I was recently talking to a friend about children with disabilities and immediately my mind was flooded with memories of the past. During my high school years, I had a friend who had foster children in her home. Most of the children had disabilities and were very hard to care for.
When I would visit my friend after school, there was always a new baby or child to be cared for and I fell in love with each and every one of them. I remember one boy in particular named Jeffrey. The poor child suffered from Elephant Man’s disease. This disease causes horrible tumors to form anywhere on the body and gets worse as the person gets older. Because of this, there was little hope of Jeffrey ever becoming adopted; the medical expenses alone were just too much for anybody to manage.
Jeffrey had been a child who had lived on the streets since the moment he was born. His mother suffered from a mental illness and his father had Elephant Man’s disease just like Jeffrey. By the time authorities noticed his family was living on the streets, the situation was dire and Jeffrey had many siblings who were sent to foster homes as well. None of the children had ever been properly cared for, because the parents could barely take care of themselves.
When my friend’s mother took in Jeffrey, he could barely talk and mostly just grunted when he wanted something. He was extremely hyperactive and threw tantrums if he didn’t get his way. It was so hard for him to communicate his needs to her because he had never been taught how to. As difficult of a child as he was though, they loved him well and he began to thrive in their home.
If memory serves me correctly, Jeffrey was five years old by the time somebody decided to adopt him. Jeffrey was going to need lots of surgeries because of his medical condition and so there was no possible way for my friend’s mom to adopt him. The medical expenses were just more than she could afford. So with much sadness, they had to give Jeffrey away, after taking care of him for several years.
Thankfully the couple that decided to adopt him, could afford to take on the responsibility of his medical expenses. They were never able to have children of their own and when they saw Jeffrey, they immediately fell in love with him. Fortunately this story had a very happy ending, but there are many children out there who don’t have anyone to care for them and who never get adopted.
With that said, I would like to encourage each and every one of you to make a pledge to help a child in need. It doesn’t take much, to make a difference in a child’s life. I sponsor a child through Compassion International and I have found this to be a great organization. We are supporting our second child through the program now, and oh what a blessing it has been! Both of the girls we decided to support are from Uganda.
Our first child (Nalule) eventually grew up and had to leave the program. I cried when I opened our very last letter from her and saw a picture of her sitting behind her brand new sewing machine. She had been able to buy the sewing machine, because of our last financial gift that we had given to her. We hadn’t given her much and yet she was actually able to start a business with our help. I was overwhelmed and excited to know that we had been able to make a difference in the life of a girl, who might have otherwise ended up in whole different situation. It was hard to let her go in God’s care, but after seeing that last final picture, I knew she would be alright and I know without a doubt, that God is still looking after her.
We are now supporting a little girl who is 6 years old. Her name is Joy, and we get letters and drawings from her quite frequently. It is so amazing to watch these little ones grow and it’s nice to be able to send letters of encouragement to them. So please, if you will, consider helping a child in need. Whether it be by adoption, foster care, a program like Compassion International, or some other avenue, please help if you can. Give up your coffee a few times a month and think of supporting a child instead. It doesn’t take much to make a huge difference.
Quote found at: feednations.com
Photo found at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com