To help my 3 year old understand that Daddy was going on a week long trip was a little tricky. Cailyn is sensitive as it is, so talking about it would just make it more difficult.
A couple months ago many of our South Bay staff began sponsoring children in the Compassion Project at the church we partnered with in Ethiopia. In our family, when our kids turn 4 we sponsor a Compassion kid in their name (same age/same gender). Lily has a friend in Indonesia, and writes to her and draws pictures for her. She tells me often that she wants Keren to be in her wedding.
Cailyn will turn four in November, so when the opportunity to sponsor another child opened up, I knew immediately we should look for a girl for her. When Filipe received the packets of kids, there was one girl who was only 6 months older than Cailyn- a perfect match! It wouldn’t exactly be a birthday present, but special nonetheless.
The day before Filipe left for Ethiopia, I gave Cailyn her friend Sitota, and watched her light up with excitement.
During the week Filipe was gone, when asked where Daddy went, she would say, “He went to visit my friend!”. That seemed to make her happy- even in the moments she would cry because she wanted him home (which she did occasionally throughout the week).
Here is a video I captured of her the moment she “met” Sitota. Sorry for the shakiness- Efraim was climbing on me.