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  • Writer's pictureBrad and Kate

A Night To Remember

Thank you to everyone who attended the Celebration of Life event that we had for Cruz last evening. It was blessing to our family to see all of the support that you shared. Cruz will always be remembered and hold a special place in our heart. We appreciate everyone that was involved from the planning, the directing, the message, food and music.

Here was a small tribute that I read last evening and the video that we shared.

Thank you to all.

"First, we would like to thank all of you for coming out this evening, to Celebrate the life of Cruz. It means a lot to Kate and I and the kids. The memories, sadness and tears, come and go at different moments.

This is not the celebration we were anticipating that we would need to be planning for. But we all have a story and we are reminded that our story isn’t over and the journey as just begun.

There are currently approximately 153 million orphans in this world that have their own story.

There’s a little girl with long brown hair, named Annie, she is 2 years old, her dad was never in her life and her mom passed away due to hunger.

There’s A little boy named Peter. Peter is a 5 year boy with a little sister who’s dad is in prison and mom who has left them on the street because she couldn’t take care of them.

There’s A little boy named Cruz. His mother left the dangerous amazon to give birth to him in the hospital. She needed to decide to stay with her son, or leave her 5 year old and 7 year old alone back in the amazon. She choose to leave Cruz in the hospital.

This…. This is the story of the boy we fell in love with. I’m sure as I go through these stories it’s easy to feel the tug on your heart, to say, I’ll help, I’ll make a change.

When there is a face. a name and a story, it’s hard not to feel these emotions. We all can make a difference, we can all make a change. What I didn’t realize is how this little boy would help shape our story. We continue to trust God and rely on Faith and continue to hold on to the fact that we will see Cruz again someday.

Over the past few months, we have drawn closer to his smile and continued to fall in love with our little boy. The kids were excited to have a little brother. We first anticipated that we would be traveling in March, and with some paperwork delays it set this timing back. So we continued to exchange photos and videos with little Cruz. We realized we would not be picking him up before his birthday May 25, so we sent a gift package down.

Little did we know, it would be the same card, and bear that he would proudly carry around, telling everyone this is my dad and mom and my family and they are coming for me, just days before he ended up in the hospital .

After many trips including to the post office, New York City and Philadelphia, our time has come. Our family of 6 traveled to Bogota Colombia, to pick up our little boy. We were at a wedding the night before and was told that Cruz had gone to the hospital but they felt he would be ok and that he just had some pain in his stomach.

We arrived in Colombia. As we spoke with our agency in Colombia on Monday, we were given the sad information that he had pancreatitis and would need surgery. This was an extremely sad and emotional time. I was being constantly reminded to not say, Jesus can you change these things around me; but instead, God can you change me so that I can handle the things that you are walking me through.

We reached out to friends and family for prayers, as they had mentioned it would be a few weeks of recovery. Fortunately his recovery improved drastically the next couple hours and days. Although we were able to spend some memorable times in Colombia with our kids, they just wanted to see their little brother. Unfortunately , the location of the public hospital was located in an area unsafe for children.

It was awesome that both Kate and I were able to spend time with Cruz in the hospital, tears fell from my face like a water fall, as I held his hand and pray for him and shared how much we all loved him.

As I mentioned, it was just days before that he was sharing with everyone that we were coming for him very soon.

We visited his orphanage. It was a surreal experience as we walked the halls that we have been seeing Cruz run through for months. There are approx 120 children in this orphanage, and Cruz’s best friend walked with us right by our side, it was if he knew it was one of his closest connections to Cruz. We saw the play area, Cruz’s small cubby with his clothing and bear, and his bed as it layed empty. We were glad to spend this time with orphanage and the children.

After many scheduled changes, meetings, decisions to make, we were instructed by doctors and the agencies that due to Cruz’s needed recovery time, it would be best if we went back to Pennsylvania to give time for Cruz to heal and then we would fly back down during his recovery.

Cruz’s health would start to increase, and felt as though he may get out of the ICU. So we would book a trip for Kate to fly down to be with him. It seemed the next day, he would have a downturn which would mean another postponed flight.

He sadly needed another surgery due to a blocked intestine which they say can be common after pancreatitis. They said through all the surgeries he would still have a smile on this face, and he fought hard.

He was looking stable once again, and then just a few short days later, he started some internal bleeding and they needed to do emergency surgery. He ended up with a blood infection and his kidneys started too fail.

The next morning, July 17 came and we got the txt from the doctor that Cruz went to be with Jesus. I never imagined he would be gone so soon, and that day, just everything else became so insignificant. IN these moments, God reminds us how we are made for eternity and reminds us that this life is so short, whether it is 4 years or 94 years.

We were hopeful we would have the 94 years with this little boy.

But God has a plan. And it brings comfort, because God doesn’t say, I’m working on the plan, I think I have a plan, but God Says in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I KNOW the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord, “ Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

As we mourn the loss of our little boy Cruz, we hold on to this knowing that God has a plan. we trust God and rely on Faith to pull us through.

Cruz, our little buddy, we love you so much and you will never be forgotten.

Thank you"

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