BOZEMAN, MONTANA — Less than two years ago, Quinn and Alyson Reddig of Minot, North Dakota adopted a deaf, blind, and facially disfigured Filipino child named Jomar.
But after a name change, some tender love and care, and medical attention, Ryder Reddig is all smiles.
Fresh from his latest round of treatments, the 12-year-old former orphan from Rehoboth Orphanage in Rizal is also showing off his new art skills.
The Reddigs celebrated his achievements in Bozeman Montana at Sacred Portion’s Hope for Orphans Gala, showing off their new artwork hat now represents Ryder’s continued journey — a far cry from his faceless self-portrait.
“It was really fun because we got to paint our own canvas with Eli, and he taught us all these fun techniques to use,” said his sister Jayden.
Working with a local Filipino artist in North Dakota, the painting, which sold for $1700. helps fund Sacred Portion Children’s Ministry — a humanitarian group and adoption agency that helped bring Ryder to the US.
“We often contemplate what the future would look like for a child like Ryder if God had not brought him to the Rehoboth Children’s Home, onto the ministry of the Sacred Portion Children’s Outreach, and into the arms of the Reddig Family,” said Shari Lee Kroon.
Since his arrival 18 months ago, Ryder’s smile and confidence have grown bigger after a series of medical treatments from celebrity doctors.
The difference can be seen from when we met him last Janurary in Los Angeles, to when we caught up in Bozeman.
“He had a very successful procedure where they took a tiny thigh muscle and put it into the cheek and they attached the nerve to it, and he had some immediate results with symmetry in the face,” said his mother Alyson. “We noticed a big difference in his speech right away because his lip was pulled up a bit. And then he got another eye.”
Ryder will most likely return to Los Angeles in late 2018 for follow up procedures; but until then, the Reddig family continues to be thankful for Ryder’s ongoing achievements — from his emotions, to his appearance, and his newfound talents.