Could You Foster a Child Knowing They Will Die? This Man Does
Thursday, February 9th, 2017
Death isn’t a topic that’s easy to speak about. We pepper our talk with euphemisms and hushed tones as if avoiding the words or whispering the news can somehow soften the blow. It’s even more challenging when those who are dying are children. With age comes wisdom and wrinkles and an acceptance that life has a beginning – and an end. But when the end comes too soon, there are a special few who can wade into the grief and the pain and embrace it all with love. Mohamed Bzeek is one of those few.
Mohamed Bzeek is a 62-year-old man, a Muslim born in Libya, who lives in California. He has one biological son, Adam, who was born in 1997 with brittle bone disease and dwarfism.
Bzeek became a foster father thanks to his wife, Dawn, back in 1989. The first time one of those children died was 1991. There have been more since then. Many more. You see, Mohamed Bzeek takes those foster children that nobody else is willing to take. He cares for the terminally ill. Children who are blind, deaf, paralyzed, brain damaged, suffering from seizures and destined for a life of hospital visits and a do not resuscitate order. And he loves them.
In his own words, “The key is, you have to love them like your own. I know they are sick. I know they are going to die. I do my best as a human being and leave the rest to God.”
He lost his wife, first to divorce and a year later to her death, after almost 14 years of illness. But he didn’t lose his desire to help children who are the most in need of help. Today he cares for a little girl, “a bedridden 6-year-old foster girl with a rare brain defect. She’s blind and deaf. She has daily seizures. Her arms and legs are paralyzed.” As her doctor notes, “Her life is not complete suffering. She has moments where she’s enjoying herself and she’s pretty content, and it’s all because of Mohamed.”