Allison and Josh had a whirlwind romance, they met in college and were married by September of 2000. Over the years, their family grew larger and larger with four biological children and one adopted child named Micah. They were pretty certain that they would like to adopt again, so when two years later in 2015 Alison was asked by an adoption attorney if they were interested in adopting a baby boy, it didn’t take long for the couple to decide yes. When the call came to let the couple know the birth mother was in labor, she and Josh loaded up the van, rounded up their kids and hit the road for the 10-hour trip to the hospital in Durham, NC. On the way to the birth, the adoption attorney called back. What she would tell them would completely change their lives.
Alison explains that the adoption attorney- who was also a close- friend told the couple some incredible news. “She proceeded to tell me that the doctors at Duke had just completed an ultrasound and had discovered that there were, in fact, two babies soon to be born. I always have a hard time articulating the emotions that poured themselves over us in that moment. It was something akin to ecstatic, overwhelmed, terrified delight.”
The next couple of hours were a blur to the couple, as they quickly had to readjust from thinking about one baby, to two! However everything changed when Allison’s friend called back. “I’m so sorry to tell you this; they’re on their way now to do an emergency c-section, and they don’t think baby B will survive the delivery.” she explained.
The couple had so many emotions rushing through them as they drove the final two hours to the hospital “When we finally arrived, we found a small, but healthy, baby boy cuddling with the nurses on the postpartum floor. But in NICU lay a precious three-pound darling whom we would soon find out was born without a brain.” The couple say that they were told they didn’t have to take her, that they didn’t sign up for this.
“From opposite sides of the tiny incubator, Josh and I said in unison, ‘She’s our daughter.’ Our whole family spent the next 3 weeks at duke with her, cuddling, singing, crying, and praying. When she was stable enough, Duke graciously provided a medical transport to fly her to Children’s Hospital in our hometown of Birmingham, AL where she spent three more weeks in NICU.” After 44 heart wrenching days, little Ava Leigh Lewis was allowed to come home and spend some time with her twin brother.
Although they know that Ava will have a shorter life than most, they choose not to dwell on this, and instead cherish every moment with her. Josh tells us how not adopting Ava was never even an option. “It was the hardest easiest decision we’ve ever had to make” he said. “The kids are so wonderful with the twins, they have completed our perfect not-so-little family.”
If you would like to learn more or help this family in any way, visit the Lewis Family Adoption/Medical Fund.
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