• People Talk and My Ear Bleeds


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    Thursday, June 22, 2006

    A Late Father's Day Story

    I caught this Father's Day story the other day as I was surfing newspapers online. I think this is a must-read.
    My only regret? That I couldn't do it more or start sooner.
    Louis DeLuca, a staff photographer for the Dallas Morning News, shares his story of adopting Fu Yang, an orphan from China who was born with sever facial deformities.

    I love the mental progression he and his wife went through when they first met Fu Yang and decided to adopt him. I think it's very typical of many people that deal with disabled people.

    "It was October, the middle of the football season and I was busy," Mr. DeLuca recalls. He complained to his wife, Dinah.

    "He's an orphan," she said. "You can take the time."
    We're all so busy in our lives, that we all think this, proably daily. Work, family, school -- legitimate time-consuming enterprises. And we all probably miss some great blessings in life by just going through our routines.

    Then, after meeting and falling in love with Fu Yang, Louis and his wife think this:
    "I thought of every reason why I couldn't do it," he says, "language barriers, economic barriers. It costs lots of money to adopt a child." Adoption was the furthest thing from his mind. Especially a child with special needs.

    "I have no special skills for that," he says.

    "It was a very volatile time for me emotionally. My heart was saying, 'Go for it! Do it!' And my head was saying, 'No way!' "
    How often have we come to a trial in our lives and told ourselves "I have no special skills for that." We, like they, think up all the excuses we can not to power through and overcome the situation before us. But I feel strongly in God, and I feel he gives trials in life to make us stronger. When we see a trial or challenge and decide to endure, he will increase our skills--be it patience, knowledge, strength, kindness, etc.--to have success.

    Especially with people that have disabilities. It is very easy to think "they are different from me" and not associate with them. I mean, how much does one have in common with someone who has Down syndrome, or is in a wheelchair, or has cerebral palsey? As a teenager in Houston, I had the opportunity every year to work with special olympics. However, I fell into that group--the doubting group--and spent most of my time doing jobs that took me away from interaction with the participants.

    "In retrospect, it would have been a huge mistake not to have done this," he says. "When he's around, he has a way of brightening your life."
    That is how I felt in Vietnam the last five months. I had the opportunity to volunteer at an orphanage for disabled children. When I first volunteered, I did so half-heartedly. I didn't know if I could do it. The first day was so taxing mentally and physically. Most of the children have cerebral palsy. I volunteered there two days a week for four months and established such great relationships with the children and workers. My only regret? That I couldn't do it more or start sooner.

    I'll talk more about my experience at a later date, but for now, read the article and make sure you look at DeLuca's photo and audio essay. Wonderful.

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