For those you who are curious, I am originally from Ethiopia. 21 years ago, my parents heard a story on NPR about an agency placing children for adoption from Africa. They had 2 birth children and 2 adopted children already and after hearing the story on NPR they contacted the agency to learn more. The director of the agency, Americans for African Adoptions, had recently returned from Addis Ababa and told my mother about a little boy she had met in an orphanage there. He had had polio and walked with great difficulty using heavy braces and crutches. That was me! To make a very long story short, I came to live in America with my new family 2 years later!
Anything is possible
It took a long time for my family to bring me home and while I was waiting I contracted tuberculosis of the spine. I was dying. When I got to America I went straight to the hospital to get healthy. I didn't speak English but my first new word was juice! I had 2 surgeries to fuse my spine, gained lots of weight (no more starving Ethiopian) and started school for the first time. I was introduced to wheelchair sports and traveled all over the country competing in wheelchair track and field as well as basketball with my sister who also uses a wheelchair. After graduating from high school I took a tour of Guilford Technical Community College and saw a welding class. I knew right away I wanted to try it but my parents were worried about my safety. They agreed to let me try welding after the instructors said they could make it work and keep me safe. I fell in love with welding! I graduated with an Associates Degree in Welding Technology. I got my first job at Isometrics while I was still in school, moved on to a job at Tube Specialties in Statesville, NC and am now back at Isometrics. I am a hard headed, hard working, funny artist who enjoys creating new designs out of metal. What I have learned in my 21 years here is that anything is possible as long as you have a strong mind and dreams. Thanks to my parents for saving my life and making those dreams come true. I would give my life to them if need. I created my instagram @IvesRublee account to help others see the possibilities.