Emilie Larter had just graduated from college when she took a trip to Uganda to volunteer at a children’s home. She loved traveling and helping people out, so the gig was a natural fit.
She was settling into her new role taking care of the children when the home received a phone call. A woman in a nearby village had died just days after giving birth to her seventh child. The family was in desperate need.
When Larter arrived, the funeral was already in progress. The mother had had complications giving birth, and she was never able to breastfeed the new baby.
So when villagers approached Larter with the infant, she was being handed a full-time job. Larter saw to the baby’s immediate needs and then slowly realized she didn’t know the baby’s name.
Sadly, the mother had died before even naming the child. He was in great need of a guardian angel, and he certainly found one in Larter.
She, along with other staff members, came up with the name Adam. She stayed up with him at night as he cried for food or to be held. Being a mother in a developed nation is hard enough, but Larter had many more struggles to endure.
For starters, Larter and Adam stayed in a hut with no running water or electricity. They were plagued by mosquitoes, so Adam slept under a net. Larter suffered through the bug bites and misery so that she could enjoy watching Adam grow into a healthy toddler.
Yes, there were difficulties, but Larter loved every minute of it.
Then reality set in. Larter had to return to the U.K. for her official graduation, so she had to leave Adam behind. She returned as quickly as she could and stayed in Uganda for another four and a half months.
Larter knew she didn’t have the money to stay in the country indefinitely, but she couldn’t bear the thought of leaving Adam behind. So she began looking into the adoption process, which is as cumbersome in Uganda as it is in many other places.
One of the requirements for adoption is that the child be fostered with the adoptive parent for a year. Larter lucked out and got a job teaching at an international school. Everything seemed on track to work out for both Larter and Adam.
Unfortunately, Larter lost her job after a semester due to staff cutbacks. She was left with the intense desire to stay with the boy but without the money to take care of him. Her parents pitched in what they could, and Larter started a GoFundMe campaign.
In the meantime, Larter started volunteering at Adam’s school; it didn’t pay her any money but it did cover Adam’s fees. She shared her story on GoFundMe with limited expectations.
Larter’s goal was to raise £4,500 (which is about $5,620). She ended up surpassing her goal and raising more than $26,000! Most people donated small amounts, but the feel-good story had reached so many people that they collectively raised a small fortune.
The adoption process is still not complete, but at least Larter has one less problem to worry about. She and Adam can live comfortably in Uganda until she is able to permanently adopt him.
Larter and Adam’s story shows how much of a difference we can all make in one another’s lives. Without Larter, Adam would be in a really tough spot. Without all of the charitable donors, Larter would be forced to return home without Adam. And without Adam, this joyful story would never have taken place. When everyone does their part, great things happen.