Adam, Raja, Elliot, and Jessica.

Life of the Week: Couple adopts baby whom others called a curse

Adam, Raja, Elliot, and Jessica.
Adam, Raja, Elliot, and Jessica.

For nine months, Adam was carried in his biological mother’s womb. He was safe with her, until the day he was born. Shortly after his birth, in a hospital in India, Adam was abandoned. He had been born with severe physical deformities.

No one in his family wanted him. Not one of them opened their heart or home to him. He was a child whose life many in this United States of abundance would deem unworthy of living.

When doctors told Adam’s family that they could not just abandon their child, their response was quite frank. His family said they would kill him. His village said they would poison him. So Adam stayed in the hospital and waited for his true family. He didn’t have to wait long.

Within the same hospital as Adam was a young couple, married for just six months – Raja Paulraj, a psychiatrist at the hospital and Jessica Cooksey Paulraj, a nurse and nursing teacher. They heard about this abandoned baby, and they went to him.

The Paulrajs loved Adam upon first sight. Doctors told them that he wouldn’t live long, maybe only a few weeks. But the young couple adopted him anyway. As Jessica writes on her blog:

As we were reading thru Paul’s letter to Rome in chapter 8 we were confronted with our own adoption as His sons and daughters. And when Adam was abandoned at our hospital due to significant physical deformities, we were awakened to the reality of our own spiritual condition before our adoption and His extravagant, sacrificial Love that adopted and redeemed us.

Adam was diagnosed with Bartsocas-Papas, a rare condition that brings with it physical abnormalities. He was born without eyelids or a nose, with a severe cleft palate and lip, with major hand abnormalities, and with legs which were fused together. His brain, lungs and heart are healthy. Most people with this condition die in the womb or shortly after birth. There are only 24 known cases. Raja and Jessica were told to simply keep Adam comfortable.

But the couple reached out to their friends, and an email to a one such friend at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill brought about the miracle they were seeking. Within two months of his birth, Adam was in North Carolina having his first round of surgeries which included one to give him eyelids to prevent him from losing his sight, and one to fix his cleft lip.

Surgeries, however, are expensive. Yet within days, the Baby Adam Fund was established and over $140,000 was quickly raised to help Raja and Jessica provide Adam with the health care he needs. In fact, despite the poor prognosis Adam was given, he will turn two years old in a few weeks. He has also become a big brother.

Just this week, Adam had surgery to give him a palate. This brings about the hope of being able to eat and speak. In the future, Adam will have the use of prosthetic legs and hands. But even without those gifts, Adam – a child his own family saw as a curse – has love and joy. He is full of energy, he squabbles with his brother, and he is like any other little boy.

In an interview with their local ABC news channel, Raja says:

I just see Adam as someone so beautiful. Often we kind of look at the abnormal things, but we kind of miss the beautiful things that lie behind this abnormal, so-called, abnormal thing.

Jessica and Raja are ordinary people who followed God’s calling for them. They saw a child in need of love, of a home, of a family and they provided for him. In this act, the couple is the perfect example of a truly pro-life spirit. A spirit that holds all life as precious and worthy and beautiful.

Everyone is wanted by someone.

Adam will need many more surgeries, but since he is not yet a U.S. citizen, he does not have health insurance. To help Jessica and Raja continue to afford Adam’s care, you can donate to the Baby Adam Fund.

Editor’s Note: This summer, we will be providing you with a Life of the Week story every Friday. Our previous Life of the Week articles are here:

Please come back each Friday to find a new featured Life of the Week!

  • Maria L B

    <3

  • Eric

    Beautiful!

  • Tammy Owens

    May God continue to bless this wonderful family!!

  • Christine Clarke

    What a beautiful couple,filled with so much love.What a wonderful world it would be if people loved more.May God bless them all.

