Twenty years ago a 5-year-old boy stayed in our Oregon home in order to undergo lifesaving heart surgery. He had traveled from Cali, Colombia.
Christián and his mother were waiting for us with a welcome sign, bouquet of flowers, smiles, hugs and kisses when we finally arrived by bus.
During a visit to Christian’s home he showed us the scrapbook of photos I had put together for him twenty years earlier. I was embarrassed by what I had so hastily assembled from materials I had on hand – but it’s one of his most cherished possessions!
His mother told us how he had earnestly searched for us on Facebook. His father told us he entered our names and looked intently at each photo to see if it could possibly be the face of the people he knew twenty years earlier. The faces of a 4 and 7-year-old change plenty in twenty years, one had married and had a new last name, and we were no longer living in Oregon either. When he thought he located us he sent friend requests on Facebook Messenger and waited anxiously to hear back. Those messages were hidden from us for some reason. Eventually we discovered his requests and reconnected. He was so excited to hear we were coming to Colombia.
In Cali we had a great time together. They planned lots of sightseeing activities. We met Christian’s younger half brothers, mother, father, grandfather, and cousins, aunts and uncles. We learned that Christian’s deafness and heart condition are due to his mother contracting Rubella during her pregnancy and that he had his first heart surgery when only 8 months old. In total he has had 6 heart surgeries and is in need of another delicate operation.
I am amazed by the chain of events initiated by this simple act from twenty years ago. A young single-income family unable to make financial donations to the the charity Healing the Children instead took classes to become state-certified foster parents in order to provide alternative support by opening their homes. A single mother sends her only son to strangers thousands of miles away for life saving surgery. The 5-year-old survives the operation, returns to his South American home, but never forgets that family!
From the heart that is “damaged” flows true love for us. When it is time to say our goodbyes we realize that the ties that bind us together are stronger than before. We have truly been adopted and as we depart Colombia realize that we are leaving behind a part of our heart.
What a lovely story! Thank God for this love. May God bless you for this love! I really love this story I am sharing it on twitter and facebook.
Thanks for your kind reply and for sharing it! Yes, thank a God for His love, because He is Love.
Yes. God is love and if we believe in Him we have to love.
Amazing story! Love it.
this is such a heart-warming story! thank you so much for sharing and for taking us along as you explore the area — and even when you invite us to sit at the table. the food looks wonderful!
Such a beautiful post. You made me cry again!
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Tearing up over the selfless act of kindness you gave this 5 year old and the loving reunion 20 years later. Beautiful!
My husband and I were Southern Baptist missionaries to the Deaf in Colombia and knew Cristian. He was in our home several times. We are retired now…. but your story brought tears to our eyes. Thank you for your love and kindness to this family
Oh wow! And your comment just gave me goosebumps! How amazing!