Look at that Smile!

Almost exactly two years ago I wrote a post about my Compassion International Child, Helen Angela, and her Almost Smile Photo – a photo that I was so happy to get because it was the first time I had seen her remotely happy. Always a serious photo taker, Helen Angela comes off as stern and no-nonsense, which is the opposite of how her letters portray her. In fact, the contrast is so great that I’d already made up my mind to somehow get a smiling photo of her in June when I travel to Peru to meet her…. but then, I got the most amazing gift in the mail:


Look at that smile! That big, beautiful, full on smile! Tucked away in a thank-you letter (telling me what she was able to get with her birthday money I sent –  the clothes she’s wearing) was this wonderful surprise. I cannot even begin to describe how happy this makes me. In my 10ish years of sponsoring her, this is the first real smile photo I have. 10 years!

I whole-heartedly believe this photo is a direct result of the increased amount of letters I’ve been sending her. I’ve noticed a warmth in her letters, and now I see the physical proof. It’s just one more reminder of why writing is so important.

And now, I can’t wait to meet this beautiful young woman with the smile that brings me so much joy. So, thank you, Helen Angela. Thank you for your wonderful letters and infectious happiness. Here’s to hoping I get many more smiling photos!


6 thoughts on “Look at that Smile!

  1. Beth says:

    You had to wait a long time to see that smile! Last year I got a picture with one of those wonderful smiles from one of my sponsored boys. It too, was a photo with birthday gifts he was able to get. There is so much confidence and positive self esteem in those photos. It feels good to make a difference. Many blessings to you as you continue to build your relationships.


    • Emily says:

      The wait was forever! But yes, there is just something about those birthday photos – the confidence and joy that radiates from them makes me so, so happy.


  2. Jackie Wilson says:

    Wow what a gorgeous smile!
    This reminds me of the first smiling picture of my sponsored child that I received. It will sure warm your heart!


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