Thursday, January 16, 2014

(Nothing is) Better Than Ezra

This face right here belongs to Ezra

Ezra May 2013 (2)

Seriously, this is one sweet boy.  Ezra is an orphan in an Eastern European country where you really would NOT want to be an orphan.  But his smile doesn't tell you that he minds. 

Ezra has hydrocephalus.  For those not in the know, that's why Ezra's head looks the way it does.  He was born with too much fluid around his brain which kept getting worse until it malformed his skull.  He has been shunted, meaning no more fluid is building up, but obviously Ezra will need a surgery to reform his skull to the way it should be.  That Ezra has been shunted already is a miracle.  They rarely shunt in his country, leaving many children with blindness and profound mental delays.  Ezra has probably been saved that fate, though he does have some issues with his vision.  I have never seen his file, but in all likelihood, his side effects will be mild, once his skull is fixed.  Daniel, our soon to be son from China, had hydrocephalus.  It doesn't mean Ezra will never live a full life.

At the moment, I'd guess that Ezra can't move around much because he's just a little guy, just barely two, and he's been held back because of his large head.  But once it's been reshaped, I'm guessing nothing much will hold this fellow back.

The most interesting thing about Ezra, and the reason why I'm sharing him with you today, is right there on his face.  Have you ever seen a smile like that on a sick child, confined to a crib day and night because his head is too heavy to carry?  I've seen a lot of orphans.  Literally thousands.  I've been struck by some because of the profoundly severe conditions in which they live.  I've been struck by others because of how beautiful they are, or how striking their needs have left them looking.  But almost never have I gone back to look at a child over and over because of their smile.  Ezra is that kid.  He's a child who clearly is infused with a joy that isn't from his earthly existence, which is likely grim, whether he's loved by his nanny's or not.  This little guy knows.  He understands that God has this, that he's loved, that he's bigger than a crib in Ukr*ine, and bigger than a medical condition.   These pictures are from just a few month ago.  It's still in there. 

But eventually, he's going to start to forget.  He's going to forget that he's better than haphazard attention and substandard care.  He's going to forget how to smile. 

I would never want to see that happen to kid with a smile like that.  That's where all of you come in.  Ezra lives in an orphanage.  He's available for adoption right now, this minute.  If a family started soon, it's entirely possible he could be home by the end of the summer.  It's almost completely assured he'd be home by Christmas.  Ezra's country has a quick process, and it's relatively cheap by international adoption standards.

Best of all, Ezra's got a head start at fundraising.  That sweet face comes with a grant of over $2230.00.  That's a lot of head start.  You can learn more about Ezra here, at Reece's Rainbow.

Ezra's sweet face is just waiting to be a part of your family pictures.  He's so young and the perfect age to join a family, get the surgery he needs to reshape his skull, and begin the therapy that will catch him up to his friends.  Can you imagine a little pair of glasses on this guy so he can see like everyone else.  Adorable!  

Check him out.  If you feel inclined, tell your friends about him.  He has a family somewhere.  Every orphan does.  Maybe it's yours.  Maybe it could be one of your friends, your sister, or brother, or cousin.  Somewhere, Ezra belongs.  But his family will never see him where he is.  Then it falls to us to share him.  So go ahead and share that smile and someone, somewhere is going to fall in love with it, like I have, and their soul will perk up and say, "That's him.  That's my son."

I'm sure that, like the rest of us who aren't confined to a crib, Ezra could use your prayers and good thoughts, if you have some lying around.  I'm pretty sure he'll be able to feel them.  Maybe that's why he's smiling like that.