Adopting a child from the streets of Texas‘He had mould in his nappy, he had mould in his arm pits, he was very, very red…  We found out later just more of the things that were wrong.’

As heard on The Ryan Tubridy Show

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Debs Walker got more than she bargained for when a day volunteering with the homeless led to her arriving home with a new baby!  She had just moved to Texas with her American husband and was integrating into the local community through taking on some charity work.

“We had friends who had a homeless charity so we were standing on the side of the road… feeding the homeless and on the other side of the parking lot, right beside the edge where the road was, there was a little bundle over there and I wasn’t 100% sure what it was but I kind of when over and I just was like, what is that, went over, picked up the bundle, opened up the blanket and it was a little tiny baby!”

Debs later found out that the baby was three months old but it was instantly apparent to her that this little boy needed help.

“He had mould in his nappy, he had mould in his arm pits, he was very, very red, like raw red, kind of bleeding in some points and we found out later that that was kind of very, very bad scabies and then kind of a really swollen tummy, like, you know really hungry… and very dehydrated and then we found out later just more of the things that were wrong.”

Debs managed to find the baby’s mother who had been in foster care herself and hadn’t known how to properly look after a baby.  She was upset when Debs suggested calling the authorities as she didn’t want her son in the system so suggested that Debs might babysit.  Two months quickly turned into 12 years as the mother then asked that Debs adopt him.

“At that point he was our own… in our hearts anyway, so I have to say I really honour her for that decision herself.  It was a brave decision in that she wanted more for him than he had in her life.”

At that point, Debs had her hands full with a new move and three other young children who needed attention but adopting her fourth felt like the most natural decision in the world.

“We actually always say that he was in a sense the making of our family.  He’s just a real blessing to us actually.  In the moment, it didn’t feel like a big decision.”

Click here to listen to that conversation in full.

© The Listener 2018

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