Peace of a Father

Last summer I took three of my sons to the Little League World Series. When we arrived, I realized how incredibly crowded this complex was and knew that it would be tough to keep my excited, always-looking-for-a-little-independence children at my side all day. So, I pointed to a specific welcome booth and told them that if we were separated, they were to find this place and I would come there to find them. Even this didn’t seem like a very good plan — there were people everywhere. But it was the best thing I could come up with. And I was also sure it wouldn’t matter anyway, because I was not letting them out of my sight!

childIt had been a good day. The sun had set. We saw some great baseball, and it was time to use the restroom (and the snack bar… again) before heading to the car. Well, the restroom had two exits, and my son Aaron went out a different door than we had all entered. After waiting for him outside for several minutes, I started to think he must be having some real trouble in there, but when I went in to check on him, he was gone. Gone into the dark, into the crowd of 30,000 people.

I planted the other two boys firmly in one place and told them not to move and started my search. I retraced all of our steps from the day, checked the bathroom again, ran through the crowd again, this time much faster and more frantically than before. Nothing. It was time to get the police and go all out on this search.

My heart was racing as I ran to find an officer, and on my way, I ran right past the welcome booth we had identified on our arrival. I had forgotten about it, but Aaron had not. There he stood, hands casually in his pockets rocking back and forth from heel to toe, probably whistling if I could’ve heard anything.

I dropped to my knees and hugged the life out of him (as he is just young enough not to be too embarrassed by this). I asked him if he was afraid. His words: “Nah. You’re my dad. I knew you’d come for me.

1385296_10153402279045713_713493181_nTHIS IS A BIG DEAL. You see, Aaron used to be counted among the fatherless. He was adopted from Uganda about two and a half years ago. But in that time, he has learned the love, security and peace of knowing that his father would be his rescuer and protector. Aaron is no longer among the fatherless. And, only by God’s grace, Aaron is learning the love of his Heavenly Father through me, the earthly father who showed up just a few years ago. To me, this is a perfect illustration of the kind of transformation that happens when a child learns of his place in a family.

 

 

Written by guest blogger and adoptive parent Adam M. Keath, President of New Hope Uganda Ministries

Suubi’s Story

Suubi earlyThe following is from an update from A Helping Hand, a Nightlight Affiliate office.

Suubi or Joan, as most of you know her, first came into the Tender Hearts Baby Home on August 5, 2012. The baby’s home directors named her Joan Suubi. Suubi in Lugandan means hope. We were told that Suubi had been abandoned by her mother to her father. Her father then abandoned her to his brother. Suubi’s uncle then contacted the local authorities and Suubi was placed at Tender Hearts Baby Home. Later through investigation, we learned that Suubi was born healthy but was later physically abused by her step-mother in Uganda. We also learned Suubi’s real birth date which meant she was almost 3 years old when she entered the baby home.

Upon entering Tender Hearts, Suubi was malnourished and very developmentally delayed. She was believed to be about 2 years old at the time (actually almost 3 years old). Her delays included not being able to crawl, stand, walk, or turn herself over. She could not sit up on her own and her limbs were completely stiff. Joan moved her right hand a little, but her left hand was stiff and at her side at all times. Joan’s medical tests revealed that she was also blind.

Thanks to the donations from Vivian’s Hope, Suubi was able to begin physical therapy right away. Though it was painful for her at times, she was a trooper. Immediately we began seeing improvements. Suubi began to move her limbs more easily and also began sitting up better on her own.

In the photo above you can see that Suubi is using both her left and right hand to play with toys and pushing herself forward in her chair, reaching for these items.

On March 7, 2013, Suubi was matched with a waiting adoptive family! She was placed with them on June 26, 2013 and arrived home in the U.S. on 8/3/13 almost exactly one year after being placed at Tender Hearts. Suubi’s family has an amazing story to tell about how they were led by God to adopt her as well, but I will let them share their story in their own words. Be on the lookout for their testimony soon.

Suubi nowAlthough Suubi was never without her heavenly father, Suubi is no longer fatherless. Below she is playing with her daddy.

“God sets the lonely in families…” Ps. 68:6a

Suubi’s story is of one of grace and mercy and certainly one of hope. Thank you to all of you for your continued support of Tender Hearts through prayer, mission teams, and giving.

Although Suubi’s story is particularly powerful, hers is only one of many lives changed through the work Ken and Cathy are doing. Please consider giving toward the monthly budget of Tender Hearts Baby Home and please talk to your church about monthly support as well. We need your help to change more lives!

To learn more about the Tender Hearts Baby Home in Uganda, please visit the Nightlight website.

Adopting the HIV Positive Child, Part II

Because HIV infection is so serious, and children and adults alike are more prone to other infections, keeping a child strong and healthy is very important. And because children do not have the same reserves as adults, good nutrition is especially important for them.  In poorer countries and in orphanages, where children oftentimes receive less than optimum nutrition, their bodies are further compromised and more prone to infection.

That is why in other countries, orphanages dedicated to the care of HIV positive children receive extra funding  and attention so that the children can receive the extra medical and nutritional care that they need.

If you are considering adopting an HIV positive child, most likely you are adopting a child who is a true orphan and you will truly be giving a child the gift of life. We at Nightlight will be featuring children from Eastern Europe and Africa who are HIV positive. There are certainly considerations that need be taken before you and your family decide to adopt a child who is HIV positive and you will want to be well educated regarding HIV and AIDS in general and the issues you and a and HIV-positive child will face. Continue reading