When Little Adam was born in India in 2011, his parents flatly refused to take him home. At birth, the infant had no nose, no eyelids, no hands, and his legs were fused together—a rare syndrome called Bartsocas-Papas. Even though his lungs, brain, and heart were just fine, the parents remained adamant that they would not have him as their son. Tragically, the parents and their extended family said their only options were to abandon the baby or kill him. In fact, they saw his deformities as shameful.
But another couple saw past the baby’s external features and fell in love with him.
Raja and Jessica Paulraj, the doctor and nurse at the missionary hospital where he was born, decided they couldn’t let the baby die, who they named Adam, be abandoned, and they took him into their home.
“There was this sense from the very beginning that the Lord was like, ‘This is the child that I have called for you to care for,’” shares Jessica in a news video.
Part of calling for Adam was getting him medical help. Jessica immediately reached out to her friend in the U.S, who works at UNC, and the cranial and facial surgeon at the hospital, John van Aalst, immediately agreed to take on Adam’s care. The doctors would even donate their time.
But the outpouring of support for him didn’t stop there. Adam would need several surgeries, and even with the doctors donating their time, the hospital bills would still be very high. When people heard his story, they immediately wanted to help, raising over one-hundred thousand dollars in the first week alone.
His care included giving him eyelids so he could close his eyes, and correcting his clef pallet to allow him to eat. But, his doctor said that is not the only thing that his treatment has required: he, his family, and Adam’s adoptive parents all prayed for the little boy.
His doctor added, “Is he going to be perfect? Yes, he’s already perfect. Is he going to be normal by the world’s standards? Never.”
Whether or not Adam was normal or not didn’t matter to his family or to those who met him. Adam blessed the lives of his parents, and the two brothers who joined him, for four years.A year ago, on June 12, 2016, Adam passed away after a bout of pneumonia. But in the four years that he lived with the Paulrajas, Adam had a full life.
“His physical disabilities didn’t limit his determination to explore his surroundings. First he would crawl, then he would get around on a tricycle. In November, he was fitted with his first pair of prosthetic feet, and he was learning to walk,” says his obituary in The Florida Times-Union.
After he had passed away, Jessica posted on her Facebook:
“There was incredible peace that enveloped his fragile, swollen body. He will be missed by so many. It’s indescribable to explain this ache. Yet to imagine his body restored and to imagine him surrounded by glory and welcomed by his Father...it’s a pretty good balm to our weary souls.”
Adam’s life and the love that he brought into the lives of all those around him serve as a reminder that we are all made in God’s image and have inherent value—even if we do not meet the world’s standards in one way or another.