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Me and Ross….oh yeah and Oprah too

April 22, 2009
     I know that some of you have heard a rumor that I was on the Oprah show.   It is true!   The show was taped on April 9th, but will not be viewed until sometime in the fall.  When I learn the date it will air I will let you all know!
     But…here is the story.  On  Tuesday April 7th at 6 AM I got a call telling me that the Oprah show  wanted me to be in Chicago on the 9th for a SURPRISE REUNION with one of our CSC kids, Ross.  The morning whizzed by with a million little details having to be worked out;  where was my passport? ( in Manila )  what was the status of my Visa? (it was up to date )  How could  I get my passport? ( they delivered it to my Hotel!) Could Oprah’s people get me a flight at this late date? (yes)  Could I get a flight to Manila at this late date? (yes)  could I possibly be ready to leave in hours?  (well….) so many more details too – and ALL of them went perfectly, what should have been impossible to do was very easily done in the end.  GOD IS GOOD.  It was just the beginning of the whirlwind though.   Final arrangements were in place at 1:30 pm and I had to leave for the airport at 5:30 pm.   I literally threw things in a suitcase.  I had only one outfit of "cold weather clothes"…so that is what I saved for the show.  I wore capris and a light weight blouse for the cold arrival in Chicago!  I was met at Ohare and helped through baggage pickup, then brought to the Trump International Hotel for the night!  WOW….I had a TV in my bathroom mirror!  I was told that I could get/do anything I wanted…that everything would be covered.  Ha…all I got was a bowl of brocolli cheddar soup!   I didn’t even leave my room.  Things had just happened so fast that it was nice to have NOTHING to do for a few hours. In the morning Oprah’s people picked me up and delivered me to the studio.  Everyone was so kind at the Harpo Studio,  they were helpful, explaining what was going to happen and when.  Just very friendly and down to earth people.  I was impressed!  I was not nervous at all!   I was just so excited to see ROSS!!    When I was waiting backstage,  they told me I would go out in a couple minutes,  Oprah was talking to Ross about his desire to come back to the Philippines to see me,  it seemed only about 30 seconds later that they told me  "GO" –  so…I went.  Walked out on stage with Oprah!  HA.   I don’t really remember what order things happened then….I know that Oprah gave me a big hug and that Ross and his family and I all exchanged hugs too.  Ross was a bit in shock to see me I know…showed all the emotion normal for a 16 year old boy in that situation though!  HA…gotta be cool and can’t show much emotion you know.  His smile was the greatest though! Oprah took control and told us all to sit down…we were all busy talking to each other.   I didn’t know where to sit because the only spot open was where Oprah had been sitting. She told me to sit where she had been…so (dumb I know) I asked her where she was going to sit!  She laughed and said that she would just sit on the arm of the couch by me.  So she did.   She was so calm and cool that I did not even think about her being one of the most influential people in the world.  She straighted my hair and asked a few questions of both Ross and I.  It was like sitting in someones living room and having a conversation really.  Just sitting on Oprah’s couch.  I enjoyed it.   We were onstage for maybe 5 minutes only…not sure how much of it will be "on air".  It was fun though!  Then we all went and sat in the front row of the audience…literally just a few feet from the stage.  Oprah talked to us a few times from stage and does alot of audience interaction as well.   The whole show is on "special families", there were at least four other families that were on the show but Ross and his family and I were the only ones actually there, live,  in the studio, all others were on pre recorded video.   That is my story!
     You need to know the start  of the story though too;   I first met Ross here in Cebu when he was one year old.  Carmelita (our social worker) and I were at a local hospital getting an abandoned newborn baby.  We got that baby but in the process learned that there was another abandoned baby in that nursery..and that he had been there for a full year!  We stated that we would take that baby as well…but were met with major resistance.  It seemed that the people in the hospital had taken a special liking to this little guy; we are not sure what the hospital was planning to do with Ross, but we knew that he needed to get out of there.  We had to ask the government for help; all of that paperwork took at least a couple of months.  But…Ross finally arrived at CSC.   Ross is a dwarf, we are not sure how much that fact played into the fact that he was not easily released from the hospital, but we know that he was not considered "normal".  I was still living in the house with the kids at that point so I was Ross’s housemother.   Through an amazing series of events ( they talk about this on the Oprah show ) a couple in Texas found out about Ross.  We received a letter from them asking about Ross.  To make a long story very short this couple was able to adopt Ross.  Joe and Becky  (Ross’s adoptive parents)are also dwarf’s !  They are very successful, love the Lord and are absolutely the perfect family for Ross!  I was able to escort Ross to his adoptive family in Texas when he was just under two years old.  What a blessing it was to see this family being made.  I spent a few days in Texas with them and left Ross in Joe and Becky’s very capable hands.  I did not see them again until we were reunited over 14 years later  on the Oprah show.  Joe and Becky adopted two more dwarf children after Ross.  They have a wonderful and close family. Ross is thriving in his family and has big dreams for his future.  AND…they all promised me that they will come to visit us in the Philippines and make it to a Banquet some year as well!  There are so many wonderful details to this story….but just know that God’s fingerprints are all over this story from my meeting Ross in that nursery so many years ago to our being reunited on the Oprah show on April 9th.  This is God’s story,  starring Ross,  with Oprah as the minor player!  That does not happen often! 
        After the show I was able to spend Easter weekend with my family in Minnesota. A special blessing.  It was a whirl wind though.  Worth it, but oh my I am still trying to recover.  It has been VERY busy here since I arrived back so have had early and long days every day.  I am looking forward to a calm sunday this sunday! 
        I will let you know the date the show will air when I know it.  At this point it looks like August or September.  
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