• September 14, 2008

Marie-Mai’s Testimony

"She trans­forms the whole life of those who approach her!"

“Denis and I met Franklin during the March for Life in Washington, DC. He told us about his life and, espe­cially about his hand­i­capped daughter: “She is beau­tiful, I love her very much. You have to come home to meet her!” he told us. We accepted with plea­sure and made an appoint­ment with him for the end of the week.
When we arrived at Franklin’s place, his wife Ines and his daughter Ana were there. Immediately after we had gotten in and intro­duced our­selves, I saw Ana rushing out of her room to throw her­self into my arms, hold my hands and start to sway from right to left. Franklin and Ines laughed and said: “Oh she always does this! She loves to dance with people!” We were dancing in the middle of the living room and I couldn’t help finding the sit­u­a­tion a bit funny.

Ines and Franklin began to tell us about Ana’s story. In fact, Ana is not their bio­log­ical daughter. Some years ago, in their small vil­lage in Porto Rico, neigh­bors asked Ines to become the god­mother of their daughter. Later, Ines and Franklin moved to NewYork. One day, Ines’ god­daughter, a 12 years old teenager, rang their door­bell. She was with her mother. She had been raped by her father and was preg­nant with Ana. Her par­ents had tried every­thing to abort: spe­cial drinks, punches in the belly, a tight belt to hide the preg­nancy, in vain: “the child wanted to live!” exclaimed Ines. Their last solu­tion was to come to New-York to have the girl give birth at the hos­pital and abandon the child.

When they told Ines and Franklin about their deci­sion, both refused there was no way to let this happen. They decided to adopt the child and signed all the med­ical and admin­is­tra­tive papers with Ines’s name, who offi­cially became the mother of the baby. Ana was born very skinny and very sick. The doc­tors told Franklin and his wife that she would not sur­vive. Today Franklin proudly looks at his daughter saying: “she is 30 years old now!” Ana is heavily hand­i­capped, her face is marked, she suf­fers from sco­l­iosis and she cannot speak. For our society, Ana is use­less, she cannot study, nor work, nor have a family and yet, she trans­forms the whole life of those who approach her! I could see her smile and the joy on her face when we danced with her. I could see in Franklin and Ines’ ges­tures and in their gaze all the love they have for their daughter, I could see their gen­erous hearts and all of a sudden I felt a lot of peace and grat­i­tude.

We keep vis­iting Ana and her par­ents, and every moment I spend with them gives me a lot of joy! When I am with them, I feel that I am loved and I want to love more. When Ana dances with us she looks at us intensely, almost lov­ingly, and she keeps smiling…Denis says that he has the feeling Christ is looking at him, and I cannot help smiling, as I have the same feeling! I realize through her that our friends are truly our mas­ters and give us real lessons of humility, courage and hope!”

by Marie-Mai, Heart’s Home missionary in Brooklyn

“The contemplation (of Christ’s face) reveals to us the meaning of each event, the beauty of each face, the dignity of each man: if we have truly started out a new from the contemplation of Christ we must learn to see him especially in the faces of those with whom he himself wished to be identified”

[/ Father Thierry de Roucy/ ]

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