Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Heartbreaking, but with a Happy Ending
This is Odko, pictured here with her 8 month old daughter. When Odko was born she was abandoned by her mother. She was later taken back in by her family but remained an outcast. All her life she has been mistreated because of her malformed face. Everywhere she goes children throw rocks at her and call her a"witch".
She's been coming to church, her only place of solace, for a little over a year. Slowly she has opened up to us and allowed us to love her. When her baby was born, again she was rejected by her family. As far as I know, she is not married or in any kind of relationship.
When the baby was a few months old, she became very sick. The doctors told Odko that the baby had pneumonia and fluid in her lungs. They asked if they could "help her die". They insisted that the baby should not have to go through life with such deformities, that she were better off dead. Odko refused their offer and immediately took her baby out of the hospital. Since then the baby has recovered and looks very healthy.
Every Sunday when I see these 2 I can't help but smile. Abi calls Odko "the lady with the heart-shaped face". We talk about the things other mommies talk about: kids, hand-me-downs, and nap times.
Odko and her beautiful baby girl have taught me and my kids a lesson about how special all God's creatures are. No matter the shape of their face.