A couple who met in college and planned on having two or maybe three children at the most were surprised when they found themselves with four biological children and one adopted child. However, Josh and Allison thought their family was complete until one night when Allison received a text message from a friend. The friend said she knew a woman who was going to be giving birth soon who would be unable to keep the child and asked if Josh and Allison wanted to adopt the baby. The couple discussed it that night and throughout the weekend, and they decided there was room for one more child in their family.
However, on their way to the hospital in North Carolina, they got a shock. Their adoption lawyer called and told them that it had just been discovered that the woman was giving birth to twins.
Their shocks were not over with that news. Not long after, they got another call. One of the twins was not expected to survive delivery.
They arrived at the hospital, and Allison ran inside. As it turned out, the baby did survive delivery, but she was born with only a brain stem and not a fully developed brain. The hospital staff was unsure whether she would survive night.
The little girl, who was named Ava, did survive, and she survived through the next two and a half weeks at Duke although each day that she did seemed like a miracle. Josh and Allison struggled with loving the baby while also knowing they might have to let her go. At last, they were able to take her home to be with her twin brother Sam and the rest of their children.
Allison said that in the hospital, Ava had been described to her as lacking “what makes a person a person.” While she said she understood that from a medical point of view, Ava did indeed have a very distinct personality.
The time at Duke waiting for Ava to be well enough to bring home was the most difficult, but Allison said it was also difficult bringing her home and knowing that her life would probably not be a long one. They spoke honestly with their children about the challenges Ava faced and her probable lifespan. All the same, Allison and Josh remained positive about Ava’s presence in their family. They ensured that she got to spend plenty of time with her brother Sam, and they said that they intended to fill her life, however short it might be, with as much love as possible.