Rahma, a Bedouin girl from the city of Rahat, arrived at ADI’s rehabilitative village in the Negev just a few months after her birth. She was suffering from a severe systemic injury, and the doctors who had been caring for her estimated that she had only weeks to live. But the professional staff at ADI knew that they could help Rahma advance well beyond her initial prognosis to live a long, happy, dignified, and meaningful life. In addition to receiving focused care from the ADI staff, Rahma received a great deal of love and attention from Shula and Meir Abergil, a Jewish couple from Moshav Ohad who fell in love with Rahma while visiting ADI for the first time. Shula and Meir became devoted to Rahma and visited her as much as her biological parents, staying in close contact with the family week after week.
Rahma, who is now a happy and loving 9-year-old, lives at home with her parents, having “graduated” from the rehabilitative village. Earlier this month, she returned to ADI to visit with the staff and her “adoptive parents.” It was a truly beautiful reunion that highlighted the healing powers of diversity and acceptance – both on the personal and societal levels.
At ADI, positivity prevails and love reigns supreme. Throughout the rehabilitative village, Jewish and Arab professionals check their political views at the door to work together to help children with severe disabilities from many backgrounds – secular, ultra-Orthodox, Ethiopian, Druze, Bedouin, and Arab – reach their fullest potentials. We can learn a lot from the disability community, starting with how to put aside our differences to bridge the gaps in our society and begin healing our world. The key is love without limits.