  • samantha

    god has nothing to do with this story, morality, love, and compassion is all i see. how the hell can people sit there and say their god is so great and all that and may he bless this family, if you’re god is so great shit like this wouldn’t happen to undeserving innocent child. but i will say i’m very happy he has a family to give him a life he wouldn’t have gotten in his home country, and i love seeing that so many people have donated their money and helped to give this boy a chance, but all of that boils down to a couple of things. knowing whats right, doing the right thing, and loving a child who had no choice in the matter, not some god. i’m sorry but i find it hard to give praise to something/someone that would let things like this, and so much more worse and horrible things, happen to those who did nothing to deserve it. it just annoys me that the first thing i always see in these types stories is praise for you’re god. the god that lets these things happen in the first place. it makes absolutely no sense to me.

    • Christa

      I understand what you are saying and why you seem upset but (and pretend for a moment that you believe God exists) God works in many different ways. Often, people look at the terrors of this world and say “if God was so great why is this happening” but if it was perfect why would we need heaven? and wasn’t it fine before we first started to sin? Also, one way that God influences us is through the bible (which seems confusing or misleading if you read it without taking into account the historical implications at the time, that it consists of poems, narratives, and prayers and are meant to be read as such, etc.) and through it we are shown how to live and, through some parts, God’s own heart (such as the passage asking us to care for the widows and the broken). This couple specifically said that there was a passage from the bible that had influenced them and so in this case at least I would say that God did have a hand in this. Finally, consider this: do you know what I am thinking? do you know what your neighbor is thinking or your friends are thinking at any given time? Well you probably shouldn’t and that’s okay but imagine a being so powerful and all knowing as compared to us and maybe you can see why it is silly (and many Christians do it too) to pretend that we know what God is doing or why He is doing it.

    • Sweetnyss

      There is sin in this world. That us why things like this happen to people. First of all they’re Christians and they Thanked God for him bringing the opportunity to adopt this child. For the opportunity to give him a good life. He’s your God too. Whether you acknowledge him or not. If the world was perfect it would be the garden of Eden and we’d all be wandering around naked and not knowing it. You expect for things to be perfect yet you get to live any way you want? SIN is the reason things happen and God has nothing to do with sin. He didn’t choose it. Now I didn’t say that baby sinned, Before anyone opens their mouths about it, I said there’s sin in the world. Why is there radiation and guns, and disease, because we have made things, we have put things in place, we were given perfection and turned from it because we thought we could have something better. You and I aren’t at fault for the garden of Eden however how often do you strive for perfection? To come on a story such as this and be a potty mouth is rude enough. They did this because they feel it was the Lords plan. Instead of bashing why they did it, why not praising the fact they did it instead of calling them idiots for believing in God. No one said “I’m sorry Mr. Martin Luther King Jr.. You may not fight for equality and slave freedom because you believe in God. It’s not allowed.” God loves you whether you believe in him or not, however, you have a choice, to live as you please, believe as you please, but one day you will answer for your choices. I hope you’re ready.

      • Sunflower2051

        This is a wonderful story that truly exemplifies the kindness and love of real humanity, as practiced by many people, across the spectrum of religion, spirituality and moral decency. Your “sin spin” casts a sad shadow on truly loving, truly devoted Christians. You, “Sweetnyss” (what an ironic choice of names) are not one of those.

    • Ruby

      Your giving God credit by saying LOVE… GOD IS LOVE!! GOD is in these people & doing this thru them. If there wasn’t a GOD you couldn’t use LOVE in your statement. There is a satan in the world.. The bad is from satan. God is a loving God & gives us choices… We aren’t robots we are His children only when we accept HIM & want Him in our lives … That is the difference. We either accept Jesus & HIS sacrifice on the cross for our sins or we let satan have control of our lives. There is NO other way. One or the other. You may think you are in control but you was created by GOD & His likeness it is there whether you like it or not.. Prayers for your Soul..GOD IS GOOD!!!

    • 4Life

      Since when is it up to God to fix everything on earth that we humans, in our errant nature, screw up? And what makes you so sure that this is “shit”? Perhaps your life (and mine) is “shit like that” and this little boy’s life was God’s plan (very much not “shit”)?

