Allison and Josh are a couple from Birmingham, AL, who love kids and have built a big, loving family. Already the parents of four biological children and one adopted son, the couple was surprised to get a text message from a friend on October, 30, 2015 that changed their whole lives in ways they NEVER could have predicted.
The friend wanted to know if they'd consider adopting a baby from a pregnant woman who was not going to be able to take care of it. After thinking it over for the weekend, they decided they were ready to accept another child into their lives. On the day the woman went into labor, the entire family packed up the car and headed to Duke Hospital in North Carolina--but on the way there, they got another startling phone call.
This time, it was their adoption attorney, and she had big news: Shockingly, the woman's pregnancy was going to result in twins; the baby boy that Alison and Josh were planning to adopt also had a little sister in the womb with him. Elated, the couple and their kids wanted to keep both twins--but then came a third, devastating call.
The baby girl was sick and not expected to survive the delivery. When she did, doctors realized she had been born without a brain--only a brain stem--and said she might not make it through the night. The family was daunted by the heart-wrenching diagnosis for their bonus baby girl, named Ava, but they vowed to turn to their faith and give her a loving home for as long as they could.
"It wasn't hard to say yes to bringing her home. It was hard to say yes knowing that we were going to be burying her before long," Allison said. As doctors tried to prepare the couple for how serious Ava's abnormalities were, one said, "What makes a person a person is not there."
"Medically, I understand, but she totally has a personality," the proud mom said later of baby Ava. "She's a feisty little thing."
With her six siblings and loving parents surrounding her, little Ava continues to fight on, though her parents know the day will come when they'll have to say goodbye.
"The Lord had created her life, and the fact that she wasn't born the way we would have chosen didn't change that she needed a family and she had a twin brother that needed her, and we needed her," said Allison.
See more of this family's inspiring story of hope here.