Tender Moments: Sierra Leone Orphan’s Emotional Response to First Birthday Cake Goes Viral

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    A viral video posted on Jaimie Walker's Facebook page showing her adopted son Abraham receiving his first birthday cake has received almost 4,000 Facebook shares and 56,000 comments. This video features the entire family singing, “Happy Birthday, Abraham,” while he is overwhelmed by emotion, putting his face in his hands while tears pour down his cheeks. After the cake is placed in front of Abraham, he rushes toward his adopted father, Joe, and kisses him before the candles are lit.

    “What an amazing gift He has given us. What a gift that moment brought. Amazingly simple and yet profoundly important,” she wrote in her Facebook post. “As it unfolded it dawned on me that Abraham would have no idea what ‘make a wish' meant so we let him have a redo.”

    In an interview with Queen City News, Abraham expressed the deep meaning that he experienced when he was presented with his cake. “We never knew about something called a birthday,” he explained. “It is like God is revealing the many blessings you have. Everyone in the world is showing you the most sincere love they've ever offered. This is what it feels like to be a part of the cake you've always wanted.”

    In October 2021, Joe and Jamie Walker adopted brothers Abraham and James after they became acquainted with the brothers, WCNC reported. It all started when Joe “took a trip down to Sierra Leone with his friend who started an orphanage there.” While in the orphanage, Joe got to know James, and the two struck up a friendship.

    After Joe returned home from Sierra Leone, James kept up with the Walker family via monthly Skype sessions. However, trouble struck during the following months when James was “forced out of the orphanage,” according to the newspaper. Joe bought a cellphone for James to stay in touch, and when James was back in his home village, Joe got to meet his older brother, Abraham, virtually, WCNC noted. With the help of a group, he devised a way to bring the children into an orphanage. After a second excursion to Africa to meet the two, Joe had an epiphany.

    “And by then we had formed this really special connected bond,” Joe said to WCNC. “And I got back home from the trip and told my wife: ‘I think there's more to be demanded from us.'”

    When they were presented with the prospect of adoption, their four children were immediately enthused about the idea of having James and Abraham as their new siblings. The Sierra Leone siblings were eager to be part of the Walker family, WCNC noted. The siblings moved to their new home in the fall after delays in the adoption process due to the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent restrictions.

    “I love them more than they can ever imagine in the world,” Abraham stated to Queen City News of his adopted family. “They're the ones that showed me to the world, and showed me what happiness is, and showed me what love is, and showed me what it means to have a family around you. I really, really want to say thank you to them for that.”

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