(The Courtship of Domingos' Father went thru my mind as a title, for all you old people like me, but I thought it might give the wrong impression!)
One of my precious little pumpkins is Domingos! He's been living with us for two years now! (Wow, can I insert here "where has the time gone?!?")
I've written about Domingos before but just a reminder, he came to us from another center where he wasn't really being cared for properly. He is blind from birth, actually has no eyes, and also is developmentally delayed. When he arrived, at nine years old, he weighed about 27 pounds! His poor eating habits had him losing most of his food out of his nose or vomiting it up and the remainder, he would regurgitate for hours on end. I have a theory that at the other center, he wasn't fed, he just stuck his face in his plate and ate as fast as he could before other kids could steal his food.
Well since being with us, he still has lots of challenges but he has put on quite a bit of weight, he never vomits or has food out of his nose and he rarely regurgitates! He's about a quarter of the way to feeding himself but needs lots of help with it.
Although Domingos can walk, he doesn't walk by himself. Except about once a month or so, he'll get a bee in his bonnet and suddenly stand up and walk across the room, but that's usually the extent of it! I am hopeful though that we can help him gain some independence in walking and eating.
The photos above are from when Domingos' father visited last week. Domingos' mother abandoned the family before he was one year old, forcing the father to put him in a children's center because he could not provide the 24 hour care he needed and work as well. So, his son has been in a center for ten years now! And yet, this man still often visits Domingos. He is, in fact, one of our most frequent family visitors. His faithfulness is so touching to me, made all the more so by the fact that Domingos doesn't seem to know him and can't really give him much love or attention in return. He loves a big cuddle but other than that, he gives no feedback or attention to his father who visits him so often.
It is a precious thing to me.
In this land of too-absent fathers and so many unwanted children, tossed to the side and seemingly easily forgotten, here is a man who loves his son, just as he is. Who hasn't forgotten him. He simply can't care for him in his home.
Domingos' dad cried on his last visit when he was telling me more about when Domingos was born and the difficult time he had when his mother left. And when he said "I don't know why my son was born this way." His pain was evident and that again is a rare thing where people stoically bear their many burdens and tears are a rare luxury, reserved for the most horrible of circumstances of death and loss.
I was proud of Domingos' dad in that moment, as I have been many times. Proud, but hurting for him at the same time. How I wish I could make everything better for both of them!