Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Boy That Blessed Us....

Our trip to Ethiopia was FULL of so many blessings and moments that I never want to forget...I was so LIMITED on how much I could blog or write about while I was there...that I want to capture a few more stories and moments BEFORE they fade from my mind....You see....we spent one entire afternoon visiting with my sister Kelly's birth family for her son, Nathan. It was SO neat to finally meet this small little family that still holds so much LOVE for my nephew Nathan....My sister Kelly has visited with them several times now....and they look so forward to every visit to see new pictures and to hear how Nathan is growing and prospering in America:But, just when you think you've got this visit all figured out...God throws an extra little blessing your way...in the form of this little guy:
I couldn't help but notice from the first second we entered this small little apartment that Nathan's bio family had "invited" a friend and her son over....and I noticed right away that this boy had Downs Syndrome. I guess it took me by surprise because it was the first time I'd seen an Ethiopian with Downs Syndrome....I guess I'd just never really thought about it...and there he was right in front of me...a sweet, wonderful boy full of smiles and laughter....
I had no idea WHY they had come for our visit with Nathan's birth family...but either way...he was a joy to be around from the second we stepped into the room....Oh, what a ham he was playing the drums, singing songs and dancing to make us all laugh....

We soon found out WHY she was "invited"...we were introduced to this sweet mother and son and she told us in English..." I need help for my son...I came hoping you'd know someone that could sponsor him!" Nathan's birth mother had invited her LONG TIME friend to our 'visit' in hopes that we'd know someone somewhere that could help them.....
This little boy's mom went on to tell us that he was born with "Mongolianism" I told her that we call it Downs Syndrome in the United States...She had never heard it called that before. She went on to tell me HOW hard it was to find drs. to see him because she was repeatedly turned away "when they see his face". She said that he isn't valued in her country....and her own husband WON'T accept his own son. She said she has raised him on her own...with no help from her husband.....She told us how she is given no money to buy him food and her husband won't give her any money for him to have clothes either.... She said he is seven years old and hasn't been accepted by his father since the day he was born. She said she needs to work but she has no one that can watch her son..She tries to send him to school...but the money is too hard to come by to keep him there....She said she is tired every day and her body is exhausted because he doesn't sleep at night and he wants to be carried during the day....And, of course, at this point...she had my full attention....I could hear the desperation in this mother's voice... She had been doing this COMPLETELY on her own for 7 years...and she was finally seeing her FIRST glimmer of HOPE for HIS future...IN US!! She said, " I need an American sponsor...I need help with his food, his clothes, his schooling and his medical care"
She then went on to tell us about his heart condition he has (which I know is common in children that have Downs Syndrome) She had just discovered it a year earlier when he saw a dr. for the first time in the E.R. when he had fallen and needed stitches...She said it was someone in the E.R. that "saw his face" and sent him to get his heart checked...there she was told that "he indeed needed surgery" to have his heart defect repaired. I asked her "what type" of heart defect he had (knowing that there are many different levels) but she didn't know....She just knew he needed a surgery....So, my mind started racing, of course...

I immediately came to the conclusion that we'd go visit the local hospital the next day and FIND out what surgery he needed.....I told her that I would try and find her some help for her son....I explained that in America there were MANY people that had BIG HEARTS for Children with Downs Syndrome...She seemed surprised to hear that....
She told me that she continuously takes her son to different churches and such to have him sprinkled with Holy Water to try and have his "condition" taken away....so that he'd have a good life and be accepted by his father and by society...
Yes, this was all hard to hear....I'm sitting in front of the most precious, silliest, cutest boy ever...and I hear how his basic needs can't be met..and how people continuously push him away because of his "condition"....Yes, God just continuing to break my heart while on this trip.........Well, we filled this boy with lots of sugar and match box cars and left on a mission to not only find him an American sponsor...but to also find out HOW she could get the surgery for him he requires....
As we all hugged good bye...She said ONE LAST THING...and her words have haunted me (in a good way) ever since...."Don't forget about him!!"
And, Oh, I haven't!! I think often of our little friend....How hard it must be for this mom to raise this child on her own...to find adequate food and care for him...when no one is willing to help her...And, how hard it must have been for her to make her way to where she heard "Americans" would be for that day...for that brief moment....hoping and praying that someone would help her...that someone would help her son!!

