It began with a challenge.
Jim Caviezel, the actor known for playing Jesus in “The Passion of the Christ,” had been outspoken about his Catholic Christian beliefs. Wondering if he was as committed to his values as his words indicated, a friend said to him, “(Not) unless you adopt a child – and not any child but a disabled child. – will I believe in you.”
Caviezel’s response - “Okay, so when I do, will you become pro-life?”
The friend indicated he would.
That conversation led Caviezel and his wife Kerri on a journey to China where they met a five-year-old boy named Bo living in an orphanage. During an interview on the radio program “Christopher Closeup,” Caviezel recalled that Bo was abandoned on a train as a baby and grew up in the orphanage. At the facility, children were told “that they had no mommy, that they were born out of the dirt.”
Bo had a more significant challenge besides his living circumstances. He had a brain tumor that threatened his life. Caviezel and his wife adopted Bo and supported him through his brain surgery when they didn’t know if he would live or die. Bo remains a beloved member of the Caviezel’s family today.
So what happened with the friend who said that if Jim adopted a sick child, he would become pro-life?
Caviezel says, “He didn’t make good on his word. But it didn’t matter to me because the joy that we had from (Bo) – he’s like our own.”
In fact, Jim and Kerri went on to adopt another orphan – this one a five-year-old girl also with a brain tumor. The couple originally planned to adopt a healthy newborn girl, but when they met the sick child they realized that the healthy baby would find a good home; the sick one wouldn’t. She was then welcomed into their family as well.
Jim confirms that he and Kerri have no regrets about adopting two kids whose health was in question – “We took the harder road...That is what faith is to me; it’s action. It’s the Samaritan. It’s not the one who says he is; it’s the one who does – and does without bringing attention to himself. I’m saying this because I want to encourage other people. Yes, you do feel fear, you do feel scared but you have no idea the blessings that you have coming to you if you just take a chance on faith.”
(To download the free podcast of Jim Caviezel's interview on "Christopher Closeup" during which he also discusses the challenge of being a Christian in the modern world and his latest project - The Word of Promise New Testament Audio Bible - visit www.christophers.org/closeuppodcast.