When Adam was born, his future was very grim. The baby boy was born in India with severe physical defects, and his birth parents abandoned him. Some people called him a curse. Even after hospital staffers, husband and wife Raja and Jessica Paulraj, adopted him, doctors predicted that Adam would not live long.
But four years later, Adam is alive and strong, proving that his life and the lives of people with disabilities are worth fighting for, according to an update about the family at Live Action News.
Adam was born with severe physical deformities, including a cleft lip and palate, no eyelids or nose, fused legs and abnormal hands; but his brain, lungs and heart are healthy, LifeNews previously reported. He was diagnosed with Bartsocias-Papas, a rare condition that is usually fatal.
When the hospital gave Adam to his birth parents, they said they would poison him if they were forced to take him home. That’s when the Paulrajs stepped in. Raja, a psychiatrist, and Jessica, a nurse, heard that Adam had been abandoned and went to visit him. Moved with compassion, the newlyweds quickly decided to adopt him.
The family’s journey has not been easy. In the past four years, Adam has had numerous surgeries to fix his cleft lip, remove cysts from his ears and nose, and construct his palate and eyelids, the report states. Because Adam’s surgeries were in America and he did not become a U.S. citizen right away, the family had to pay a lot of his medical expenses out of pocket.
According to the update about the family:
But his life isn’t all about surgeries and hospitals. Since his adoption he has also become the big brother to two little brothers. Since his palate surgery, Adam has become vocal and loves to laugh. He has also learned to hop on his two legs and prefers that method of travel to crawling. He goes on hikes with his family.
There are times, of course, when Jessica says she feels compelled to prove to others that Adam deserves his own life. For instance, there was the time a good friend brought someone new to their home, someone who had never met Adam before. Though Adam wasn’t feeling well, Jessica desperately wanted this new person to see that Adam’s life holds value and purpose. She wanted, like any mother, all of her children to sit nicely at the table and behave throughout dinner. But like most families with small children, a calm mealtime is not usually in the cards.
After realizing that Adam just wasn’t feeling well enough to be at the table with everyone, and was happy to curl up on the cool tile floor, Jessica began to let go of that desire to prove Adam’s worth. She realized that if her other children were sick she wouldn’t force them to sit at the table and showcase their value.
“Adam has no need to justify his existence,” she writes. “His existence is justified because He was made by a Holy God. And made in His image, despite all the flaws our human eyes see. […] I long for people to know all the cool things Adam can do, instead of letting them know that Adam is the cool thing. His life is a living breathing miracle simply because God breathed life into his lungs.”
Despite the numerous hospital visits and the constant care that Adam requires, his parents have no regrets about adopting him. Many people are encouraged to abort disabled babies like Adam because they believe the baby and the family will suffer, but Jessica said Adam has given her a new perspective about life and suffering.
“If anything, [Adam’s disability] enables us to see [God’s] ability to make beauty in the midst of brokenness,” she said.