Listen to the follow-up story on little Amee who went from living on dirt roads in Thailand to adoption in the U.S. by a loving, Christian family.
Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a wonderful follow-up to a great story.
I shared it a few months ago; I told you about the story of a little girl named Amee from Thailand. When little Amee was born with spina bifida, her mother abandoned her. In Thailand, the burden of a disability is so great — and it was too great for Amee’s mother to bear. And so, she left her child with spina bifida to be raised by her father. Thankfully, Amee’s daddy couldn’t bring himself to leave his daughter, but even he was unable to properly care for her. As a single dad, Amee’s father had to work, which meant leaving his daughter by the side of the road all day long while he scratched out a living as a farmer.
Well, as the story goes, friends of our ministry in Thailand became aware of Amee, and they brought her to one of our Wheels for the World outreaches being held in the northern part of Thailand. There, Amee was lifted from a dirt road into a brand new, pediatric wheelchair, all assembled by the inmates who work in our Wheels for the World shop in the Arizona State Prison. I tell you, Amee could not stop giggling with joy as she sat like a little princess in her new pink wheelchair. Now in an earlier radio program, I shared that Amee was moved into an orphanage, where loving people cared for and met her needs. That’s where we left off with the story, but that’s not where the story ends.
Because Amee was adopted! And by the most loving, Christian family! What’s more, this family understands what it’s like to have a disability. Because the new father of little Amee is in a wheelchair, too. We learned of Amee’s adoption shortly after we aired her story on that earlier radio program. It seems her mother, Michelle, had tuned in that day and after she heard us talk about her new little adopted daughter, she emailed me and said, “Please let the men at the Arizona State Prison know that we have adopted Amee and she is now in the states — let your listeners know this as well. We were so thankful for that wheelchair that she received in Thailand; it was the first time she could move around to play with the other kids! She loved it! When we came to America, we left her pink wheelchair in Thailand to give to another little boy; he was the same size as Amee and desperately need a chair. Since pediatric chairs are so few and far between in Thailand, we thought it only right that we leave it behind. Once we arrived with Amee in the States, the Shriners Hospital helped Amee receive a new wheelchair to use here. We are so thankful. We know many people in Thailand who have received wheelchairs through “Joni and Friends”. So many lives have been touched. So many souls encouraged. So many seeds planted. So please thank [the inmates at the Arizona State Prison] for being a part of a ministry that reaches so many children like Amee]!”
Is that a great ending to this little girl’s story or what? And I just bet the men at Arizona State Prison are listening in and rejoicing. And since this Sunday is Parent’s Day, I wanted to honor Michelle and her husband Bay for going the extra mile to adopt this precious special-needs child. Friend, you really must see this family. So visit my radio page today at joniandfriends.org where I’ve posted a photo of Amee and her adopted family, and another photo of them at a recent Joni and Friends Family Retreat! Amee’s story is a glorious reminder of Psalm 68 where it says that God is a “Father to the fatherless,” and that “He places the lonely in families.” Truly, the Lord raised Amee from the dust, the dust and dirt on a road at the edge of that field in Thailand and He has set her in a caring and loving home. Blessed be the name of the Lord!
© Joni and Friends
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