    • Alden Smith

      Wow that is a great emotional argument from someone that is suppose to champion reason

    • Beth

      “Why are there so many sick people in the world? There are plenty of doctors & physicians everywhere! I’m sorry, but I find it hard to give praise to someone who would let things like suffering & sickness happen to so many people who did nothing to deserve it…” Do you even hear yourself? <<That is how you sound. A child can trip & fall even with his own father by his side. The parent didn't deliberately let it happen though & if he's a loving father, he will help his child up & embrace him with open arms. God can't guarantee our happiness & safety, but what he can guarantee are open arms ready to love & forgive anyone who seeks it.

    • luigibelmont

      God create all thing and as Jesus said sickness or thing like this hard case are allowed to happened because love is glorify. I know is difficult to accept but God can do whoever him like with his creation.

    • figlio di Dio

      Sam, you have no clue about what you wrote about God. If you read His Word, the Bible, you’d know that this wonderful couple who received this wonderful baby in their lives, simply did it because they were received by God. They simply acted like their Spiritual Father!!!

  • Tracy Adler

    A wonderful story about true love, times two. May the Lord bless you and continue to bless others through the life of Adam!

  • Donata

    Like this is such an incredible story of love. God BLess this amazing family. God bless you Adam.

  • Alycia

    God Bless Adam and his family. Thank you father for providing for them so that Adam can get the things he needs.

  • Dewi

    Adam, you are one precious child! God bless this family!

  • Harry Wang

    Nice of you to bash the United States (“He was a child whose life many in this United States of abundance would deem unworthy of living.”) when it was the United States who helped him. Poor journalism.

    • Ellen

      This is not a slur, but a statement of fact, which is not poor journalism. Nor is it about the United States. It is about “many people” who live here not thinking such a child will not have a life worth living. And that is absolutely true. We abort babies like this one (and those with other “abnormalities”) if we know about their condition before we see them with our own eyes. There are also people (maybe even “many”) who believe that allowing a child like this to be born is unethical. Some people” who also live here feel differently. They gave money and provided medical care. And, the writer is, as far as I can discover, an American. It would not, however, be poor journalism if it were written by a citizen of another country because it is simply a statement of fact. This is what journalism is about.

    • Joe

      I think the point was that even in the US, where we have the resources that helped him, most babies with known birth defects (often far less challenging than this baby’s condition) are aborted. That’s factual and on point: hence, it’s good journalism.

      • Sunflower2014

        Joe, the way you phrased it IS good journalism – factual and on point. No editorial intent to stir up emotion or make judgment, which is what the author here did, and that is not good journalism.

        • Athanasius De Angelus

          Making judgment is good because it our country we have aborted 55,000,000 babies. Many I bet were healthy babies. We are a disgusting generation!

    • Damien Johnson

      It’s not bashing the United States. People here DO suck.

    • Joseph Crockett

      The United States didn’t help him, a loving couple in India helped him.

  • j.Blake

    The link in this article does lead to a page where the Baby Adam Fund is available. Can you repost a link?

    • Mama O

      I clicked on the link and it didn’t take me to a place to donate–only the generic UNC page and no Baby Adam site.

    • Mama O

      I clicked on the link and it didn’t take me to a place to donate–only the generic UNC page and no Baby Adam site.

  • meghan

    you guys are the lords angels. you guys rock.!!!!!

  • Rebecca Ali

    you got blessed by god and blessed by adam god will help with adam and watch over you all

    • MajForesight

      Do you wish God would bless you with horrible deformities too?

      • 1TSMommy

        I really don’t see what your problem is? Yes, MajForesight, we all wish for horrible deformities too. Is that better? How is that even relevant? You support abortion? Got it. You don’t believe in God and don’t want anyone else to? Got it. The child wasn’t aborted and was adopted by people who are glad he wasn’t aborted. He’s not a citizen so his operations and health care costs aren’t born by tax payers but he’s getting donations from people who of their own free will choose to donate.

      • Cortney Twila

        God sends his choice spirits who are already perfect to this life with those physcial abnormalities because they are much stronger than we could even imagine. Adam is a choice spirit. We all have our own unique traits and differences that we have been blessed with.

