Decades after Cobb woman sponsored Lebanese orphan, she finally meets boy she helped support

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A Cobb County woman who spent more than 20 years helping to support a Lebanese orphan finally got to meet him in person.

Channel 2s Berndt Petersen was in Cobb County, where Pat Wroten, 89, lives at the Woodland Ridge Assisted Living Center.

A few days ago, Tarek Ajile came to tell Wroten thank you.

Ajile grew up in an orphanage in Beirut and first got a letter from Wroten when he was just five years old. Through a Christian-based organization called Kids Alive International, Wroten helped support Ajile.

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“You know, she was my sponsor for two decades,” Ajile said. “That’s a lot of commitment. That’s a lot of love. It gave me the feeling I was cared for. For a child or a teenager, a feeling that you’re cared for and have worth, and you matter. That gives you all sorts of hope.”

The pair traded letters for over 20 years, but Wroten recently lost touch with Ajile when she moved to her senior living home.

Ajile moved to America a few months ago, and the first thing he wanted to do was visit her.

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Beth Wroten, Patt Wroten’s daughter, just happened to be at the facility when Ajile showed up.

“I had just arrived, and they told me there was somebody here to give my mother flowers,” Beth Wroten said. “I was like, who is that?”

Pat Wroten suffers from dementia, and may not have remembered Ajile or what she did to help him, but it was a sweet visit.

“I think she was very happy to see him. She felt a good sense of ‘This is someone I’m connected with, that I knew.’ I think she did,” Beth Wroten said.

Ajile said she didn’t remember who he was, but he was able to thank her and show her pictures of his family.

“Maybe she didn’t understand her own kindness even, but I knew she understood my words,” Ajile said.

Janet Johnson, Pat Wroten’s other daughter, said her mom has always touched a lot of hearts.

“I don’t even know whether she realizes how many people she impacted throughout her life,” Johnson said. “She did it because it was a natural thing for her to do.”

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