Eleven-year-old Becca Butler arrived at the theater early. She was wearing her civilian clothes. Plaid shirt. Jeans.

The band was doing a soundcheck when she walked in. I was behind the piano.

“Hi, Sean!” we could all could hear her say.

She was waving wildly. Namely, because this is a child who doesn’t do anything halfway. Even, for example, waving.

Becca used her white cane to navigate her way onto the stage, which was crowded with microphones and cables and degenerate musicians who, if it weren’t for our wives and our vans, would be—technically—homeless.

Becca is blind. And I am perpetually fascinated by her ability to move through unfamiliar environments using only her cane.

Sometimes, she even uses echo-location to gauge the the room she’s in.

“If she’s in in a new place,” her mother says, “sometimes Becca makes loud popping noises so she can hear the size of the room.”

The show tonight was in a big room. In Columbiana, Alabama, at the SONG Theater. These shows run all summer long, we feature music, humor, good friends, and musical guests from all over the Southeast. Tonight, Becca was my special guest. She was going to sing with the band.

Because, you see, Becca is a singer.

Becca has many other talents, mind you. She is a math-whiz. She has a prodigious memory. She can use her iPhone better than any electronics engineer in the Continental United States. But whatever else she is, she is a singer.

Singers are unique human beings. They were put here to ease sadness. Even if only temporarily.

Becca stepped up to the mic. Her voice is rich. Pure. She has perfect pitch. When she sings, you feel it. Not in your ears. But other places. Like your chest. And behind your eyes. Becca’s singing causes noses to run.

“She’s been singing ever since she started talking,” says her mother, Mina Butler.

Then, her mother showed me a video of Becca when she was a baby. In the video, Becca sits on the couch. Her eyelids won’t open all the way. Somehow, in the video, you can tell this is a child who’s been through a lot.

A whole lot.

In the video the toddler sings “Jesus Loves Me.” And even though Becca is practically a baby, the song hits like a falling Steinway. The words ring true when they come from Becca’s lips.

“…Little ones to him belong,
“They are weak, but he is strong…”

Becca’s story is not an uncommon one. Her birth parents didn’t want her. They simply walked away. They abused drugs, and suddenly they had a child with special needs. So they just left.

Becca lay on her back for the first stretch of her life. The back of her head was flat. She didn’t even know how to walk.

When Mina and Justin Butler sat in the back of the courtroom, the presiding judge said something to the courtroom along the lines of:

“No one is going to want this baby, not in her condition. Who knows what her mental capacity is going to be? Much less her other health problems.”

At the time, Becca had already undergone open-heart surgery, had been diagnosed with Turner’s syndrome, and she was developmentally delayed.

“They called her a drug baby,” says her mother. “Nobody knew what her prognosis would be, the judge didn’t think anyone wanted a drug baby.”

When a court case worker told the judge that Mina and Justin wanted to adopt the “drug baby,” the judge shook his head and said:

“Well, God bless them. I hope they know what they’re in for.”

Becca found a home with the Butlers. A good home. She blossomed faster than spring collards.

Eight months later, Becca and her new parents were back in the courthouse for adoption proceedings. The judge didn’t even recognize Becca.

By then, Becca was no drug baby. She had learned to walk and interact. And, boy howdy, could she sing.

When the caseworker announced to the judge that this was the same “drug baby,” the judge could not believe it. The judge took one look at the child.

“When that judge looked at her,” says Becca’s mom, “Becca surprised us all and held out her little hands and said, ‘Tada!’”

Tonight, Becca made her way onto the stage. She was wearing a pink gown. There were ribbons and flowers in her hair. A classic little girl.

She sang “Amazing Grace.” She received four standing ovations. Then she spoke to the audience. There were sniffles throughout the theater.

“This world is full of struggles,” an 11-year-old told her rapt audience. “But one day I’ll be in heaven, where there will be none. One day I will see again, and I’ll be looking at the face of Jesus.”



  1. Sharon Chewning - April 20, 2023 10:04 am

    Moist eyes for sure!!!❤️❤️❤️🥰

  2. Susan Scofield - April 20, 2023 11:53 am


  3. Gigi22 - April 20, 2023 12:22 pm

    Thank you for continuing to share Becca’s story♥️♥️ She is such a special young lady, and will continue to touch and bless everyone she meets, in person and through your words♥️♥️

  4. Julie Hall - April 20, 2023 12:31 pm

    I’m wrecked.

  5. Mac - April 20, 2023 1:12 pm

    A wonderful example of God’s grace working through this family!

  6. Carolyn Geck - April 20, 2023 1:46 pm

    ❤️❤️❤️ Yes Becca, you will👏👏🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

  7. Dee Thompson - April 20, 2023 2:23 pm

    Wow! This is one of your best stories, Sean. I saw the photo you posted on Facebook. What a beautiful little soul. As a person who adopted a 13 year old and a 10 year old who both had issues I can tell you this: never judge a child for things beyond their control, like their birth parents’ terrible choices. Children who are loved can astound you. My son has only one hand and he is a chef at an upscale restaurant here in Atlanta, and a tennis player and rock climber. He endured 8 years of abuse and neglect before he went to the orphanage in Kazakhstan. When I adopted him he was 10, and the size of a 6 year old, but his spirit was and still is amazing. He is very smart, ambitious, and incredibly kind. If only more people like the Butlers could see the beautiful potential in children, and not judge them by their birth parents, the world would be so much better…

    • pattymack43 - April 20, 2023 8:57 pm

      Yes!! Praising God for people like you!!

  8. Bubba Stubbs - April 20, 2023 2:45 pm

    Oh my Lord! What a beautifully encouraging story! Many thanks, Sean, for sharing it with us!

  9. pattymack43 - April 20, 2023 8:54 pm

    Thank you, Sean, for always writing about the wonderful people who would otherwise go unknown to us. Our Lord has given many, many blessed miracles to His people. Thanks to you, we get to learn about a few of them!! Keep on doing what you do, because we love reading what you write!!! Blessings to you and Jaime!!

  10. Josie - April 26, 2023 10:25 am

    What a beautiful story and with god we can overcome anything amen 🙏


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