Foster parent Mohamed Bzeek is a true hero, a reminder of all the good in our world.
One of my most frequent, heartfelt prayers is for my children’s good health. I know that if any of them are not in perfect health, they’re still the children I’m meant to have, but I continue to yearn and pray for their physical and mental wellbeing, just as most parents do. One remarkable man in Los Angeles, whose story is filling newsfeeds and hearts on social media today, has taken this idea to a whole new level.
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The LA Times story on Mohamed Bzeek, a native of Libya, tells of his heroic mission of being a foster father to terminally ill children in Los Angeles County. He currently “spends long days and sleepless nights caring for a bedridden 6-year-old foster girl with a rare brain defect. She’s blind and deaf. She has daily seizures. Her arms and legs are paralyzed.” Bzeek has been tenderly caring for her since she was a month old. What’s more, the last three children he was responsible for suffered from the same condition.
In addition, Bzeek’s own biological son, Adam, was born with brittle bone disease and dwarfism. Bzeek in the LA Times explained his frailty, saying: “He was a child so fragile that changing his diaper or his socks could break his bones.” Today, at 19 years old, Adam weighs a mere 65 pounds and maneuvers his way through the house using a small “body skateboard” that Bzeek constructed from a mini ironing board. Of the little girl whom his father foster parents, Adam warmly said, “I love my sister.”
Indeed, love reigns throughout the Bzeeks’ home and is manifest in the beautiful ways that terminally ill children are eagerly welcomed and cared for. The most beautiful part of Bzeek’s lifestyle, however, is his God-given ability to see straight past the ailments of these little ones. To him, their illnesses are neither inconveniences nor problems to be solved. They are simply attributes with which they were created.
The wonderful father never found himself distraught over even his own son’s condition, peacefully declaring, “That’s the way God created him.” He sees the children he cares for simply as people–just like the rest of us–who require additional care that he is selflessly willing to provide.
Of the six-year-old girl he cares for, he expressed, “I know she can’t hear, can’t see, but I always talk to her … I’m always holding her, playing with her, touching her … She has feelings. She has a soul. She’s a human being.” Yes, a human being created by God exactly as she is.
Needless to say, there is nothing wrong with praying for good health for our children or being distressed over the special needs of little ones. But Bzeek’s perspective of pure love inspires us to accept children–and all people for that matter–precisely as they are, in spite of any weaknesses or ailments they possess.
At the end of the day, like Bzeek says, they too have feelings, souls, and are human beings. As such, they are just as in need of love as anyone else, if not moreso. The following women are familiar with the privilege it is to provide such love in the absence of a child’s birth parent:
“Every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.”
– Dr. Rita Pierson, speaker and educator
“A child born to another woman calls me mom. The depth of the tragedy and the magnitude of the privilege are not lost on me.” – Jody Landers, cofounder of The Adventure Project
“Families don’t have to match. You don’t have to look like someone else to love them.”
– Leigh Anne Tuohy, legal guardian of American football player Michael Oher
“I am grateful for those who use their talents on behalf of children who have been removed and displaced. I’m ever humbled to be part of this resilient community. We are rising up. May we do so with faithful hearts.”
– Michelle Madrid-Branch, author, speaker, and global women’s advocate
“LOVE made this child come from being broken and full of fear to absolutely beautiful and so full of life. It’s amazing what true LOVE can do!”
– Amy Smith, foster parent and blogger at My Four and More
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