The story of how a boy from Ghana was abandoned by his mother, left in the care of strangers, and eventually adopted by a stranger is the subject of a new documentary, “Dont Leave Me,” airing on PBS on Sunday.
The documentary is narrated by director Chris Zylka and features a group of families from across the U.S., including a New York City family who moved to a new town and an Ohio family who settled in New Jersey.
They were able to reunite with their lost children after the film was made.
“I’ve had this little group of kids since I moved here and they’re just so amazing,” said Zylkea, who was born and raised in Ghana and is now a film director in New York.
“They’re just kids, they don’t care.
I don’t even know what to call them.
They’re just like, ‘Mommy, you’re here, and you’re not leaving me.'”
Zylka told CNN that the children’s stories are heartbreaking and have a special resonance in his life.
“My heart hurts for the children that lost their parents, they have no parent in this country,” Zylkas said.
“And they have lost a family member, so it hurts even more.”
One of the children Zylkas met while working on the documentary is 11-year-old Hilde, who Zylkes adopted in 2014.
Hilde has been in and out of foster care, with the American Humane Association (AHA) calling for his permanent placement in an adult foster home.
Zylki said Hilde had been missing for six months when he first came to visit him.
“He came to see me and he just wanted to know what happened to me, and I was like, he’s never left me.
And he just kept on saying, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry,’ ” Zylkl said.
The film also documents the plight of another boy, 11-month-old Jumali, who has a long history of mental illness and has been treated at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Jumalis’ parents also moved to New Jersey, where Jumila has been living with her foster family.
Jumali was adopted by his adoptive father, who is now in his early 50s.
But when he and his adoptive mother, who also moved from Ghana, moved to the United States, he was left to fend for himself.
“They said, ‘You have to go, you have to come to the U.”
Jumalil told CNN.
“I don’t know what else to do.”
In the documentary, the father tells the story of his adoption.
It took six years to find him a new family, but the family eventually adopted him after his foster family helped them find a new home.