Week 8: KOJO the SURVIVOR
A baby boy, approximately 12 months old, is found beaten and extremely malnourished in an abandoned, unfinished building. He has over a dozen open lacerations, dozens more scars from previous injuries, and his femur is broken in two places. He had crawled through broken glass, and his left eye is swollen shut from the beatings. He is abandoned and nameless, like too many children in Ghana. The police report said that he was likely left there to die, and he almost did...
HOMe took in Kojo (meaning 'Monday boy' because he was found on a Monday) after the hospital had treated his extensive injuries. What HOMe did for Kojo in the following 12 months is something we as his parents and new family will never be able to repay. They gave him hugs and kisses, a place of comfort, and treated him as if he was their own family. They made him smile (which took several weeks to accomplish) and started to rebuild his ability to accept love and care, something he struggles with to this day and presumably could struggle with for most of his life.
Kristina first met Kojo when visiting HOMe in 2010. They immediately developed a bond. Surprisingly, deciding to adopt Kojo organically became one of the most natural decisions we've ever made. As we pursued making Kojo a part of our family, WAMM helped us overcome the rampant piles of paperwork, governmental meetings and visits, and turned a tedious and strenuous process into an enjoyable and exciting one. After a few visits and several calls into a Wisconsin senator for some embassy help, we were finally ready to bring Kojo home.
365 days after Kristina first met Kojo when visiting HOMe, he came home to our family as Isaiah Kojo Schnuckel, which is quite possibly the weirdest full name in the world, but at least he has a name now, an identity, and a chance at the healthy normal life every child deserves.
WAMM & HOMe gave Isaiah medical care, treated and rehabbed his extensive injuries, fed him, clothed him, sheltered him, cared for his deep emotional needs, and acted as our liaison and partner to carry us through a grueling and difficult adoption process. They showed him incredible amounts of mercy.
Many of you have met and spent time with Kojo and seen his infectious personality and intoxicating smile. It's hard to imagine that anyone could hurt a child the way he has been hurt. Sadly, Isaiah's story is not all that unique. Please, please, please give to HOMe to help continue this incredible work of repairing and rebuilding children's lives. We hope and pray for more and more stories of redemption and mercy in Ghana in the years to come.
Scott, Kristina, Isaiah (Kojo), and Perrie
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