Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hunter.... Our 2 Pound 13 Ounce Miracle!

Friends and Family~
 Our journey to Baby Smith #2 has been long, tiring, and difficult... and oh-so-worth-it!

There were times we thought this day would never come... those times are still fresh in my mind.

To say that we are excited... is an understatement.
To say that we have waited for this day for so long... is an understatement.
To say that the story we are about to tell you is miraculous... is an understatement.
Because it will take time for us to unfold our story... this miraculous, perfect story... we'll start simply...
Our last adoption update was back in April (if you haven't read it, or if you need a refresher, click here to catch up). And that's where we'll pick up...
It wasn't 5 minutes after hanging up with the adoption attorney in Florida that I picked up my own phone... I was feeling panicked, slightly crazy, and like I was on a downward spiral... desperate. I called the agency that helped us bring Hannah home. We hadn't spoken to them in a while and hadn't even told them that we had moved and were only a couple hours away from them. I didn't think it would hurt to let them know... and plug in the fact that we were more than ready for our family to grow.
We had just said "no"... again. I was desperate for direction... for something.
D, the director, answered her phone on the first ring...
"Lindsay! How are you?!"
"It's so good to hear your voice! We're good... we live a couple hours away now and I thought I'd let you know that we're ready to make Hannah a big sister. We've tried persuing private adoption but it's bee tough. You'll be hearing from us soon, I'm sure. How are you?!"
"I think I know why you're calling me...."
And she proceeded to tell me a story... a story that will change our lives forever.
In late March, a baby was born... he was delivered by emergency C-Section because the doctors were having trouble keeping his heart-beat stable and rhythmic. As a result of the efforts they made to control his heart-beat in utero, he developed Fetal Hydrops (his body began to swell with fluid and that fluid was pressing on his organs).  He was delivered at 30 weeks gestation... delivery was more of a precaution for his mom because of how his conditions were affecting her. Baby boy wasn't expected to live through delivery.
Baby boy's mama had planned to place him for adoption.... but thought she had 10 more weeks to plan.
She didn't.
The hospital social worker contacted the agency and they began working with her to make a plan for him. Her plans were put on hold because day after day, doctor's would prepare his mama and the agency for his death... his conditions continued to be compounded by complications and at 2 pounds 13 ounces, there wasn't much hope for his future.
His mama signed her papers the day she was released, she said goodbye to him, and promised to visit him on Easter Sunday... knowing there was a good chance he wouldn't live that long.
He did.
And when he was 3 weeks old, just one day before my phone call to D from a hotel room in Florida, the hospital had called her...
"Baby boy is stable. He's breathing on his own, tolerating his feeds through his NG tube, and he's keeping his temperatures up. His future is complex and we're not sure all that it will entail. What h needs most right now is someone to bond to. He needs a family here... by Monday."
The agency hadn't put any effort into matching Baby boy with a family... how can you when his chances of survival are so small?! D said she had spent hours the night before pouring over the agency's family profiles... she needed to find a family who was 'open' to heart problems, prematurity, low birth-weight, a condition as complex as Hydrops, and the list was growing and would just continue to grow. She also needed to find a stay-at-home mom... it was stressed that Baby boy would need continuous medical care and constant stimulation to ensure as much of a future as possible for him.
She had no families that fit the bill.
I interrupted her...
"D... what if...."
Her turn to interrupt...
" I think he might be your son."
I can't remember much of what followed... packing, driving, praying...
We went home to Hannah, unpacked, packed again, picked up Joey's mom, and drove several hours. We had plans to meet with Baby boy's team of specialists on Monday morning. We needed a good picture of this baby, of his possible future, and Hannah was at the fore-front of our minds, too.
We met our social worker in the hospital parking lot on Monday. She walked us into the NICU. The doctor's weren't ready... We were early.
"Do you want to see him?"
And we did.
He was 3 pounds 5 ounces the day we met him.
He was tiny. Almost invisible.
He was beautiful. Perfectly made.
Joey asked to hold him. He was the first person besides the nurse to hold him...
Baby boy opened his eyes and looked right into Joey's.

