Stories of Hope: Zeke
When Zeke was first found abandoned as a baby, he was in a very fragile state. He struggled to feed and then battled both pneumonia and malaria, but the LWB community helped provide the extra care and support he needed in the orphanage.
Zeke slowly began gaining strength, and we celebrated every developmental milestone this gorgeous little guy made.
From learning to sit…
To mastering the crawl…
And then finally attempting to stand up on his own.
One thing that Zeke hadn’t yet learned, however, was what it meant to be part of a family. After a comprehensive but unsuccessful birth parent search, the orphanage decided to file Zeke’s paperwork for international adoption. We were informed a few months later that a family was coming soon to make Zeke their son. We’re always excited when we hear an orphaned child will finally have a permanent home, and we thought our involvement with little Zeke would soon be coming to an end.
Sadly, we received word that the adoption had fallen through shortly after the family arrived in Uganda, but we were determined that Zeke would not be raised in an orphanage. We knew that what he needed more than anything in the world was a loving family of his very own, so he was moved into LWB foster care.
Zeke’s new foster mom, Justine, had actually been a nanny at his orphanage, and so we knew his transition would be a smooth one. You can see from his smile how comfortable he felt around Justine.
In addition to moving to foster care, Zeke was also enrolled in a preschool near his foster home. Doesn’t he look adorable in his uniform?
Sitting still at school was a bit of a challenge for a 3-year-old who loved nothing better than running at full speed. Soon, however, Zeke made friends with the cooks at his school, and this lover of vegetables and yummy food finally decided that school was actually a fun place to be (Thank you, snacks!)
Despite his newfound love of school, no place was more special to Zeke than sitting close to his foster mom.
While Zeke has now made many friends at school, his mama remains the apple of his eye. He has become very attached and protective of her, even telling the neighborhood children they have to be quiet if his mom is trying to rest. Can you imagine how cute he must be trying to shush his friends?
The LWB community has blessed Zeke with the gift of being raised in a family versus living in an institution. Even his foster mom, who worked at the orphanage, could not believe the change in little Zeke once he had a devoted parent of his very own.
Zeke’s story illustrates why we’re working so hard in Uganda to expand family-based care for orphaned children. Nothing changes their lives more than knowing they’re deeply loved.
Want to help even more children receive the care and nurturing they need to thrive? Make a year-end donation to our Power of Hope campaign and help change their lives in truly meaningful ways.