It has been an amazing year watching our small initiatives bring life, value and opportunity to the Indian girl child spark a movement across south India.
We have heard foster parents tell us they no longer want our monthly financial support because they believed it was their responsibility to not only love and provide care for these abandoned girls but to support them financially.
Bethel School Children Singing Before Class We have watched preschool and kindergarten children sing from the depth’s of their souls as they prepared to enter their newly renovated school.
We have listened to young women weep as they share the gratitude and hope they now have as they study to become a nursing assistant which will not only increase their income by 3 fold but will give them dignity and self-worth.
We have watched fathers proudly hold their young daughters sharing they never knew a girl could bring so much joy and happiness to their families.
We have been inspired by the reaction of nearly 1,200 college students after they were confronted with the horrors of female infanticide and sex determination feticide and then bringing their very best to encourage Indian girls to hold onto their hopes and dreams.
Even though my eyes, ears and heart has experienced all the good and right of our efforts, I must admit there are days that I must fight through the melancholy of the challenges that still remain ahead.
I learn of an ultrasound device the size of my iPhone that is being sold to evil men in India so they can illegally tell a family the sex of their unborn for $10 and direct them to a friend’s abortion clinic where 99 out of 100 aborted fetuses are girl babies.
I sit and listen to the director of an orphanage tell a hospital they cannot take any more abandoned newborn girls this month. Even though the orphanage actually has a waiting list of Indian families wanting to adopt a girl baby they cannot take more babies because the government will not allow them to charge enough for their basic services to rescue, care and place these death-bond newborns.
So, there are times I must fight through the whys. Why am I not smarter so I can raise more money? Why am I not more convincing when I share the story so more will be inspired to give? Why is it so easy for me to be critical of others’ excesses when I have a constant personal battle discerning my over indulgent wants from my more than adequate needs?As we approach the end of 2011 here is what I know – We know we can rescue Indian girl babies from death. We know how to begin to transform a culture so that it values their daughters as much as they do their sons. We know we have remarkable field partners and we are astounded on how much they can accomplish with so little resources.
Here is what I believe. The financial cost to bring life, value and opportunity to an Indian girl baby is $500. That’s the number. $500 allows us to change her fate from death to life. The transaction can be as simple as subsidizing the orphanage’s costs for an Indian family to adopt a baby girl to the complexities of transforming a village that is presently killing 75% of its baby girls.
$500 at times seems like a lot of money to spend. At other times I don’t think twice about it. But $500 is the cost on whether one newborn girl baby lives or dies in India in 2012. For me and my family, 2012 is a year we will learn to choose to spend our financial resources more wisely.