Bridget McCain’s Bangladesh Orphanage

Bridget McCain Orphanage

Getty US-vote-McCain-Bangladesh-adoption by Julie Clothier Sister Shuporna (R) the nun who organised the adoption of US Presidential candidate John McCain’s Bangladeshi daughter Bridget poses with village children at the convent where she lives in the northeastern Bangladesh town of Kulaura on August 12, 2008. When John McCain's youngest daughter was introduced to the Republican National Convention this month, Sister Shuporna barely recognized the girl she cared for when she was born. The Bangladeshi nun looked after Bridget McCain, who was born with a cleft palate, in her first weeks of life at the Mother Teresa Home in Dhaka's old town.

Bridget McCain is the youngest daughter of the late Senator John McCain and she was adopted from an orphanage in Bangladesh, as a baby. The orphanage is in Dhaka and Bridget was placed there after a cyclone struck Bangladesh, in 1991, according to SBS. Unfortunately, Bridget was a very ill baby, with a cleft palate so severe that it was difficult to feed her.

The orphanage is called the Sisters of Charity of Mother Teresa Children’s Home and, the senior nun, Sister Olivet, recalled Bridget’s arrival to the facility. Olivet told Telegraph that, “When she arrived here she became the child of God. So this must be what God wanted her to be. It just happened for this lucky child.” Olivet was referring to Bridget being adopted by the McCains, into such a fortunate life, getting the medical attention she needed.

Sisters of Charity of Mother Teresa Children’s Home mainly consists of infants and toddlers. When talking about the reasons that many kids are brought to the orphanage, Sister Juanne, told Telegraph that, “Some of the children here come straight from the hospital. Sometimes the mother runs away right after delivering the baby. Sometimes the police bring in children who are abandoned in a street side or even in the dustbin.” Sister Olivet added that many give their babies up for financial reasons, because it is a very poor area. She also said that many mothers are unmarried, which is quite scandalous in the local culture.

The walls of the orphanage are adorned with images of babies, as well as religious pictures of Mother Teresa, Jesus Christ and Mary. There is a separate area for mentally handicapped children at the home as well and they are looked after by local women who volunteer to help with the kids.

Bridget McCain was adopted by Cindy McCain, who surprised her husband, John, with the news. In an interview with CNBC in 2000, Cindy McCain recalled the events surrounding Bridget’s unexpected adoption. According to The Huffington Post, she said that, “I found her in Mother Teresa’s orphanage when she was 10 weeks old in Bangladesh. She has a cleft palate; she had some other problems. And the nuns persuaded me to bring her home, and I did. I—I could do that. I was able to do that. And literally on board the flight home from Bangkok to Los Angeles, not having spoken to my husband, I decided I couldn’t c—I had to—I couldn’t let her go.”

She continued, “I had—she chose me. So she’s ours now. I came home and presented my husband with a new daughter that he didn’t know he had.”

Bridget underwent years of surgery to correct her cleft palate, which motivated Mom Cindy to become an advocate for the charity Operation Smile, according to SBS. Cindy has worked with the charity since 2001 and has even been known to put on scrubs, assisting in the operations.

Cindy revealed to Pilot Online that, after all her daughter’s surgeries, “She’s now a beautiful, beautiful girl. I think that’s a large part of why I do what I do for Operation Smile.”


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