A MODERN CINDERELLA
Sometimes, when God puts a call on your heart, you can’t help but ask, “Am I crazy?” That’s exactly what pediatric nurse Amber Boyd asked herself when she felt a tug on her heart telling her to take home one of her tiny patients. It wasn’t due to greed or envy that she wanted to take this baby. The baby’s mother thought the child was so ugly she couldn’t stand looking at her. So, she walked away and said, “You can keep her, I don’t want her.”
You see, the reason the mother abandoned the baby because it was born with a rare birth defect. A tumor was growing inside the baby’s nose, which made it so large that it pushed her eyes apart and she looked like an animal. Nevertheless, Amber just knew in her heart that this little girl named Nicole belonged with her.
When tiny Nicole was born, doctors quickly realized she suffered from a rare birth defect called omphalocele. It’s a condition that causes the baby’s gastric organs to grow on the outside of the belly, rather than inside. Because of this, she was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the New Mexico hospital where Amber works.
“Baby Nicole was pretty sick that whole first year and a couple of months of her life,” Amber recalls, “Right around her first birthday, she was making progress, but the intensive care she needed was beyond anything anyone could accommodate at home.”
Nicole’s biological parents had already lost custody of her, and the baby girl belonged to the state. So, the hospital started looking for a medical foster home — one that would be able to keep up with Nicole’s very special needs. And that’s when Amber felt the pull in her heart! Amber had felt a connection with the sick baby girl from day one. “As a nurse, sometimes you bond with patients,” said Amber. “I’ve had that frequently happen throughout my career, but nothing as strong in the way I feel for this child. She was on her own and really sick. I guess it was that motherly instinct. I think it was a bond that was meant to happen.”
And after spending a year caring for her professionally, Amber just knew she was the best person to continue that care at home. “I said, ‘Well, that’s something I could do from home,’” But then I said, “This is crazy, am I crazy?” She ran the “crazy” idea by her husband, who didn’t find it crazy at all! He agreed Nicole belonged in their loving home.
Soon after, Nicole went home with the Boyd’s as a foster child. And Amber says she fit right in! Once it was clear to everyone that this was where Nicole belonged, the loving nurse adopted the sweet girl officially! “Everything this little girl needed they had,” said Camille Walker, Amber’s colleague at the hospital. “It was like she won the lottery with the parents that she got.”
By the time Nicole was 3 years old, she had undergone 13 surgeries to put her organs back inside her body and is shocking everyone by how quickly she’s developed, despite her special needs. But of course, we know it’s because of God’s perfect plan! Now Nicole’s face is taking on a natural look so that it won’t be long before no one will know what she looked like in the beginning.
“I can’t imagine a time without her,” says Taylor, Amber’s husband. “We have only had her for a short amount of time but she has become a huge part of the family.” Amber went on to add, “It is like a perfect fit. I don’t know how to explain it, it was just right.” “But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him’” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
The Psalmist had it right when he said, “For my father and my mother have abandoned me, but the Lord will take me in.” (Psalm 27:10). No doubt, he was able to say that because God told the children of Israel, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6). You see, when we felt abandoned by friends because of our new birth defect, the words of Jesus gave us comfort, “I will not leave you abandoned, I will come to you.” (John 14:18) Jesus goes on to say, “Look at the birds; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. You are much more valuable to God than they are.” (Matthew 6:26).
So, there’s no reason for every believer that God is not watching over His new creation in Jesus the Anointed One. You are precious to Him. He loves you so much that He doesn’t want you to die. (Psalm 116:1). But when you do, He will not abandon you but tuck you away into His arms until Jesus comes to get you and take you home to Him. – Dr. Robert R Seyda