Claudio Da Silva
Our Adoption Story
Updated: Mar 22, 2020
My wife and I moved to Angola in 2010 and lived there for five years. We could have chosen a more comfortable and secure country to start our life as a couple, but the signs of Life kept directing us to Angola and we decided to follow it. We arrived there with lots of hope and an unlimited faith in the power to transform darkness into light. She and I had big visions. We wanted to share spirituality with people, natural healing techniques, yoga, qi gong, etc. We planned to build an orphanage and became involved in creating a full network of social entrepreneurship to alleviate suffering and social injustice for the poor.
The most difficult paths...
Very quickly we felt the walls of social and economic injustice in our endeavor. It seemed unrealistic to talk about spirituality to people with a hungry belly and it was impossible to raise money for the orphanage construction due to the prices being so high. Luanda, the capital city, was the most expensive real-estate city in the world at that time; houses were more expensive than in Tokyo or Geneva. Who would have known that? An orphanage would have cost us $200000 minimum. Finally, our third project, social entrepreneurship also faced great obstacles. Despite our meetings with governors, ambassadors and even ministers, we didn't meet with interested ears because their interest was in the quick money businesses such as oil and diamonds. We felt defeated. We lost hope.
Everyday we saw those poor women having to wake up at four in the morning and walk hours to reach the city to sell some mangos from a heavy basket they would carry on their heads, most of the time with a child on their back and another one holding their hand. People were dying around us, dying of improper water, lack of food or medicine, crime or despair. Angola was at war for 27 years until 2002, a civil war that spawned a disastrous humanitarian crisis, internally displacing 4.28 million people, one-third of Angola's population. In 2003 the United Nations estimated that 80 percent of Angolans lacked access to basic medical care, 60 percent lacked access to water and 30 percent of Angolan children would die before the age of 5. The overall life expectancy is less than 40 years of age.
The culmination of our difficulties was when our 3-year-old maid's son died in my wife's arms at the hospital where we took him to the emergency room to try to save his life from cerebral malaria. We were petrified. Social injustice was everywhere, and we felt powerless. This descent into the world of inner deception was extremely painful. All of our aspirations died, and in this complete surrender, we asked and prayed for an intervention of a Higher Force. We understood that the walls of darkness were created by us and not by life. We surrendered and stopped fighting against the world we were seeing around us, and we sought inner strength in the faith of the unstoppable power of life. And then an answer came.
The most difficult paths lead to the most beautiful destinations
Through a friend of ours, life brought us to the orphanage of Sister Domingas. We met our youngest daughter. The Grace of Life arrived in our despair, manifested in an abandoned precious child who desperately needed help. Our attorney friend supported us in adopting her, and this beautiful new soul in our family became the gratification of all of our efforts. Our daughter brought an amazing sparkle to our family. Like a powerful sun behind thick clouds, her soul was just waiting to be able to shine. We wanted to do big things, but Grace works in the small things. Helping one child is helping the world. Helping one person next to you is helping the world.
Helping one person next to you is helping the world
We all want to do big things, and we forget to see Grace around us in all the ordinary small things. One drop is the whole ocean, one drop has the whole ocean in it. The extraordinary is in the ordinary. We should enjoy the little things that Life gives us every day because one day we will look back and will realize that they were... the big things.
Claudio and Jasmine