***Well, I'll have to say that WHILE I was still in Ethiopia...I updated my facebook status saying that we had met a young boy with Downs Syndrome...and he and his mother were looking for an American sponsor...and before I could even get home...he had one!! Praise God!! I swear I think that when I'm hanging out with my sister and Ordinary Hero that God is working OVER TIME!! :) Yes, I'm excited to say that this sweet boy has found an American Sponsor.....A family stepped forward RIGHT AWAY saying they'd like to sponsor him...This is a family from my home town...that has been blessed by their own son with Downs Syndrome and would now like to give back and help another child live a better life as well!! Wow..Praise God!! This is an Ordinary Hero if I've ever heard of one!! Thank you "L" family... I can't wait to see HOW God works through you all to bless this little boy!!

***And, the next day AFTER meeting our new little friend..I walked and hiked and took a VERY stinky, crowded taxi up to the local hospital and met with the Pediatric Cardiac team where I learned our little friend could get a surgery for FREE!! He'd be on a wait list to receive the surgery...but after filling out some paper work that I got for them...he could receive the care he needed with NO COST!! :)

***So...just another day's work while in Ethiopia...I left that young boy that day with SUCH a heavy heart...but it was soon replaced with HOPE and JOY...cause God never lets us down!!! Imagine ALL the lives we could change and bless JUST BY STEPPING OUT OF OUR COMFORT ZONES FOR A MINUTE!! Cause...let me tell ya..this trip was NO WHERE inside my comfort zone...but God has blessed me beyond ANY thing I could have ever imagined BECAUSE I WENT!!!

** I'll keep you all updated on our little friend....Please continue praying for him as they LEARN THIS WEEK that they have a sponsor...Praying that God is Glorified through it all....happy Tuesday to you all, kj


  1. I have no other words but: YOUR words" BREAK my heart for what breaks HIS".

  2. What a way to start my day.....

    We are in home stretch of ET adoption and I found your blog via my own research and blog hopping. I've been following ever since.

    Tears in Orlando this morning in AWE of our AWESOME God taking care of this world's kiddos.

  3. Covered in chill bumps. Thank for the reminder that "Our God is an Awesome God!"
    Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

  4. Such great words of HOPE!! Thanks for sharing. We spent time with the little girl with Downs at HH when we went to meet our new daughter. My husband's sister has Downs, so for us to see our little 6 year old at HH loving on this little girl with Downs, was priceless! I can't wait to be able to post some of our HH pictures when we get home and I know the other little kiddos our home too!

  5. Praise the Lord! This is wonderful news.

  6. Praise God!! What a precious little boy! Love the way God is using ya'll to invest in his life and his family's life!

  7. i cant stop crying...so thankful God brought this little boy into all of our lives thanks to you going over there and sharing his story. PLEASE keep us updated!

  8. I would love a post of any racism you have experienced living in the south with a Ethiopian chid?
    Read http://www.storinguptreasures.com/2009/10/racism.html
    and I worry about how any children we adopt will be treated.

  9. My friend sent your blog post to me. My son also has Downs syndrome. I know how far we've come in the states to further the quality of life for people with disabilities when I hear about how people with DS are treated in other cultures. It is sad that so many are blind to the true gift of pure joy and delight that these kids hold. Our son is the best gift we never knew we needed. God bless this mother. She and her son will be in our prayers.

  10. Loved to hear this sweet story of God working! It made me sad to hear how much he has been rejcted yet now he will hopefully receive all the care he needs! You can just see that spunk in him!! I have been followng your blog since my friend [above:Erika Reiner found you] and am daily inspired by you!

  11. beautiful story--thank you for sharing. i'm soo happy there is a happy end to your tale. :0)

  12. Kristy, Did the sibling set of 4 get a family. I read a blog today and it sounded like they were talking about adopting the same group you posted about. I would find it crazy if it was a different group but i'm so praying it was the group you blogged about.

  13. It just breaks my heart that these children are dealing with so much on a daily basis. Isn't it wonderful that so many people are being helped through your journey? God is so good & he works in our lives in ways that have so many intricate twists & turns. Nothing happens by accident. It is why we tend to run with it whenever God brings a new family who wants to adopt into our lives. We want to help as many kiddos as we can! God bless!


Thank you for your kind words!!