In The Beginning
Once upon a time in a strange and tropical land known as Florida lived a fair maiden named Jessica. The oldest of five, she had three brothers and a baby sister called Hope. Her earthly parents, Bryan and Teresa, raised Jessica and her siblings to know that each was a child of God. With a voice and the heart of an angel, a halo always seemed to sit perched on Jessica’s curly golden hair, and she would grace those around her with her warm eyes, beautiful smile and quick wit.
She loved God and her family and was always involved with her church as a child and a teen.
When it came time for her to leave her family for college life, Jessica chose the Seminole institution where her mother had gone before her. Not surprisingly, Jessica enrolled in the nursing program so that she could help other people. During one of her Seminole summers, she found herself on a mission trip to India that would change her life. Though the trip was short, she, like her grandmother Dolores had once done, realized that she was called to work with the poorest of the poor and vowed to return again after graduation to this exotic and steamy country.
Once back in India after graduation, Jessica met her knight in shining armor. His name was Raja, and he was a native-born doctor. Handsome, smart, kind and Christian, Raja soon swept Jessica off her feet, and quickly thereafter the two were married twice, once in Jessica’s hometown and the other in India.
With double marital blessings, the two were bound to live happily ever after,
and that is where this tale really begins.
Raja and Jessica began their newlywed life working in a small hospital that served an enormous number of people from great distances. Understaffed and under-supplied, Raja and Jessica were always busy, but they stayed strong with their love and their faith in God. Six months after Jessica and Raja had been married and as they were facing a delay in a scheduled move to another part of the country, a couple came to the hospital and gave birth to a baby with severe deformities. The child’s condition, known as Bartsocas Papas Syndrome, is rare but not unheard of in remote tribes. With no ability to provide for this baby, the parents left him at the hospital and disappeared.
Raja told his bride about this abandoned baby and instantly her heart was moved. They both knew that without immediate love and attention the baby would perish, and so they went to him who must have been the neediest of all of God’s creatures then on this big earth. The extent of his anomalies, including a cleft palate, deformed legs and hands and no eyelids, did not deter Jessica and Raj from seeing the light of God in him.
Almost without hesitation, they decided to adopt the baby and named him “Adam” after God’s first child. Once their decision was made, angels in heaven and on earth jumped into action. Miraculously, the adoption paperwork necessary to enable them to take Adam to the States for crucial medical treatment was processed with a speed usually unheard of in India. All of a sudden, seats became available on an airline and were paid for with donations from friends. Jessica enlisted nursing contacts who were able to put her in touch with a leading expert on BPS at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and appointments were scheduled for as soon as this new family could journey there.
Fairy godmothers and godfathers came out of the woodwork to help. When the three finally reached Chapel Hill, one doctor and his family opened their home for the duration and have become a second family to Jessica, Raja and Adam. When the three met with the North Carolina doctors willing to take on Adam’s case, they learned of the enormous cost of the procedures that would have to be paid to the hospital.
Word of the financial need quickly spread from Chapel Hill to all parts through the magic of t.v., newspaper, internet and word of mouth. One dear friend and her husband even wrote a book about Adam, and the proceeds were donated to support these surgeries.
Soon enough money was raised that Adam’s surgeries could begin. Starting with eyelids and moving down his body, the doctors inserted a feeding tube, removed Adam’s leg stumps so that he will be able to use prosthetics, and began the first of the many procedures to repair the cleft palate. Through these trials and tribulations that would overwhelm most mere mortals, Jessica and Raja have clung to their faith and love of God and their son. Jessica blogs about their life with Adam and her deep faith on her site Hems & Fringes.
Present Day Need
A year and a half after Adam’s first round of procedures was completed and the family returned to India, they are now back in Chapel Hill with a new addition to the family, Baby Eli.
Adam is developing well but faces many more surgeries to continue to thrive. The family needs to raise $150,000 in order for the doctors to begin. Again the family is reaching out through all forms of media for help in bringing Adam the care necessary for his long-term survival.
Without doubt, Adam is a gift from God placed in the hands of Jessica and Raja who are raising him with grace and faith.
They have been humbled by the support that they have received from strangers and know that God will provide for Adam through the help of many more. While Adam’s condition is very difficult to comprehend, the words from Sunday’s epistle reading moved me to spread his story to the posse.
[F]or in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.
Together with Adam, we are all one in Christ supporting each other as we create our life stories. Whether by financial donation or sharing this tale through your favorite social media site, you can help Baby Adam’s next chapter be filled with more life-improving surgeries. Donations can be made through the Baby Adam Fund at the University of North Carolina’s Medical Foundation.
Using Socialvest to Help
The Gracious Posse has just made donating to the Baby Adam Fund even easier thanks to Socialvest. Have you started using this philanthropic site where a portion of your online purchases from retailers like Nordstrom, Target, Macy’s and Barnes & Noble can be donated to a cause of your choice? It is easy to join and install a browser app that tracks your purchases with over 600 online retailers. Once you’ve earned money in your account, you can donate your Socialvest dollars to the Baby Adam Fund.
Thanks to the amazing power of the internet, along with the grace and generosity of a world-wide village, Adam’s on-going tale will have a happy ending.
p.s. Disclosure: Fair Jessica and my children are second cousins. Except for the first and last, the pictures included here are from her website, Hems and Fringes/ Baby Adam’s Journey.