URGENT: The boy with the million-dollar smile

June 15th, 2012


URGENT NEED!  Please share this post wherever you can!  


Friends, I am crying out to the Lord and writing to you with my heart in my throat.  Please, O God, give me the words!  Bring the right family to see this post and say YES!


There is a boy sitting in the driveway with a Suburban backing toward him.

He is helpless to get himself to safety.  

He needs a family to kick off their shoes and run for his life.

Before it’s too late.



There are three things I may not tell you about him:


1.  I may not say where he is located.  If you think you know, I plead with you, do not speak it aloud!  Whisper it only to God!  It is absolutely imperative for this boy’s future that his location not be publicly revealed in any way!

2.  I may not tell you his birth name.

3.  I may not tell you his exact birth date.


Here’s what I can tell you:


This boy already has a story!  God has already been working in amazing ways to bring him out of obscurity into the light!

From the first time I saw him, he was Tommy to me, and until one night last week, I hoped he would someday be our little boy.  Our family is in the same category as some of you.  Our hearts are wide open to adopting children with special needs, but we do not qualify to adopt this year.  When I looked at this small boy, I thought, “We have time.”


Here he is again.  We didn’t know whether he was even available for adoption.


In the videos we have of him, his face lights up with the purest, sweetest, most joyous smile that I’ve ever seen shining out of a dark pit.  The million-dollar-smile!  Here is the video I can share with you:


And here’s a picture to help you get an idea of his size:


I should have known better than to guess at his age.  In this photo, he appears to be the size of a three-year-old, and I guessed his age to be maybe nine?  Ten?  Eleven at the most?

But when the news came, it struck with shocking, crushing finality.


Tommy turns sixteen early next year.


This sweet boy does not have time to wait for our family.  He doesn’t have much time at all.  His family would need to qualify now and move for him quickly, and we didn’t even know whether he was available for adoption!

As I sobbed my heart out over the death of my hopes, I also pled with the Lord!  O God!  Please!  Send him a mother who will love him as much as I do!    


Not long afterward, we learned that Tommy’s file was actually registered long ago with his government!  He is available for adoption!  Praised be God!!

From his official file:

Male child at 15 years of age, with the following diagnoses: Infantile Cerebral Palsy – Hypotonic form; Severe lagging behind in the physical and neuro-psychical development; Severe protein-caloric malnutrition – unspecified; Ectopic [undescended] testicle – condition after surgery for correction.  


It needs to be perfectly clear and understood:

No agency has Tommy’s file yet.  Here’s what needs to happen in order for an agency to obtain it and here’s what the process will look like:

His file can only be requested from his government at this point if there is a specific family “seriously” interested in him and “considering to adopt him” – according to the authorities’ official wording.  They will need to file a notarized (apostille is not necessary at this point) application with their personal data and some other specific information.  On the basis of this application the authorities will decide whether to assign the agency with his file or not.  As soon as the agency receives the file, they will obtain additional information (written, photos, videos) and will provide it to the family.  Then the family will officially and finally decide whether to commit to him or not.  From that point on, the adoption process would follow the usual procedure.


NOTE!  We are being careful to strictly follow the laws of his country in every particular of this post, and it has been reviewed and approved by a legal authority from his country.


If you think God may have Tommy for your family, or have any related questions that are not answered in this post, please email Shelley Bedford directly at shele337@gmail.com.


Pray!  Pray that God will send parents to love this precious little boy!  Pray that every obstacle will be swept from the path before them!  Pray that he will escape being sentenced to life imprisonment in a mental institution, like the one in this blog post, or this news article.  Please pray for Tommy and his future family!


And friends, I beg you shamelessly!  Would you please consider an act of love on Tommy’s behalf?  Even if you have never advocated for a child before, could you find it in your heart to share this post wherever you can?  The fact that Tommy is now being shown to the world is part of the unfolding miracle of his story.  Please share this post, and ask others to help pass it on.

To share on Facebook, Twitter, and by email, please click on the title of this post, then scroll down and look directly under Tommy’s picture below for the links you need.

Thank you, dear friends, with all my heart!







Share it!

41 Responses to “URGENT: The boy with the million-dollar smile”

  1. Lisa Matthews says:

    sharing this right NOW!!

  2. Lisa Matthews says:

    Just shared your post with every group I’m in.  EVERY LAST ONE!!

  3. Jamie says:

    I can’t adopt. I would adopt, but I am married, and marriage is a partnership. One with a leader and a helpmeet. Besides praying and giving, what else can I do?

  4. Susanna says:

    Jamie, are you connected with any social media? Can you share the link to this post wherever you are able? Could you print out his photo and the contact info for Shelley Bedford, with a link to this blog post, and tack it up all over your neighborhood? We need all the help we can get to spread the word far and wide! If you share this with everyone you know, even at your church if you have one, you will be doing what nobody else can do, because you have different connections than any other person. Does that make sense? Thank you so much for wanting to help! Anyone who helps even a little is part of the teamwork it takes to bring each child home! We can pray and act in love and obedience and trust God to use it how He chooses. All my hopes for Tommy are pinned on God.

    P.S. We can’t adopt right now, either, albeit for different reasons.

  5. Joy says:

    I just shared this on my blog, and I will also share on fb.  We will be praying for this precious boy–he does have a beautiful smile!

  6. Amy Joss says:

    Shared – PRAYING!!!!

  7. Sharon Robbins says:

    Shared and praying, Susanna.  I know how your heart must be breaking.  God’s messengers have to be speaking love to him for his smile to light up like that!  

  8. Beck Gambill says:

    Tweeting and facebooking right now! Oh how his eyes shine. I know God loves him more than any of us could and I’m trusting his mercy will make a way! Praying and trusting with you!

