Let me tell you about one of the most incredible mothers I have ever met. She is beautiful inside and out, she radiates a spirit of service. This is just a small part of Fatima’s story.
Her son has Treacher-Collin’s Syndrome. His ears are fused shut, his eyes cannot close, and some of his fingers are fused together. When he was born, her family believed he had the spirit of the devil in him, because his eyes couldn’t close and because he was different. They took her to a place where she was supposed to leave him to die, to let the spirits claim him. He was cursed, they told her.
She refused. As a result, her family disowned her. She has raised this boy selflessly, giving everything she has to take care of his needs, and worried about him constantly.
Abdul has ears that are completely closed off, eyes that won’t shut, and fingers that are fused together. He was about 7-9 years old. A sweet, quiet little kid. As we spoke with Fatimah, we find out that Abdul can actually hear! This is a miracle because his ears are completely closed over.
The hospital originally turned Fatima and Abdul away, we could not see any more patients. When we stopped Fatima, and took time to listen to her story, she burst into tears. She’d had to borrow money just to get to the hospital in case there was the smallest chance we could help her son. Abdul cries when they bring out his school uniform, because he is too scared to go to school. The kids bully and hurt him and are mean to him. She wants him to go to school but wants to keep him safe.
We were able to get her some eye drops to help his eyes, and then get her on a list so that someday, hopefully, Abdul can have the chance to get a surgery that will help him.
Fatimah used to be a seamstress, but she cannot sew anymore because she needs to take care of Abdul. Her husband does not work. She has 2 kids of her own, and was sad because she can’t have more kids. Even with so little, she has adopted a second little boy off of the streets. Fatima is a woman who has literally given her all, her life, to serve others.
Fatimah’s story was one of many that broke my heart.
This woman’s story touched my heart, as a mother myself I cannot imagine what it would be like to be told you must let your son die. It’s common in their culture, but she had the courage to stand up and say that she knew he was her son, that he was a spirit given to her by God.
I hope that all the mothers reading this will know how important you are to each of your children. How loved you are, even when it feels thankless. We as mothers are caretakers, tasked with guarding and teaching these special children who are put in our care. We love them, and we serve them. Unconditionally.
Motherhood is a blessing, and a calling.
Written by: Camille Lindquist. View more photography by Camille at Camille Marie Photography.