My friend Steve Geyer is a pretty inspiring guy. He is funny and full of life. And he has a great way with a camera. He caught Lia at the perfect moment. Have you ever seen her more alive?
Who is she admiring? His name is Gabriel. He is 8 months old. He is a child of *Cielo, once a slum now an oasis in one of the poorest parts of the Dominican Republic. Lia met him on her first trip to the area last Spring. He stole her heart. And before leaving, Lia made up her mind to help him. See, he was born with a cleft lip and palate. Lia asked his mother about it. His mother, a beautiful Dominican (they are all beautiful) said that they had talked to a surgeon but the price was too high. Well, Lia made it happen.
When we arrived in November, Gabriel and his mother surprised us. Look how good he looks.
He wasn't as grumpy as he appears in this picture (blame Steve Geyer), but grumpy or not the transformation was amazing. I was looking in my archives for a before picture. We have one. When I find it, I'll upload it.
Once all the attention finally ran its course, Gabriel was sitting on his mother's lap while she and Lia discussed his health and future. His thumb went to his perfectly repaired lip and he started sucking it. No one saw it I think but me. Perhaps that was the reason it was only me that cried.
The little miracles are sometimes the most profound. The little child who can suck his thumb now. The change that can come over a woman just because she had a part to play in it. Those are the things worth remembering. The things that remind me of the great God we have.
*Cielo means Sky in Spanish. It can also mean Heaven. It might be Lia's.
If you ever want to come with us, let us know!