Let me capture your attention – she was left to die at a public bathroom at 2 days old, her name is Sofia Graciela.
In April of 2019, my brother Fernando and I decided to venture into a selfless act, and embarked on the search for an organization we could help in Peru; one that gave to the greater good. At the time it didn’t matter if it was an orphanage, or a house for the elderly, cancer patients, or anything. And to be honest, they all fit our bill, Fernando and I were both kinda orphaned (more or less), we will all get old one day and I have fought cancer, it didn’t matter.
A couple weeks prior to my departure from California, US; we decided that I was going to pack as many children clothes as possible into two suitcases and only carry a backpack with my essentials for 4 days. All my neighbors pitched in; it was awesome how it worked and how quickly they gave up their belongings for something good.
Two days prior to leaving for Peru, a coworker friend asked me if he could participate; and I said “of Course Art!” I can’t turn anything down. So he brought me some clothes, actually, he brought me 3 large yard trash bags full of kids clothes.
When I got home that evening, I looked over at what I had received and to my dismay, two of the bags were full of baby clothes; from newborn to 6 or 7 years old. Packed.
"Panic struck me, because now I didn’t know what I was supposed to do with all these baby clothes; I never thought of babies!! I thought children…"
Panic struck me, because now I didn’t know what I was supposed to do with all these baby clothes; it was way more than I could take with me. And even though Art said to me, “it’s ok if you don’t take it all, donate it locally if you want;” I didn’t want to leave anything behind, but i had little room in my suitcases.
And most concerning – What do i do with all these baby clothes? I never thought of babies!! I thought children… Not babies; I struggled with this; however, something told me to take the baby clothes, something strong enough to push me to empty my backpack and fill it with baby clothes I didn’t know what to do with. I managed to pack all the little outfits between my pack and any open area in my luggage; as long as they made the 50 pounds limit. I spent my time in Peru wearing the same clothes, washing them often.
After my incredibly easy arrival, we got back into an airplane to go to Trujillo, Peru.
The second orphanage that we visited was dedicated to help only girls; they opened the door and explained to us that they included (unlike many places) 1 baby, a newborn, not too many places accepted babies, let alone newborns; and at this time my eyes opened big!! I will be able to unload the mother baby load on them.
I politely asked if I could leave the clothes and of course they agreed. I proceeded to unload the mountain of baby clothes onto their visitor’s chair and watched her eyes get huge.
Two days after this happened, we finally were able to meet with the sister nun in charge and she and only she was able to let us in beyond the garden doors, where all the children live, play, do homework, do chores, literally everything. They (the girls) were responsible for everything, it was amazing to see girls ranging from 5 to 15 clean, mop and happily take care of their own place.
To my surprise, the very first orphan I met was baby Sofia Graciela, and Mother Clara Maria told me: “all the clothes you have donated Ricardo will go to her.” Just looking at her filled my eyes up with tears. She was now 1 month old and at that moment she was sleeping with little understanding or conscious awareness of what her life is like. I proceeded to ask about her story and Mother Clara, didn’t hesitate to tell me.
"Due to unknown circumstances; of strong nature I can only assume, her mother abandoned her at a public bathroom in the city. The type of story that normally ends in tragedy."
Sofia Graciela was born in a local hospital, and due to unknown circumstances; of strong nature I can only assume, her mother abandoned her at a public bathroom in the city. The type of story that normally ends in tragedy, was averted by a touch of destiny that brought in a Doctor, a pediatrician that day would walk into that exact bathroom where Sofia, laid on the floor literally dying.
The story made the news. Dr. saves the life of an infant.
Peru 21 News: here
Graciela’s future was changed at that very moment when the doctor walked into that bathroom and after the discovery, he jumped into action and saved her life. Sofia wasn’t destined to die, and she wasn’t meant to live a life of ugliness, as many babies do.
“All your clothes will go to her Ricardo.” Filled my heart and I had real man’s tears. It was a strong emotion. Something that I truly can’t explain.
The doctor that saved her life tried to adopt her, but due to whatever Dr’s rules of ethics and behaviors, he wasn’t able to do so; and instead he had to put baby Jane Doe in the capable hands of the nuns at Casa Hogar La Divina Providencia.
"A touch of destiny that brought in a Doctor, a pediatrician that day would walk into that exact bathroom where Sofia, laid on the floor literally dying."
His only request: that they name her after his mother: “Sofia Graciela”.
And if that wasn’t enough.
As soon as I left the home, I decided to email Art and tell him:
Art, Bro, Meet Sofia Graciela (enclosed a picture of her that I sneaked out), all of your clothes will go to her. I proceeded to tell him the story of Sofia over the email, as I couldn’t imagine anybody not wanting to know these details.
Two hours later Art responded: “This is crazy bro, my granddaughter’s name is Sofia, and she looks just like her”.