Thursday, December 27, 2007

Save the world, one bit at a time

You can't save the entire world. Mostly you have to do what you can, where you can and trust that everyone else is as well.

Ala'a lived in Iraq. He was nine, suffered from cerebral palsy, and an orphan. Ala'a orphanage was adopted by a unit of MPs.
To [Captain Scott] Southworth, Ala'a was like a little brother. But Ala'a — who had longed for a soldier to rescue him — secretly began referring to Southworth as "Baba," Arabic for "Daddy."

Then, around Christmas, a sister told Southworth that Ala'a was getting too big. He would have to move to a government-run facility within a year.

"Best case scenario was that he would stare at a blank wall for the rest of his life," Southworth said.

To this day, he recalls the moment when he resolved that that would not happen.

"I'll adopt him," he said.

And he did. It took a while and a mountain of paperwork and a lot of family support but . . . he did.

They made it to Wisconsin late Jan. 20, 2005. The next morning, Ala'a awoke to his first sight of snow.

He closed his eyes and grimaced.

"Baba! Baba! The water is getting all over me!"

"It's not water, it's snooooow," Southworth told him.

I can sympathize about the snow.

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