It’s special

It's been an interesting day already today….lots of business things to attend to.

However, I wrote a blog a while ago and I've decided to put it up…and I was prompted by a wall of photos in an Alamogordo shopping mall of children for adoption….. it almost stopped my heart….


I get asked lots of questions when I go to dinner or meet socially with people.

One of the questions is about our family.

10 of our 13 children were born for us, most of them come from countries far away.

Despite that we are an incredibly close family. Everyone lives within 5 miles of the family home with the exception of Jinda who lives 11 miles away.

So it's a bit like a revolving door at our house.

Each of our children came to us under different circumstances… and I became rather emotional when Callie was married in February. Now she's expecting a baby and we are so excited but it brings different emotions to me.

I'm Her Mum.

I found Callie in a World Health Organization orphanage in Sri Lanka 32 years ago.

I was with friends who were also adopting. However, I was alone, because Keith was looking after our other 6 Bambinos at home.

Keith and I were naive to many world issues… and in my naivety… I just figured we could save the world….. one kid at a time.

Callie was chosen for me…. I was walking through the nursery (if you could call it that) Callie, laying in an iron cot with no mattress was crying and like all Mothers do, the impulse was to pick her up….

"She's yours" they said.

Instantly there was a bond and It's never faltered.

Callie was 6 months old, she weighed ….not even 6 lbs ….and she had huge brown eyes, a shock of thick black curly hair and she was incredibly weak. So weak that if she entwined her fingers she had no strength to straighten them.

Her tummy was distended and you could feel the worms moving and her back was cut and infected from laying on a metal cot.

Still she looked at me and gave me a huge smile.

Her paperwork said she had been charged through the court with being abandoned….. in fact she was nobody…. they gave her a name of Nelum….. which I later found out means lotus blossom.

(Something beautiful rising from the mire) a fitting name I thought.

Callie had been placed on a railway line to be killed at birth…. but someone had found her and took her to the Kandy hospital and somehow she had been re-located to this orphanage….

It's a long story… one of mystery and intrigue and I will write it all down for Cal one day.

I stayed with her for  7 weeks…making the long trip by local bus to the orphanage each day.

But I had to leave her in Sri Lanka until all the paperwork was completed and return home…. it was the hardest time of our lives knowing that such a fragile being was part of our family and yet 40,000 kms away from us.

3 months later we received the news that the paperwork was complete and the adoption was finalized…

Keith flew out to Sri Lanka and bought her back…. He said he got the strangest looks on the plane… a white man with a tiny 9 lb black baby…

I had given him some special clothes to put on her for her arrival in Australia. So in Melbourne, the stop prior to arrival home, he decided to give her a bath and change her…

32 years ago there were no family bathrooms… so he filled the sink in the mens loo with water, placed his suit coat on the floor and bathed and dried her with toilet tissue…. men walked in and out with no comment…just strange looks.

Dressed in her finest he had her ready to present to the huge crowd that anticipated her arrival…. brothers sisters, aunts, uncles, friends..

Just has the plane touched down, she filled her diaper and everything that came in contact with her…..

Bless him, as he came down he stairs of the plane he just handed her over stiff armed…. "take her" he said…..

Callie, weighed 9 lb and couldn't even hold her head up….. at one she walked and talked and hasn't stopped since…. she is truly our Princess.

I wanted to say this at her wedding, but somehow it just didn't seem right. We don't dwell on the past… but after all the heartache look what a gift we've been given.

I've abbreviated the story…but I'm writing a book for Callie and her family and I might publish it one day..


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Wendy in Kennewick says:

    Reading Callie’s story and then seeing her beautiful picture brought tears to my eyes. You and Keith are truly blessed people.

  2. Lynn says:

    These relationships which you have with your wonderful family are what sets you apart from the ordinary person….You are to be admired and through sharing your stories perhaps many other will be touched and open their hearts to the little ones with no hope.

  3. peggy says:

    Callie is beautiful and God sent you to the orphanage that day so you could find her and take her home with you and Keith. Such a blessing.

  4. What a story. Made me cry. Callie is blessed to be part of your home and lives. And I’m sure you have gained just as much back from her in the relationship you hold dear. She is beautiful.

  5. Sally says:

    What an incredible story. You definitely need to write that book….for all of us! You and she are both blessed.

  6. Pam says:

    Sally, we’re just lucky…..!!! thanks.

  7. Paramjeet says:

    When you were showing your photos of Mexican tiles in a slide show we had a glimpse of your daughter and wanted to ask about her ….today reading this I am moved moved to tears ….so lucky you found her

  8. Pam says:

    Paramjeet, how are you…..?
    Oh, I wish I had more time to spend with you guys….
    Thanks so much for your comment on Callie…
    I was with her 5 days ago when she gave birth to her second son Kaiden.
    I was soooo proud of her.
    Mum, Dad and baby are just fine…. and of course this Grandma is beaming.

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