a shot of mercy.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

We have a name...or not.

My 5-year-old daughter just ran up to me, ecstatic that she figured out what to name her baby brother when we finally bring him home.

"Justin Bieber!!"

I choked.  "What did you say??"  

"Justin Bieber!"

"Uhh.....why Justin Bieber, sweetie??"

"Because I like that name.  Or Lucas."

I love you but - baby, baby, baby - no.