Here at LifeNews, we have a special place in our hearts for the disabled and for adoption. In a world where abortion is chosen so easily, babies who are placed for adoption show us that life can be celebrated even in the worst of circumstances.
And here is a true beauty from ashes story. This brave woman has gone from that tragic circumstance to become a mother who changes diapers, feeds her baby, tries to entertain her children and keep them quiet, all without hands.
She had been born near Calcutta, India, in 1985 to a poor young girl barely 10 or 11. She had no idea who her natural father was. When Shanthi was just two months old, her struggling mother felt she could no longer care for herself and her baby, and so she stepped in front of a speeding train to end both of their struggles.
The resulting accident ended the life of her mother and resulted in Shanthi losing both of her arms. Shanthi was found about 3 hours after the accident, and taken to an orphanage where her bleeding arms were wrapped by the staff. No doctors or hospitals were available to help render aid. Eventually her arms healed on their own without any medical attention or surgery.
Against these incredible odds, Shanthi was able to escape the cycle of poverty and death in Calcutta when an LDS family in America saw her photo in a brochure describing the plight of India’s orphans, particularly unwanted girls with handicaps and missing limbs. A loving LDS family from Montana saw her photo and felt prompted to reach out and rescue her.
Shanthi learned to eat with American-style utensils using her feet, to use a computer and to draw and paint with her feet. She brushes her hair and dresses using her feet. She enjoys cooking and raising her two babies and appreciates her blessings.
It actually hasn’t been that hard because it’s normal for me,’ Kimball said told Deseret News.
Her life has taken her from the streets of some of the world’s most depressed slums to a joyful religious life in a gleaming American city.
It all began when she was found beside some train tracks at two months old.
Her arms had been severed from her body. Nearby were the remains of her 11-year-old mother.
Baby Shanthi was taken to an orphanage, where she would wait 11 months before finally being adopted by a Mormon couple, though even for the deeply faithful Montana couple it wasn’t an easy decision.
Her mother Karen first saw her in a pamphlet that showed pictures of some of India’s homeless or abandoned children.
‘I quickly told her that she didn’t know what she was talking about, I meant the hardship of raising a child with a handicap such as that. Karen quickly said, that doesn’t matter and she was meant to be our daughter, but I quickly said no again, Shanthi’s adoptive father Bruce wrote in his journal.
However, he soon found himself having a change of heart after reading a passage of scripture in the Bible’s book of Matthew.
‘When I read that passage it struck me with much force that Shanthi was the child ordained in heaven to be our daughter, and that I was denying her, and I would be held accountable if I denied her any longer,’ Bruce wrote.
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Shanthi arrived in the United States when she was 13 months old and began her new life.
‘I always felt part of the family,’ said Shanthi, who would eventually have a total of eight siblings, six of whom were adopted.