  • rugbygurl6

    God will bless this couple abundantly. A sore curse upon the mother and the hospital that wanted to kill this innocent baby. He did not ask to be born with these deformaties, but it happens in third world countries, because of poor health care.

  • rugbygurl6

    God will bless this couple abundantly. A sore curse upon the mother and the hospital that wanted to kill this innocent baby. He did not ask to be born with these deformaties, but it happens in third world countries, because of poor health care.

  • luigibelmont

    A very difficult choice that only God can had sustain. extreme love.

  • princessjasmine45

    Why is this not on the cover of Time Magazine?
    Where’s Jezebel on this? Mother Jones? RealtyCheck?

    Oh, right… they would have only praised this story if it ended in a life ending.

    • Basset_Hound

      They would publish a tear-jerking story seeking to justify the couple for killing the child because they didn’t want him to be an object of stares and ridicule from thoughtless people.

      • princessjasmine45

        Exactly

  • Greg

    Great! That is what transformed minds and hearts in Christ do! In Islam is forbidden to adopt. But isn’t all about adoption?????

  • N’s Mom

    Shriners Hospital for Children might also be a source of help for Adam. My adopted daughter receives care through the hospital in Springfield, MA – at no cost to my family. She has had 4 surgeries to date, with two more in the future. She was born with a cleft lip and cleft palate (Russian born, adopted to USA).

  • Sheena Booths Stiffler

    Beautiful family!

  • Viola Martini

    Adam and Jessica are my new heroes! Such an inspiration…

  • bemusedmuse

    bless that lovely boy and their family!

  • Preston

    I think it’s important for everyone who reads this site to know the actual views held by its architects. Here is the latest:

    Question:
    “Do you believe pregnant women should be legally allowed to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes? Yes or no”.

    Answer:
    “I wouldn’t mind if it were illegal to sell either to pregnant women”.
    Drew Belsky, Communications Director, @LiveActionFilms.
    Deputy Editor, @AmericanThinker.

    This answer does not come from a nobody. Drew is one of the shapers of this site. Note also that Drew is a male who will never be affected by his idea; he will still be free to buy anything his heart desires. Does Lila Rose agree? Is there a circumstance where a woman like Lila could appear pregnant when she is actually not? I encourage all of you to ask this question of her and all the female contributors on this site until you get answers. And if they are evasive, that speaks volumes.

    Who among you agrees with Drew’s statement? Who wants to live in a town, state or country where his answer comes true? If personhood bills become law, would it then be possible for a legislature to pass a bill promoting Drew’s idea? I’ll let you answer that.

  • Steven

    Besides the title misusing the word ‘whom’ it was a wonderful article.

  • MajForesight

    Pretty White girl gets married to an Indian (everyone wants a women who was birthed by a White couple). Liberal interracial couple then adopts malformed Indian baby who’s life will be miserable because of his condition. That child will grow up wishing he was aborted. The Liberal idiocy thrives.

    Everyone who praises this article, please answer me this: Do you wish you could go back in time and be born as malformed as this child? Do you wish you could relive your entire life in pain and suffering? This kid could have died even before it was conscious and never knew what pain his future life would bring.

    I always cringe when I watch documentaries about handicapped children who were purposely given thousands of dollars of medical care just to keep them alive as a sloth like vegetable when they had the option of abortion before they were even born. Making a child purposely live as nature’s mistake, disgusting.

    • Athanasius De Angelus

      Oh my, you are pure SATANIC! Your mouth is disgusting MajForesight!

      • MajForesight

        I once saw a documentary about a girl born with no bottom half. She had to live a miserable life. Doctors said she wouldn’t make it past age 6 months. Her parents found out about the condition before she was born and could have aborted. Instead they made their daughter live a miserable life where she had to poo out her chest into a bag. She had so many surgeries and had to take so many pills just to stay alive. Keeping her alive stressed the parent’s marriage to the breaking point and they divorced and the girl died at like age 8 leaving her parents broke, divorced, and miserable. It was a ‘miracle’ that she was not stillborn. Yeah, what a ‘miracle’. What a ‘blessing’. If there is a God, he just played one hell of a bad prank on those parents.

