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Orphan Care

The Mudroom: When Compassion Is Exhausting

I’m over at The Mudroom trying to put into words my experience with compassion fatigue, how to combat it, and the pressure we feel to get involved in everything.


The first year of giving a crap, that’s the exciting one. For me, it was back in 2009 and Twitter was a twinkly new toy and microgiving was a new buzzword and everyone had a birthday campaign.

“This year for my birthday,

all I want is clean water for a village,

all I want is malaria meds for children is Sub-Saharan Africa,

all I want is to rescue a girl from sex-trafficking.

Click here.

Click here.

Click here.”

We were beginning the adoption process for our youngest and every day there was a new organization or adoptive family with a story and a thermometer and we could do it together if we all could just give a crap and give a dollar.

I’m still amazed I have any friends left online. Everyday I was retweeting, sharing, and posting about someone’s initiative to Rescue! We could Save People! If only we cared enough and stopped buying lattes all the time and instead gave that five dollars a month to This Photo of a Child Sitting in the Dirt.

Sometimes I miss Year One of the work. I miss how starry-eyed I was. The truth is, giving a crap takes a toll.