Little Si – A Story of Hope

Early January 2018, the Bells received a phone call from friends at The Almond Tree baby home in Benoni about an abandoned baby with possible Down Syndrome. Since the Bells were known to have adopted their son with Down Syndrome, the hope was that they would consider adopting another little one.

Si, estimated at around 6 months of age at the time, was found discarded in bushes outside of a soccer stadium in Soweto. He was found by a jogger who heard a sound in the bushes. If the jogger had not found him he would not have survived. Dehydrated, cold and emaciated, he was rushed to a nearby hospital for emergency medical care. After examination by specialists, little Si was diagnosed with Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18), a condition which is widely considered not “compatible” with life. Only 10 percent of babies with Edwards Syndrome survive past their first year of life and only 1 percent past the age of 10 years. Of these, mostly girls survive.

It became clear that Si needed end-of-life care, but there were no palliative placements available as South Africa does not have enough Hospices for children.

The Bells could not shake the feeling that they were called to do more for this little guy, but worried about adopting a baby who would eventually pass away since they had their own children to consider. After much prayer and deliberation, the Bells decided to open Butterfly Home – a foster home in their garden, to care for Si and others like him who needed end-of-life care.

Si was the first baby to enter Butterfly Home and soon others followed. He has many health concerns and faces many challenges every day, but overall little Si is a happy and goofy little guy who recently celebrated his third birthday at Butterfly Home. Si’s journey is proof that God truly places the lonely into families and that He can turn any hardship into a story of hope.

Si recently celebrated his 3rd birthday! Click here to see some photos of his party!

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