"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!”
“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/ ]