My letter to the parents of Bryan Santana: Treasure Your Son

When I heard of your “wrongful birth” lawsuit, my heart sank.

I read that you, Ana Mejia and Rodolfo Santana, were suing  your West Palm Beach OB/GYN  doctor and ultra sound technician for $9 million for failing to notice that your son Bryan would be born with partial arms and one leg.  You claimed that you would have aborted your son if you had known of his disabilities beforehand.

You effectively told the world, and later your son, that his life is not worth living.

This situation hurts me in my deepest parts, Ana and Rodolfo, because I am the mother of three people much like your Bryan.  I know what a full and meaningful life my George, James and Hope have. I can tell you with certainty that Bryan can have that same kind of life.

Images of Hope (The More 4 Orphans Conference)

As a special treat for you today, I’m reposting Stephanie Dennehy Photography’s post about the More 4 Orphans Conference.  Enjoy Stephanie’s beautiful work highlighting some of the speakers and performers at the conference, including, Bishop WC Martin of Possom Trot, TX and musicians Audio Adrenaline, as well as our own George Dennehy. Just click on the title of her blog and enjoy! Stephanie Dennehy Photography | Portrait Photographer located in Richmond, Va.

When Everyday Life Seems Too Hard…

…take some inspiration from James.


James knows that life is hard.  He was born without arms to a poor house-painter and a seamstress in Bangalore, India. His parents tearfully dropped him off at an orphanage at the age of three months when they saw no way to raise him with their means in their culture.

A Package From Home (Part Two)

Packages don’t always come wrapped in cardboard.  Sometimes they are flesh and blood.

The story of this “package” starts when we were approached by our social worker back in 2008 about adopting Ethiopian sisters who were in need of a family. We were told their Mom left them at a care center so that she could search for work.  She couldn’t feed them, the worker told us, and prayed that an American family would adopt them.  The number of sisters they described was two.


Kalkidan and Andinet came home to our family in August of 2008. They had no birth certificates–their ages were a guess.




Although they couldn’t speak or understand a word of English, the girls were hit with American life and culture from their first day home.


They learned the joy of being ballerinas… IMG_0561And princesses.


They went to school.


And played American sports.


And as they were absorbed into our family…


…they began to change.  Their rapid-fire speech to each other in their native dialect of Tigrinya slowly gave way to words, then phrases, then sentences in English. Instead of pointing and using sign language to communicate with us, they starting to develop the ability to tell us simple stories from home.

There were some colorful stories. Some hard to believe.

But there was one character who kept recurring in the stories; someone named Tamer.

At first they didn’t have the words to tell us who Tamer was.  But eventually they did.

She was their big sister.  And she had been left behind in Ethiopia.


They couldn’t explain why.  I don’t think they knew.  But I wanted to know.

I learned that the girls’ mother had originally put all three of them up for adoption.  At some point in the bureaucratic adoption process it had been determined that most American families would  not be willing to take in three siblings or an older child on the cusp of puberty. Mom was advised to keep Tamer in country and let the agency find a home for the two younger sisters. Keeping Tamer in country meant that she would live alone while her mother left to find work.

I don’t know who made that decision, but I did know a family who would be willing to adopt three siblings and a child on the cusp of puberty.

I knew it would be complicated to pursue the adoption of Tamer, but I also knew that the Psalmist says, “God sets the lonely in families.  He leads out the prisoners with singing.”

The tedious year-long process of paperwork became a dim memory when I witnessed the girls, who thought they would never see each other again,  reunite at  Dulles Airport in April of 2010.


“Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.”


“Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring you children from the east and gather you from the west.”


“I will say to the North, ‘Give them up!” and to the South, ‘Do not hold them back.'”


“Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth–”

Dulles reunion girls

“everyone who is called by My name…”


“whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made.”


Isaiah 43: 4-6


%d bloggers like this: