Taking in foster kids can be hard. Really hard. It’s an up and down emotion of taking in and letting go. But can you imagine taking in a dying child—one that no one else will take in?
The February 8, 2017, LA Times tells the story of Mohamed Bzeek. He’s a Libyan born Muslim living in Azusa, CA. For two decades, he’s served as a foster father and has willingly chosen to take in the sickest of the sick. Over those two decades, ten children have died and some of them in his arms.
In the LA foster system, there are 35,000 children. At any point in time, there are 600 children with severe medical needs. There is only one person who will take in these cases—Bzeek. In 1991, Bzeek experienced the death of foster child for the first time. This child was born to a farm worker who was exposed to toxic pesticides. She was born with a spinal disorder and wore a full body cast. She died before her first birthday. Bzeek said, “this one hurt me so badly when she died.” By the mid-1990s, it became his mission—to take in terminally ill children.
“The key is, you have to love them like your own. I know they are sick. I know they are going to die. I do my best as a human being and leave the rest to God.”
Bzeek’s mission is real, and the children are real. His story challenges me. Great giving is marked by great sacrifice.
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Published April 18, 2017