That’s Dr. Rick Wilkerson. Dr. Wilkerson says he formed a “strong bond” with the boy. Wilkerson and his wife, Barb, ultimately adopted Junior, but it took two years. The Wilkersons created a non-profit group called “LOVE Takes Root” to raise money to rebuild the orphanage school where Junior lived until the adoption was final.
When Wilkerson was on his medical misssion in Haiti after the earthquake, he found a 70-year-old woman trying to care for 50 orphaned children in a tent. Many were suffering from scabies, a highly-contagious skin disease. Wilkerson says that’s when the idea for “LOVE Takes Root” was born. Next summer, the organization hopes to open a secondary school in Haiti, next door to the elementary school for orphans it has already built.
Wilkerson and his wife are the parents of nine children, five of whom are adopted. That includes the boy Wilkerson met in Haiti, who is now an 8th grader in Spencer. Wilkerson aims for the “LOVE Takes Root” charity to expand its reach beyond Haiti, to help needy children in other countries.
If you’d like more information about “LOVE Takes Root”, you can visit their website at http://lovetakesroot.org