Tomorrow, November 8th, our baby boy turns five. He informed us a couple of months ago that he never had a “public” party, and so next week we will have a Cars party for him. He’s quite excited! On Sunday, November 9th, we celebrate the 4th anniversary of him officially joining the Huffman family. There have been many miracles in our little man’s life! He was born prematurely and weighed under 2 pounds at birth. We don’t know exactly how early he was born. Some records say he was a 28 weeker, and others say 32 weeks. The bottom line is that he was very tiny and sickly. His birth parents decided to take an extended trip after he was born, and he was left alone in the NICU. This is the part that breaks my heart! How I wish that I could have been there for him. In January the doctors decided that he was strong enough to handle hernia repair surgery. It was expected that after that he would go to a foster home. That surgery did not go as planned. For several years the only information we had was the doctor’s notes from his medical records. We knew that he was not expected to live. His social worker told us about how she stayed at the hospital with him all night waiting for him to pass away. Finally the doctors told her to go home. They said they would call her when it happened. That call never came! He made it! But, we never knew the full story of what exactly happened. I am a writer and a storyteller. I had to know my son’s story! I didn’t know if I would ever get to hear it. However, a couple of years ago we took him to a consult with a surgeon about a certain optional procedure that never got done at the hospital due to his other issues. The doctor that we went to also happened to be the doctor that did his hernia repair. I was doubtful that he would recall Will or that day, but I decided to ask anyway. I’m glad I did. The doctor looked at Will and I saw emotion in his eyes. He explained that in his career he has had 2 cases that impacted him to the point that he could remember every single thing that happened that day. Will was one of those cases! (God is so good!) He proceeded to tell us all the little details and he was able to fill in the holes. We asked him why Will was not expected to live. He had had some severe seizures as a result of the anesthesia. After that, he simply would not wake up. He was not breathing on his own. They did a brain scan on him and they thought he was brain dead. (This is where I start to cry!) They were going to remove him from life support. The doctor that shared the story with us said, “Thank God they decided to send the scan to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for second opinion before pulling the plug.” The second opinion was that he was not brain dead and they did not remove life support. He eventually woke up and was released to a medically fragile foster home in March. He had spent nearly five months in the NICU. I know that his foster mom was with him during a lot of that time. I am so thankful to her and to all of those that loved on our baby in those early months. He has never had an attachment issue. Meanwhile, we had been praying about adopting another baby. I even had some vivid dreams about a baby boy. However, it didn’t seem like it was going to happen. We had adopted two children through foster care and we had fostered two other babies that went home. It was hard on our children to have babies coming and going. My oldest daughter had a really difficult time after we had to let one of the babies go. He was medically fragile and I depended on her a lot to help me take care of him. She got extremely attached to him and was depressed for a long time after we lost him. I did not ever want to do that to her again, so foster care was not an option. I prayed that if God wanted to add another child to our family, it would be a straight up adoption. In the summer of 2010 I did my annual house purge. It seemed that the baby thing was not going to happen, so I decided to get rid of all the baby stuff. I sold my furniture and I took a box full of bottles, toys, etc. to Goodwill. Even as I dumped the stuff in the box I thought to myself, “I may regret this!” Less than a week later I was sitting at my computer. I had just posted a picture of my kids on Facebook. Someone commented on how blessed I was. my heart was filled with gratitude and in that moment I was overwhelmed with the joy of motherhood. Then, the phone rang. My heart leapt! I knew it was going to be about a baby, even though I had no reason to expect any such call. I answered the phone and heard the voice of our former social worker. I about fell over! She even asked, “Did you know it was going to be me?” She went on to say that she knew our home was closed, but she wanted to tell us about a special situation. She told me about Will and how this would be an adoptive situation. We got on the mountains of paperwork, home studies, special training and three months later, Will came home. The first time that we saw a picture of him, Joshua gave him the nickname Big Tiny. He looked like a tiny boy with a huge personality. That name fit perfectly! His life has continued to amaze people. He is a miracle. He is also one of the most loving kids that you will ever meet. He will jump in your arms and kiss your face. He loves everybody! He makes friends everywhere he goes. He is still super tiny, but he thinks he’s huge. He likes muscular men. He goes up to them, roars and shows them his muscles. He hugs kids he’s never met and says, “You are my friend, right? Let’s play.” What slays my heart is when he crawls up in my lap and says, “Hey, you are my mom. And you are gonna be my mom forever, right?” How is it that God entrusted this precious boy to me? I am blessed and honored that I get to be his mom. Happy 5th birthday Big Tiny!
Addendum: I was trying to remember the baby dream that I had before we got Will. I looked through my old journal and found it. This was written 3 months before he was born and one year before we found out about him.
I dreamed about a baby. It was a strange dream! I was in a room with all of these people’s souls. They were all in a state between life and death. Most were dying, but some were still waiting to find out if they would live or die. A tiny baby was brought in and I rushed over to him. I picked him up and held him and wondered why he had to die. Then somebody plucked him from my arms and said, “This one is going to live.” Then, they carried him out of the room. What does it mean? I know one thing. Whenever I have these dreams, a baby comes shortly thereafter.