There are those moments that stay with you forever. Sometimes they are heart breaking, terrible moments that knock you to the ground. Sometimes they are gloriously wonderful moments that make the world seem to glow around you. And sometimes they are a confusing combination of both that simply take your breath away.
On Monday I had one of those moments.
You probably don't know this but October 10th is "Gotcha Day." It's the day, two years ago, that Seth and his wife Miranda were allowed to take Fitsum from the nursery in Ethiopia and begin the process of bringing him home. Seth has shared with me details of that day, and their lives since, and it's very moving. Naturally Fitsum had to adjust to his new life and he's a very independent, strong willed soul. Which is just the way Seth and Miranda want it.
I know that Fitsum enjoyed his first meal in America at a Chick-Fil-a in Cincinnati, Ohio on their way back home. I can't think of a better place.
I know that Fitsum loves trains and might go to the zoo on Saturday and likes to put lids on his head to make his dad laugh.
I know that Fitsum loves to spell and that he was abandoned in Ethiopia and that Seth and Miranda most likely saved his life.
But I found out something else on Monday. I found out there is a VTM family that desperately wants to help Seth and Miranda with the adoption of their second child and help Fitsum become a big brother. This family has suffered, immensely. But they can see through their pain and want to help another child, as a tribute to the memory of their own.
Here's their story.
Monday, September 9th, 2013
My wife and I found out a few months ago that the baby we were expecting has a condition called Skeletal Dysplasia. We have been to several doctors and specialists and they all tell us the same thing. That our baby probably won't live very long after birth if he can even breathe at all at birth. It turns out that he has a very severe form of this disease that, they say, will not allow his lungs to develop properly and so they might not function at all or for too long at birth. It is incredibly difficult to have to plan for a funeral and hope for a nursery all at the same time. This should be a time of happiness and it has not been. I pray for a miracle every day even in the face of what every specialist in Houston has told us. Next week, most likely, we will have to go in for our son to be delivered and my wife and I will see if we get our miracle.
When I saw your post today I was moved to tears to see your devotion to saving another human being. To saving a child. I hope you and your family get your miracle too. I hope we get to see your new son or daughter grow up the way we have all been able to see Fitsum become the incredible child that he appears to be. Every child deserves to have the kind of love that you and your wife can give them.
I don't know why I am writing all of this except that in some way this is therapeutic to me. I have not really talked to anyone about this and I find it odd that this is all spilling out of me now. In some way I see your post and the opportunity you have given all of us to help you in your quest to save another life as a way for me to pay tribute to my son. I will help you and your family in any way that I can.
I pray that one day your son and my son will get to play together. If not, then I pray that God will provide him as an angel to watch over not only my two older girls but your family as well.
Monday, September 16th, 2013
The date has been set for this week on Thursday for the doctors to induce delivery. I cannot tell you how much I have dreaded this moment and now here it is.
Saturday, October 5th, 2013
Our son was born 9-20-2013. He fought to hang on for almost 2 hours, but in the end his little lungs were not able to sustain his fight. He passed away and is in a much better place.
But then, incredibly, in the same note this wonderfully strong and humble family finished with this:
My wife and I would like help you get your donations boosted again so we decided, if it's OK with you, that we would be willing match dollar for dollar all new donations that come in for the month of October. We have a max amount of $3,000 in mind. Our hope is that we can jump start this again and help you raise another $6,000 towards your adoption fund.
As you can imagine, this incredible gesture has left Seth at a complete loss for words. He said his wife couldn't stop crying when she read it. My wife couldn't either.
You see, sometimes people are drawn together for reasons no one can fully understand. But then if you think about it, it all makes perfect sense.
There is a reason for everything. It's not always easy to understand or to even see, but the reason is always there.
Of course I hope that my children learn kindness and goodness from my wife and me. But I also know that if they simply model themselves after these two incredible men that I met on a sports blog, they'll be just fine.
I plan on donating more and I hope you do to. I want to be a better person and I hope you do to. This is one of those moments that combine despair and hope and tragedy and in the end you get to see the innate goodness in people.
Please consider a donation. For Seth and Miranda. For the selfless family that suffered such a devastating loss and wants to honor the memory of their son. For Fitsum to have the chance to teach his little brother or sister all about trains. For that baby in the Democratic Republic of Congo that could possibly be waiting for them already.
And for that sweet little angel that is watching over all of us tonight.