His mother and he were sitting in the Mission House waiting for us to return from our morning errands. She had brought him 2 weeks earlier and was told by Amanda when we would return. We had been stateside at a number of speaking engagements and a Mission Conference at UMHB.
His grandmother died recently, so his mother returned from the Moskitia to get her son, Carlos. Marta had given birth to him 5 years ago and he was born into this world at 7 months, weighing only a pound and a half. The odds of one making it are stacked high enough against one that you might just give up there, but now lets be born into poverty in one of the western hemisphere’s most isolated places. Marta’s husband, upon learning that he had a deaf son, left the family to pursue other ambitions. When this happened, Marta with two other children to raise, and with Carlos having a host of medical complications, moved Carlos to La Ceiba to live with her mother.
Marta was sitting on the sofa-cot in the living room and Carlos was soundly sleeping, his head on momma’s lap. As we sat, and Marta told us her story, Carlos stirred from his nap and woke. He sat and faced us, and broke out in the most powerful, heart-captivating smile God has ever put on a human face. Instantly he “owned” us!
After a short while we became very aware of his alertness and ability to “communicate.” His grandmother had created her own version of sign language, and although crude, effective. As I have seen, time and time again, my amazing wife got down in this little person’s face and began to “talk” with him. I recently got my behind chewed out online by a deaf man who informed me that we should change the name of the organization’s byline ‘love can be heard by all’ … “How can the deaf hear!” he cyber barked… “You should change that to…seen by all!”…in a not to gracious moment, rather than ignoring him, I cyber quipped back… “We have been at this for 10 years, Bob, and people actually hear with their hearts”…I have not “heard” back from Bob yet.
For several hours we watched Amanda teach him in her office, which is full of craft materials, crayons, glitter and glue. He played with Lego blocks and thought they were the most amazing things ever created! We observed his fine-tuned motor skills and dexterity; his alertness and enthusiasm were powerful. We are once again reminded that we all have value.
I wonder what deception and prejudice governed the mind of this little one’s father; to think that because he was born less than perfect (in his mind), he felt his manhood was somehow diminished and now had to change his personal pursuits to the point of abandoning his family. In fact, God had strategically and majestically placed this perfect one in his life to bless him and many others. I know because he is such an incredible blessing in just our first meeting.
It is a problem I have in that I do not operate in the here-and-now as well as I do in the future tense. I cannot help it, I just love to think and dream about what might be. This child is not a mistake and he has greatness on him. He is a survivor, and by all natural accounts should not have survived his birth, let alone make it to our mission house and into our lives.
Here he is, hearing with his heart, in the middle of my world. I am so blessed.