        • MajForesight

          And their reasoning to not abort this future miserable child was that it was a ‘gift from god’. If that’s a gift, I would want a refund.

          • Athanasius De Angelus

            Be thankful MajForesight that YOUR parents did not abort you!

          • MajForesight

            If I was that child I would want to be aborted. No one wants to live like that. If he was aborted or even killed young, he would have never known the pain he will experience when (or if) he gets older.

          • Athanasius De Angelus

            YOU DON’T KNOW THAT. “Yeah daddy kill me, I won’t feel the ‘pain’ “. YOU sound like some WEIRD jack ass loser atheist who is INTO KILLING. How about a little compassion, troll? Give the child a better life on earth. Instead of promoting DEATH, LOSER! Tell me atheist, why don’t you go pray to the god of “random mutation” and ask “it” to reveal to you the locations of the transitional species.

          • 1TSMommy

            I would like to ask Stephen Hawkins if he wished he’d never been born.

          • 1TSMommy

            It just occurred to me that you and your life must be SO amazing! You live without pain and are physically perfect so everyone loves you automatically! It all makes sense why you simply can’t fathom why someone would want to live with deformity and challenges!

          • 1TSMommy

            It was in India, the child wasn’t aborted because the parents didn’t even know until he was born that he had deformities.

        • Seeker

          The love between the couple was not a True LOVE! True love only grows stronger and stronger under pressure, it over comes all obstacles, preserves all that is Good and Beautiful! The couple’s love failed before their Wedding Day! True LOVE between any married couple will never know that D word! God’s love is True. Any couple married in God’s Spirit and in His Truth will never face that D situation. To be able to love more each day in a marriage is a blessed marriage ~ God is within them. They live in His love and are also in His Spirit with His Truth. Suffering in the human race came from Sinning against God’s LOVE and denial of His Truth!

    • Heidi

      MajForesight–I think you bring up a very good point that Christians (including myself) should consider, your last line especially. We are supposed to be merciful and just, so what is mercy and justice in this case? Is living a life physically deformed and facing all the hardship that follows merciless? Or is there something inherently beautiful about life? That’s a difficult question that I do not know the answer to. Thanks for asking! I will be pondering this, for sure…

  • MajForesight

    You all say that God should bless these people??? Isn’t God the one that made this child have these horrible deformities in the first place? You should be cursing God for doing such horrible acts. Or was that the Devil? Didn’t God create the Devil? Or is this the Devil’s free will? If it is, if free will runs the universe, what is the purpose of God?

    • Athanasius De Angelus

      Oh my, you are sooooo twisted I don’t know where to begin. The parents are doing the WILL of God by adopting these handicap children. They are a blessing to the children because they are doing God’s will! They are showing us what DIVINE MERCY IS for they are showing us how to do God’s will. MajForesight, YOUR MOUTH IS FULL OF EVIL: “You should be cursing God for doing such horrible acts.” And you’re stupid too!
      You don’t understand theology (e.g. Original Sin) but you are just a clown atheist who enjoys shooting of your mouth!
      I guess I shouldn’t expect any nobility and sacrifice coming from a CLOWN like you!

      • MajForesight

        And the church bus crash that killed like 6 people last week… Was that “God’s will”? Where was their “divine mercy”?

        If God told you to kill your children to test your devotion to God, would you do it? It has apparently happened before according to the Bible.

        Please tell me all knowledgable one, if letting adopting defective offspring is the will of god, then is it also god’s will that these defective babies exist in the first place? Does God get off on seeing people accept his purposely created defects? What does that say about God’s character?

        • 1TSMommy

          Everyone is deformed or imperfect, if you will…some are outwardly more noticeable. What does it say about your character that you can’t see that a couple did a wonderful thing for a child. If there love is motivated by a passage in the Bible, or Christianity how does that harm you?

        • Athanasius De Angelus

          Hey accidents happen, so what, they have eternal souls, they will move on. Welcome to the world after Original Sin. These people loved God in this life and did His will (unlike you – Promoting death and destruction – and I don’t know where you will end up, seriously!) when they die they will see God. Period. God is the Author of Life, and the good people (who don’t promote death and destruction – unlike you) will see Him in Heaven. Worry about your own soul.
          Worry about your clown theory of “random mutation” which is being demolished by the scientific community at this very moment!