  9. Monique says:

    sharing every way we can.
    And praying 

  10. Rachel says:

    will definitely pray and share on facebook. 

  11. stephanie says:

    Hey dear sister,

     Already on our blog…if anyone reading your blog or inquiring about precious Tommy has questions regarding cp or need to talk with someone that has experienced adopting a child with cp just let me know…our girls pretty much cover the range of cp -mild to severe and needing complete care!  PRAYING fervently for Tommy and for the LORD to bring another miracle!

    2 Chronicles 20:12

    steph brian sasha ellianna avigayil and lina      

  12. RAchel says:

    Shared on FB!  PRAYING for him!  & Praying for more ‘shares’. 

  13. Alexandra says:

    Oh goodness this little guy is tugging on my heart!  We are also unable to adopt at this moment and it will be a few years before our family will be able to grow again, but oh goodness I am praying for Tommy!  I can just see from that smile how much potential Tommy has and I know God has the power to redeem this young man with a loving family. 

  14. Holly says:

    Sharing it, Susannah!  And praying for him too! 

  15. Julie says:

    Praying and posting as well!  Oh, my mama’s heart is breaking for this sweet boy!  We are in the middle of an adoption right now and will not be eligible again for another year.  Too late for this sweet boy.  I am praying that Tommy’s family will see this post today! 

    Is there a fund started specifically for Tommy that we can contribute too?  



  16. Amy Joss says:

    “The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
    he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
    he will exult over you with loud singing.”
         Zep 3:17 

  17. Amy Joss says:

    Any families with interest?  We are praying so hard!

  18. sue naylor says:

    Shared and praying for this dear child

  19. Susanna says:

    Amy, two families have inquired, and one of them may be a possibility. Thank you so much to EVERYONE who is not forgetting to pray for Tommy! Please keep praying!!

  20. Amy Joss says:

    Hooray!  Will keep praying…..keep us updated!!

  21. Kelly Mayr says:

    Woo Hoo!  So happy, I hope the family works out

  22. Kelly Mayr says:

    Is there any word on if the family/families that are interested will be able to adopt him?  I would love to send them a donation

  23. Susanna says:

    Kelly Mayr, thank you so much! I am still waiting for word…

    And THANK YOU to everyone who is helping to find a family for this precious little boy! Please don’t stop praying until you hear that he has a family committed to him!

  24. Lauren says:

    I keep checking back in HOPES that he’s found a family! :O( Please pray for my husband to not be overwhelmed at the thought of adding “Tommy” in with our Sam. I would really LOVE to bring both of these boys home together! Our daughter has even been praying that Daddy will let her have 3 brothers instead of just 2. At this point I just want “Tommy” to get claimed!

  25. Susanna says:

    Lauren, praying!!

  26. Amy Joss says:

    Still praying so hard….I keep checking back to see if there is any new news!  Sweet Jesus, please save this one!

  27. Amy Joss says:

    Can I ask just a few more details?  What is the latest that a family could get started using the normal time lines for that country and still save him?  Does he have to be completely adopted by the day he turns 16 or just committed to?

  28. Susanna says:

    Amy, no new news!

    To make the official cut-off, by the time the child turns sixteen, the adoption process must be at the point that the family’s I800 document is submitted to the USCIS, which happens directly after they come back from their first trip. The length of the first stage of an adoption from his country (the process leading up the the first visit) depends a lot on how long it takes to get through the home study process, and partly on how long the I800-A Hague adoption approval process is taking at the time. We paid extra to have our home study expedited, and with a few minor delays it took five weeks. Our I800-A approval process took a little over two months, because the process at that time took 7 weeks, plus there were delays due to a major obstacle that God had to remove before the USCIS would approve us. I have heard of others’ approvals coming in much shorter times.

  29. Kelly Mayr says:

    I keep checking back too to see if a family has stepped forward to claim sweet Tommy.  I am still working on my husband to step up, but I would be happy if any family came forward for Tommy.  I really thought he would have had a family by now

  30. Susanna says:

    Kelly Mayr, me too, and I have to keep reminding myself that God usually seems to write the story in a way I never could have guessed! Still praying and keeping my hopes pinned on Him!

  31. Kelly Mayr says:

    Any news for sweet Tommy?

  32. Susanna says:

    No Kelly, none. Thank you so much for not forgetting him!

  33. Barbara says:

    Two more praying for Tommy…and for all these sweet children. Thank you for your inspiration and love.

  34. Amy Joss says:

    Susanna – Here is my post, asking for people to sign up to pray for Tommy.  I know that we will lift him in prayer continually – but I wanted to encourage others to pray as well.  http://redemptionwhispers.blogspot.com/

    I am also going to be passing out a prayer card at our church next week for Tommy.   

    Trusting Him with you. 

  35. Cinderellamommy says:

    Still praying here in the Badger State for sweet Tommy!

  36. Amy Joss says:

    Repeatly going before our Father for Tommy….I assume if there is any news, you will shout it from the rooftops, but I just can’t help checking back to make sure.  We had 6 other people sign up for a day to pray for Tommy.  I am feeling a bit like Gideon – “Don’t we need more praying, Lord?”…..”No, I guess not.”  God will hear even one….

    Raising Tommy up with you…   

  37. Lauren says:

    I just sent you an e-mail, Susannna!

  38. Jonathan says:

    Is Tommy still available?  Do we think it’s too late?  I am just wondering as my wife and I would be interested if it’s still a possibility.  Would we be able to start the process knowing with any certainty whether or not it would be completed in time?  

  39. Jane says:

    Prayers urgently being sent heavenward…

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