Sunday, September 28, 2008

Warning: Kleenex may be required for this one

The amazing Faske family has 17 children. 15 of them are adopted, mostly from orphanages in an array of other nations and with special needs.

As reported in the Fort Worth Star Telegram, here is the story of their most recent adoption:

The infant suffered from biliary atresia, a rare condition in newborns in which the bile duct between the liver and small intestine is blocked or absent. He also was severely malnourished. In photos, the infant’s skin and the whites of his eyes were turning yellow.

The boy desperately needed a liver transplant.

A part of Jay Faske felt compelled to intervene on behalf of this little one — if they didn’t save him, who would? — but he and his wife had to consider the incalculable cost of medical treatment, and the husband’s fear of the unknown weighed heavily.

"Jay was scared of having a child we could lose," said his wife, who started an orphan ministry at Brenham’s First Baptist Church. "What would it do to the rest of our family?"

One day four years ago the Faskes gathered with their children in the living room of their rural residence. Jay told them the family had a decision to make.

The Faskes could build the swimming pool they wanted — or bring a sick little boy home.

The Faskes didn’t have money for both.

Backyard summer fun or another mouth to feed?

"It’s a silent vote," Jay explained.

Confident he knew the outcome, the father handed out a piece of paper — a ballot — to each child.

They were asked to vote by writing "Jonah" or "swimming pool."
Without discussion the children considered the options and dutifully marked their private ballots and passed them back to their father.


Jay unfolded the first scrap of paper.

He looked at another, then another, and another . . . and as the tally grew he wondered — his blue eyes welling — how he could have underestimated them, misjudged them so.

How wrong he had been.

The vote wasn’t even close.

It was unanimous.

"I guess," the father announced, when he found his voice, "we’re going to Colombia."

Read the rest here.

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