          “If God told you to kill your children to test your devotion to God, would you do it?”

          Jackass, God didn’t allow the death of Isaac, why don’t you read the Bible.

          However, didn’t you earlier STATE that: ” If he was aborted or even killed young, he would have never known the pain he will experience when (or if) he gets older.”

          YOU’RE THE CLOWN WHO IS PROMOTING DEATH AND DESTRUCTION NOT GOD.

          Death started with Original Sin because we disobey, however, Christ came into this world to lead us back to Heaven, Jesus came with an escape plan, Random Mutation Clown!

          • Dan Miller

            Athanasaius, you are correct in many of your rebuttals, but you are miles from the compassion you’re lauding this adopting family as having. If God were as bitter as you, he would have destroyed you like the village wanted to destroy that baby. God’s grace is best exemplified in that as dark and hateful as world is, He continually gives many of us another day to turn to Him. Are you filled with His love?

          • Athanasius De Angelus

            I’m not bitter, I’m putting people in their CLOWN place. Most people think that they know it all, perhaps my style is harsh – SO BE IT!

    • Nya

      Oh my gosh, get off your high horse and stop acitng like an immature idoit blaming God. This child is a blessing and he’s just like everyone else regarless of what he looks like on the inside or out. You’re a twisted, self-centered attention whore who needs to go back to second grade asshole.

    • Monte Harmon

      Christ died for sinful man and by doing is the foundation for the only belief system that sees the strong sacrificing for the weak as a noble act in and of itself, without regard to the outcome. If you don’t see any value in such actions, just say so.

    • TheSterling

      This world means nothing in the end, it is merely a test, a game, and you my friend are failing miserably. Go hang out in the Democrat godless sites and spew your hate there.

    • Ricky

      God saves, and eternally saves, our wretched souls after death. Earthly blessings and earthly hardships are equally irrelevant . If you ever realize that you’ll see the pointlessness of this overused atheist argument.

  • patty

    Oh what love these people have in them. It is truly a gift from the most high God.

    • MajForesight

      Yes, being born defective is such a holy “gift”.

      • MattGertz

        Read it again.

      • TheSterling

        Satan is everywhere and you my friend are a manifestation of it.

  • suziq589

    What an outstanding story of love and commitment.

  • Seeker

    Nothing can be more ugly than a deformed family spirit that throws away their own off-spring. Nothing can be more beautiful than a family whose love for each other nourishes a greater love for an unwanted as their very own. God always knows how to balance what is negative with what is positive! Praises to the Lord our God, thanks to Raja and Jessica! God’s special blessings be upon the Paulraj family ~ Raja, Jessica, Adam and Elliot! Adam will never knows that he is different from anyone else., it is a wonderful story! Love is Beauty! God is Beauty! We see heaven on earth~ we see God on earth wherever TRUE love is around. Only People of God who loves on the face of this God’s green earth can change things around~ that love has no geographical limits! Where there is LOVE, God is there!

  • Kate

    So beautiful, may God bless them for giving Adam a wonderful family that loves him.

  • http://www.myfullemptynest.wordpress.com/ myfullemptynest

    My husband is an immigration attorney, if you need help with that. You are great examples of Christ’s love. :)

  • Travis McCabe

    They would kill him? how anyone own biological family murder a child?

  • Paul Muto

    I thank God for what he has blessed Adam with and so appreciative of this couple that tells me there are people , worth allowing this world to continue existing for … so I say to Angels there is at least one couple !

  • Julia L.

    This is the kind of love that Christ has for us…unconditional. We are so “deformed” on the inside until we come to Christ and He transforms us…but He loved us from before we were even born. Raja and Jessica, you are a true testimony of Christ’s love…and God will bless and provide for you and your family in ways that are truly mind blowing. Thank you for your amazing story!

  • DARWIN

    why save him. obviously defective burdan on humanity. stupid morans.