Cross #12.5005

Springfield, IL

My husband and I adopted our son, Theo, on December 19, 2013. Theo was born 9 weeks premature and with his intestines were outside his body. He condition was very severe – his intestines had several blockages and were damaged in utero – the doctors didn’t think he would survive the first week.

We met him when he was three days old, but we didn’t get a full diagnosis and prognosis until he was two weeks old. We were devastated – the doctors said that they didn’t know if he would survive, but if he did, he could easily be in the NICU for six months or longer and that it would be a difficult road.

We didn’t know what to do – could we handle his medical needs, were the right parents for him, could we afford the NICU bills – but in the end we really believed that God meant for him to be with us and we knew he was supposed to be our son. We took the leap of faith and haven’t looked back. We adopted him when he was 3 weeks old.

When he was 7 weeks old he had surgery to try and repair his intestines. The surgery went better than anticipated. His intestines are in two parts, but the first part is working well and he even gets to eat from a bottle several times a day! His next surgery is in three days and they will connect both parts of his system. After that we have to see if he can tolerate food and begin working toward getting him to eat like a regular child and hopefully getting him home.

He was transferred to a hospital three hours from our home for the surgery and he’s been here almost three months. My husband and I are very stressed out – we switch off being with Theo so that one of us is always with him while the other one works. This means that we don’t see each other often, but it’s important to us that one of us is always with Theo.

We have had a lot of prayers for his well being and they are working – he is doing better than expected on a lot of fronts and he is the sweetest baby. He smiles all the time and tolerates all that is happening to him very well. We are so in love with him and so impressed with his tenacity.

My co-worker gave us this cross to put next to Theo’s bed so we can remember all the people that are praying for him and supporting us. We still have a ways to go – if all goes well after the surgery he will remain in the hospital for two more months – if things don’t go well it could be longer. Luckily we have so many people that love us and are doing everything they can to help that I know we will all make it through this difficult time.

Despite all the stress and uncertainty, every time I look at his face I know we made the right decision. We choose the name Theodore because it means “Gift from God” and he truly is, as is his birth mother who made the incredible decision to let us parent this baby.