This is a story of love and generosity for a dark day.
When Samuel Forrest’s son Leo was born in Armenia, his wife gave him an option: the child would go to an orphanage, or they would divorce.
Samuel chose Leo.
But the beauty of the story doesn’t end there. He started a GoFundMe campaign to get him and Leo back to his native New Zealand. He hoped to raise $60,000.
Guess how much has been given to this man and little son? $366, 285.
Let’s do that again: $366,285.
Samuel’s words remind us just how easily a society can devalue those who are different, ill or who have disabilities:
Forrest, who’s from Auckland, New Zealand, said he was completely unaware of the hospital practices in Armenia when it came to children.
“What happens when a baby like this is born here, they will tell you that you don’t have to keep them,” he said. “My wife had already decided, so all of this was done behind my back.” …
Forrest has recently been working with disability awareness groups to share his story in the hopes that parents will become better educated on children with special needs.
“After what I’ve been through with Leo, I’m not going to sit back and watch babies be sent to orphanages,” he said. “As a child with Down syndrome, that becomes somewhat of a label. If we can get around this label, we’ll see that they’re normal. They’re a little different from us, but they’re still normal.
“They all have niches and I want to work hard to find out where Leo’s special. This little guy is great.”