I had adopted Sammy from an orphanage in Ghana, West Africa two years ago, and he instantly became a part of our extended family and a huge part of our hearts. Sammy was born in Ghana, and raised in an orphanage in the capitol city of Accra. He lived his entire life with a blood disease, sickle cell anemia, a genetic blood disorder that afflicts many in West Africa.
Sammy spent most of his life in Osu Children's home. He did not ever have a visitor or a relative come to see him. He never received a Christmas present, never had a birthday celebration. He never had his own room, he never learned how to read or write. But he did have the talent to draw, so he would sit for hours and draw pictures for the other children living in the home.
In 2010 while working in Ghana I met Sammy. I knew in my heart that Sammy was special, talented, lonely and that I loved him. I just didn't have a clue how special he really was at that time or how much more I would grow to love him.
It took a full year to get the adoption completed and get his visa to come to the U.S. Once he was home to America, he could not get enough love and affection. He was like a little puppy, wanting to be held and loved on constantly. He worked hard at everything he put his hand to. He loved having his own room, and he kept it spotless and neat. He loved having several changes of clothes, and his fashion sense was impeccable...his shoes looked as if he had never worn them, because he would clean them every day.
He made his bed each morning and put his things neatly away. He got frustrated when his siblings would not help out around the house and he was constantly telling me to go sit down, he would do whatever task I was working on. Sammy loved to eat, to laugh, to tease, to draw and paint and to dance. He had a sense of rhythm like Michael Jackson, and moved like he had taken years of dance lessons. He was always the life of the party, surrounded by others who would clap and dance along as he danced to every single song. And we had many parties in the short time he was a part of our lives and each time he would say that he was not going to attend, that it would be "boring"...and then he would end up being the center of attention each time!
On the first night that he was fully my son, Sammy told me through his tears that he never dreamed God would answer his prayers. He said "Momma, I always thought I would die alone in the orphanage. That I would never know what it was like to have someone love me".....and then after several racking sobs, he said "and no one would even know that I had ever lived." I promised him through my own tears that he would not die alone. That he would not die in an orphanage. That he would be loved more than life by me and many others, and that people would know that he had lived.
He died in our arms. He died surrounded by people that he loved, and none of us will ever forget that he lived. That he lived life filled with God's grace and mercy. That he lived life filled with hope for the future. That he lived life that was worthy of God's calling, and that he lives on...
I've shared many pictures of Sammy on the website, www.PointHope.org, the organization I founded years ago to be a voice for forgotten children. Sammy will never be forgotten.