Joey looked into my eyes...
He nodded.
I cried.
Our son.
Our 2 pound 13 ounce miracle.
His story is bigger and longer than he is.
The story of the next 5 months of our lives will take us almost that long to tell...
And it is full of miracles every step of the way.
For now, we are praising the Lord for the miracle that is our son...
the one we thought we were waiting for...
When the truth is...
He was waiting for us.
This second adoption is unique; because we lived away from home for quite a while in order to be close to Hunter's NICU, and because his hospital stay was so long, and medical conditions were so complex, our agency asked us to refrain from putting Hunter on any form of social media. If we know anything about our agency, it's that they always have our best interest in mind. Keeping Hunter a 'secret' from Facebook and from this blog... from all of YOU who have encouraged us, prayed for us, and waited with us for this long... was one of the hardest things we've ever had to do. We are completely overjoyed to finally be able to tell his story over the next few weeks and yes, even months... his story is still unfolding.
Today, Hunter is 7 months old. He has changed our family forever.... we are so so excited to continue telling his story; the ups and downs of life in the NICU, moving in order to be near him, being prepared (a couple times) for his death, the miracles in his life, meeting his big sister for the first time, moving AGAIN to be near his team of specialists, life with a preemie, the (overnight) transition from 1 child to 2... and so much more! Hunter is growing and thriving and Hannah is the most amazing big sister... God told her heart that she was a big sister long before we knew; we can't wait to tell that story, too!

We have finally found Baby Smith #2.... but our story is just beginning!

Remember this picture??

More SOON... for now, a smile


  1. Such an amazing story and how listening to God gave you the perfect son. So happy for you! Congratulations

    Sandra Kirk Guerin

  2. I love finally getting to read a post like this that I have been praying for, for months. Congratulations and may our God truely and abundantly bless all FOUR of y'all!!!!! I can't wait to hear more.

  3. Congratulations! I deeply admire your faith that God would bring your family together, and I am thrilled that His plan has brought you all to this point. Your family is proof of His greatness!

  4. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow! That's all I can say! Miracle is right! We don't personally know one another but I'm an adoptive momma to two miracles also! I follow your FB page and blog. Our son's story of entering our family is also insanely complex and full of wow miracle moments. So I can appreciate the story you have to tell and look forward to reading it! How you've kept it a secret for so long is a miracle unto itself, though, haha! ;)

  5. I have chills all over. I am praising God for you and for your family.I know only to well what you a have been through. My two youngest are adopted and we feared for my daughters life and health (praise God she is healthy and perfect) We are waiting for our third blessing and your story is a reminder that when it is "our" baby it will happen and will be perfect.

  6. Oh my goodness! AWESOME!! He's so handsome... Congrats Smith Family! Love, Elissa Hunt

  7. Oh my word! I.m so happy for you! What a handsome little man! Congrats Smith Family... from Elissa and Ellie Hunt

  8. I think this is the most amazing adoption story I've ever read. Wow! I am just speechless. You were definitely meant to be his parents. How miraculous to see God's plan so clearly laid out now and to see how God speaks to the hearts of children. Congratulations! I can't wait to read more about Hunter!

  9. Tears tears tears!!! God is so faithful and you all have been so faithful in waiting so very long for your sweet son! You were truly the perfect match made in Heaven!

  10. Congratulations!!!! Looking forward to reading more about your precious son.

  11. Oh' tears of happiness. He's beautiful. I love him. My baby boy was born early just a 3lb-er and I can't imagine him in the NICU all alone... I know the nurse's there are the best of the best but they aren't a his Mommy or Daddy. You are amazing and this baby is so lucky to have you, and I can tell you are lucky to have him.

  12. Don't know how I came across this , but I had a 29 weeker. I love to read other NICU stories. I'll have to catch up on the rest of his story! ( Lucy's nicu story--


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