Ben has already overcome so many challenges! The fact that he is alive and thriving is a testament to grace as well as to his perseverance and that of the dedicated family and supportive friends who surround him. Now he faces a challenge that will need the support of his entire community!
In 1997 John and Peg adopted 3-y-o Ben from an orphanage in China. They soon found that the Strabismus (crossed eyes) they had known about prior to adoption was the least of his diagnoses. Soon, they were navigating one medical emergency and hospital stay after another in a sea of diagnoses. Ben, it turned out was so malnourished that he was near death. Several surgeries and hundreds of therapy hours later, Ben was on the road to recovery. The miracle of international adoption had literally saved his life!
But long-term, early childhood malnutrition and institutionalization resulted in significant developmental delay. Though he would never cognitively "catch up" to others in his age group, Ben became an active, healthy boy. Over the years, he ran track for Special Olympics, played soccer on an school adapted soccer league and played baseball with the Miracle League of the Triangle
Now 25, Ben uses assistive technology to communicate and is an incredibly affable, helpful and positive young man. He makes friends wherever he goes! But, Ben still functions much like a four–year-old. He will always need care.
Looking toward the future as they approach retirement, John and Peg realized that it would be best for Ben to peacefully transition from their home to a long-term group home sooner rather than later. They didn't want to wait for a family crisis to dictate that transition into whatever state-run group home would be available at that moment. Having toured some group homes, John and Peg knew they didn’t want to leave it to chance where Ben would end up!
For many years, hoping that Ben would one day be able to live there, the family has volunteered at a Peacehaven Community Farm. Peacehaven offers quality supported living and programming for special needs adults and also provides vegetables for local restaurants and produces a variety of hand-crafted products. Ben, loves it here. He enjoys doing farm work and the company of the other residents and staff. Peacehaven has become his happy place. It really is a perfect home for him. Most of all, this is the place Ben wants to live!
AND, Ben was recently offered a place at this remarkable farm! Here, he will be provided with not only a room and a place to hang his hat, but the structure and care he needs, as well as a sense of belonging and life purpose. He is eager to accept this placement and excited to move on to this new phase of his life. Good news, right?
Yes, but 24 hour, quality care is expensive. For Ben to live here, we will need over a thousand dollars a month beyond the resources he and his family can provide. For over ten years, Ben has been on a waiting list for a program that provides federal housing support for special needs adults but it is estimated that he is still 3-5 years away from receiving this funding. By then, this perfect placement will likely not have another opening.
So, John and Peg made a commitment to Ben to allow him to stay there for one year but he needs at least $16,000 more each year until federal funding is made available to him! It’s an amount that sounds impossible to them, so, at first they planned to say, “No” to the offer of placement.
But then they thought, Ben’s entire life has been one miracle after another so, John and Peg decided to ask and perhaps, together, all of Ben’s friends can make one more miracle happen for Ben!
Please support Ben's dream at whatever level you are comfortable. You can choose a one-time donation or monthly contributions.
Even if you are not able to contribute financially, please advocate for Ben by sharing his story!
We are grateful for all the people who love Ben;
to those who have been cheering for him
since those very first, very scary, early days
and to those who have become his friends along the way.
Thank you all for your loving support of this very special young man!