Seven years ago, I met Franz. He was just under a year old. He was locked in a dark room, all alone, with no food or water. His mother was gone, his grandmother, an addictive gambler, couldn’t be bothered to care for a fussy baby and so she left him day after day in a tiny dark room.
I rescued him then. My first visit to a Manila prison was because of this little one. His father was in jail for armed robbery. For the next 6 years, I would follow the father, Francing from jail to jail, visiting at least every month bringing food, toiletries, clothes. I went to court when he had a hearing. I paid his debts to the jailers when he had no money. I followed him and kept the promise I made of watching out for his son, Franz.
It started out with supporting a relative who cared for Franz. I bought milk, clothes, sometimes food. Then in 2005, Francing got out of jail. His first stop was our home. He was deathly thin, the years of prison life taking their toll. His neck was covered in a ratty towel, a goitre. He was weak and he promised to visit regularly and made me promise again to take care of his son if anything happened to him.
Sure enough, he was back in jail only a week later. I ran to Escopa the morning that I heard and took Franz to Gentle Hands. He has been with us now, for two years, in our home, in our “orphanage”. Last year, Francing was sent out from the jail to die. He was very sick and yes, he came to us first. As he lay on the bed in our ICU, I prayed for him. He wept and we talked about the years he wasted. We talked about his son Franz, and the love he had for him. We talked about the future and again, I told him not to worry. God had a plan, I said, and Franz would be okay. The next morning, Francing died.
Several months later, finally, the mother came to my office and admitted she never wanted the child and adoption was the best option for him. I was stunned. For years, I had chased this woman down and tried to make her be responsible. I had gone to her as a friend, as a childcare worker, and as a missionary. I tried every angle and could get no commitment from her to take her son or to even come and visit him. I quietly watched as she signed the papers giving Franz up for adoption. I hugged her and told her she had done the right thing. As she left my office, I couldn’t help but sob with relief and with grief for the lost years that Franz would never get back. Now he was really all alone.
Franz needs a forever family. He needs a home. He needs to know he is special and loved and is safe. Yes, he will have some emotional baggage. Wouldn’t you? He has anger problems and he is stubborn. But what child could have survived his life if he didn’t have a strong will. He will be successful someday. He responds to love and attention. He is teachable. There is hope for this child.
If you know of anyone with a heart for an 8 year old boy, please contact us. Please help us pray for the right family to give this little boy a chance at life.