Beyond disability and into love...

This month we would like to share with you the story of Krishna Craig Leek, the little boy that eCoexist partner, Natalie Leek, welcomed into her life five years ago. Krishna is a special child and is teaching the eCoexist team some very special lessons in creating a world that is more loving and inclusive.

Welcoming Krishna

Krishna was born two months before schedule and sufferred from a heamorrage to his brain. Detected with cerebral palsy, the little child was surrendered to the state by his birth parents and Natalie offered to foster him like she had done for so many children already. When he came to her she had no idea whether he would see or walk or talk and often she would pray for his life in the nights waking up with relief to find him still alive.

Yet he survived. 

With nearly 30 therapists offerring him care Krishna slowly blossomed and with him their faith in the power of love.

For Natalie and James, as for most parents with special children, the last five years have been a journey in discovering the strength of the human spirit... in themselves and in the little child.

A year later, they legally adopted him and as he had arrived on Krishna Janmashtami and we named him Krishna. The legendary hero, himself had been handed over by his birth mother into the care of another to keep him safe, so many centuries ago.
Here they were, a mixed couple , one Indian and one American, adopting an American child in trouble.
Children with cerebral palsy benefit most from aid given to them in early years. The brain, an amazing and magical organ, is fluid and flexible in these early years and with help, Krishna gained his eyesight. yet it was unclear if he would speak or comprehend. And if he would ever walk on his own. 

Natalie, who had always longed for children, showered him with affection and tender care, while looking for every possible assistance this society could provide for this child.
Five years after his birth, Krishna's major challenge is muscular rigidity and spasms. With facilities like horse back riding he has the opportunity to exercise his hips and thighs which will make it easier to walk on crutches. The loving staff and volunteers at Camp Cheerful walk three at his side as he rides his pony - Butter! True to his namesake Krishna loves Butter!!!
Always keen to participate Krishna is learning to say 'How can I help?' as often as he says 'Please can you help me?' In this way he learns to give and recieve, acknowledging his place in community. 
While he is yet to learn the alphabet, Krishnas comprehension has grown beyond his years already - although the muscles of his lips dont always cooperate his vocabulary has expanded tremendously. ' Thats a diaper Manisha not a nappy! he says.  'Thats my wheelchair not a chariot !!!! '
And bringing in the Indian touch when he recieves the peacock feather due to him, this special child of the global village says...'Its not talking to me'! and then on listening closely...'I hear it...its saying I LOVE YOU !' 
Watching the love and joy that Krishna spreads around him, we slowly change our ideas of perfection and focus on the exchange of energy that is love, and from which all healing begins.

Needless to say, we at eCoexist, are immensely proud of partner Natalie Leek, who leads by example and loves fearlessly. She is quick to point out that she is not alone in offering him the care he needs... saying 'if it werent for so many many people, we would not be here today. Every day and often several times each day someone gives us help and encouragement to keep going. I hope that our story inspires others to do what they can to help differently abled children.'
eCoexist aims to create a world where humanity and the natural environment heal together - and the first step towards this healing is accepting all those parts of us that feel damaged or broken. Including and integrating children with disability in our worlds, we begin to accept ourselves too - we begin to accept our place in the natural world. With this comes the recognition and humility, that not everything is in our control and that there is a deeper beauty even in things that may seem to be incomplete. In India, thousands of such children suffer from neglect and rejection and a lack of facilities. Can we start to change this by offerring them our heartfelt love?