Zip Lines and Monkey Bars

Help bring a fearless boy home for good

By Clarissa Murray

He ran down the platform and leapt onto the small, round seat, gripping the rope as he flung himself down the zip line, flying past the slight sag in the cable that had stopped more timid children. He hit the end of the line with so much momentum that he flipped upside down and then swung backwards as he giggled in triumph.

“Alejandro” really enjoyed trying out this child-sized zip line at a local park. He liked it so much that we returned several times during his three-week visit. (Photo by Alan M. Murray)

“¡Otra vez! ¡Otra vez!” [Again! Again!] he shouted, as he ran along the ground, dragging the seat back for another ride.

It was his first full day in Pennsylvania. Taking advantage of a break in the rain, we had come to the park for some exercise, sunlight and fresh air after his long flight from Colombia. This was the beginning of a three-week stay in our home as part of a hosting program that brings orphans to the United States for a cultural experience.

We soon learned that he loved anything high, fast, and exciting. He was always climbing to the top of the jungle gym, flipping into the pool until the lifeguard made him stop, and begging to go on the fastest, craziest roller coasters.

Alejandro was very excited to visit Knoebels Grove, an amusement park in Elysburg, Pa. When it came time to leave, he was reluctant, knowing he might never return. (Photo by Alan M. Murray)

“Alejandro’s” (not his real name) birth family is unable or unwilling to care for him and he’s been living in foster homes or orphanages. Perhaps it’s fitting that a child that has had so little stability in his short 12 years of life, loves proving that he can keep his balance at the highest point of the monkey bars. The boy that must have known more than his fair share of fear in life, is fearless on a roller coaster, laughing while others scream.

Alejandro love to climb to the top of almost anything. He enjoyed playing in this playground at East Goshen Park, East Goshen, Pa. (Photo by Clarissa Murray)

We’re so grateful to all of our friends, family and even strangers who have offered words of encouragement, shared our story, offered prayers on Alejandro’s behalf and contributed to our fundraiser as we work to make him a part of our family. The international adoption process and the associated costs are overwhelming, and we continue to ask for help to bring him home.