Sometimes the big questions are answered by one little boy.
I like to think we are all searching. Searching at different times for different things. For some, it’s for purpose, others it ranges from the meaning of a Tweet to the meaning of life. Some searches are purely personal, some for the community, some for the world around us. This is often an hourly, daily, lifetime pursuit. We are all searching.
For me, my experience with Team Broken Earth has long been a search. Many times I’ve stopped to rub my brow, wondering why we are here and what we are doing. In the darker moments, I’ve searched my soul wondering if it’s possible to make even a little bit of a difference in places where the odds are as stacked so dramatically against it. Other times I’ve searched bitterly for the answer to one simple question: why? Why so many suffer so near to so much wealth? Why can’t more be done? Why do wait times vary? Why do I have to wait till 2019 for the last season of Game of Thrones? Why am I so fixated sometimes? The answers escape me. But the search, no matter how big or small, always continues.
Sometimes the search has stopped me dead in my tracks like hitting a wall during a full-on sprint. I remember being in the public hospital in Port au Prince, sweat pouring off my back, 40-degree heat with patients lying in dilapidated beds. Twenty to thirty to a room, a single light bulb hanging and no air moving. Some patients lay with bones exposed and others directly on the floor with unattended lacerations bleeding directly onto the hospital floor. I remember that feeling in my chest, in my gut. Overwhelmed? Completely. Panicked? Absolutely. The smells, the volume of patients, and the shredded, raw humanity of it all. I had to take a knee. There it was again. That question. Why? Why them? These people had nothing. They have even less now. Why did it have to be them?
Sometimes it’s just hard to see the light. But it’s there. It finds a way. It breaks through. A little bit of hope makes its way in.
Remember little Jonathon? Five years ago he was in an orphanage in Port au Prince. He had been abandoned in the streets as a newborn and someone found him and brought him there. The staff was doing their best to care for Jonathon, providing him with the necessities of life.
By luck or happenstance or fate, our team had arrived for a visit as we often do. One of the nurses found Jonathon struggling to survive. He was malnourished. Emaciated. A tiny skeleton of a child with skin so loosely draped on such a small frame. Again the question. Why? Why him? But this time it was immediately followed by what can we do? We answered. The team rushed him back to the hospital.
We inserted lines, feeding tubes and monitors. We gave him so much attention, so badly wanting this tiny bit of hope to just make it through the night. Maybe through another day. Jonathon’s search was how to survive.
I’m so proud to say that he did exactly that. He stabilized and rebounded. He was at death’s door and this little newborn rebounded. Even better? He flourished and grew to the point that he could be discharged back to the orphanage as a healthy and thriving infant. I can still see those little hands now free of any bandages and tubes. His eyes searching the way infants do. Everything a wonder. Everything a possibility.
Over the years our team has stayed in touch with Jonathon and watched him grow and develop into a healthy little boy. His picture and his story continue to inspire me and help me in my own search. As the poem says, I carry it in my heart.
Something so very special has happened this week. Jonathan was adopted.
He will finally have a home and a family who loves him. Beyond all, he will have opportunity, hope, and support. I can tell you there are so many hearts bursting with joy, so many tear-soaked smiling faces on our team right now.
Sometimes the search is long and dark like the halls of that Port au Prince hospital. Sometimes you feel like it has no answers, no clues, no direction. Then a story like Jonathon’s happens.
So maybe there are no answers. Maybe our search should be for the moments and not the answers. Somewhere in there we’ll see the hope, feel the inspiration and generate the drive to always keep looking for it.
Hope was created for Jonathon and the life he will lead because we… you, our supporters, and our team… we were ALL there for him. May he take that and run with it. To search. Discover. Live. Love. And never, ever give up hope.
Ps. Check out this video we posted awhile back by team member Travis Horn about Jonathon’s story here.