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20 Years of Hope: Cyrus and Rebecca

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Three-year-old Cyrus came to our attention in the fall of 2019 after being surrendered by his father in Uganda. This beautiful little boy had multiple disabilities due to cerebral palsy. He could not stand or even sit without support, and he also had significant developmental delays. Thankfully, we were able to take Cyrus into our former healing home where he received one-on-one care in a safe and nurturing environment.

Boy with cerebral palsy in a walker and a woman helping him to steady his head

Cyrus proved to be a sweet boy. He was peaceful and responsive to his beloved nanny Rebecca, and the two soon formed a very special bond. When he saw her, Cyrus would respond with a giant smile, and Rebecca herself told us over and over how much she cared for her little charge.

Little boy with cerebral palsy smiling in a walker chair

In many countries around the world, including the US, it can be difficult to find foster parents who are open to caring for children with severe special needs. In fact, we had been told that it would be almost impossible to move children with complex medical needs into family-based care in Uganda. However, it was clear that the key to Cyrus’ well-being was this wonderful woman, Rebecca.

With this in mind, we were able to arrange for Cyrus to move from the healing home into family-based care by having Rebecca become a foster mom. Cyrus joined Rebecca’s family which included her own biological children and another child from the healing home who has epilepsy.

Woman in orange holding a little boy with two older children on either side of her

Rebecca proved to be a wonderful advocate for Cyrus, and she worked hard on expanding his skills. She helped him with exercises and worked hard to get him to sit independently. She also worked on some digestive issues that Cyrus was having, giving him more fresh fruits and feeding him in just the right position to prevent the choking that can be common in children with CP. We were able to have Cyrus evaluated for physical therapy, some foot casting was done to correct a number of orthopedic abnormalities, and a custom wheelchair was provided. We truly have the best supporters!

Small Ugandan boy sitting in a blue wheelchair outside

It is important to note that Rebecca’s small home had become less safe over the years, and she desperately wanted a better place to raise Cyrus and the other children. She saved for many months and was finally able to purchase a small plot of land in a safer area. Knowing what an exemplary caregiver Rebecca had been, we were only too happy to provide the funds needed to construct a new home on Rebecca’s plot of land.

Home being built in Uganda

The new home was completed in November of 2022. There are two spacious bedrooms, a sitting room, and one additional room where Rebecca hopes to establish a shop in the near future. Here you can see Rebecca’s new home!

Brand new orange home with balloons across the front door

Below, our in-country director, Ronald, watches as Rebecca cuts the ribbon to enter her new front door. She is very thankful to have this wonderful new setting with a plot of land and room to safely foster children.

Woman in a pink patterned dress opening the door to her new home

Our foster care manager reports that Cyrus looks better all the time. Now seven years old, his coordination and balance have improved, and he enjoys time spent with the family. He can now even sit for brief periods of time, unassisted!

Little boy with cerebral palsy on a mat outside

We celebrate each little milestone that Cyrus reaches, as he progresses at his own rate. As we say here, EVERY CHILD COUNTS, and we feel very blessed to have sponsors willing to stand with Cyrus as he works to reach his very highest potential.

Little boy with cerebral palsy in a walker

We feel even more blessed to know that Rebecca continues to be the most important person in Cyrus’ world. During this week of Mother’s Day in the United States, we honor Rebecca for the loving care that she pours into Cyrus every single day.

Woman in yellow shirt and cap helping a boy in blue stand up
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