Allison & John Lewis were high school sweethearts with a love story anyone would be proud to tell. After graduating college, the couple married and started a family. The couple had four beautiful children of their own before God called it into their hearts to adopt two more bouncy, bubbling children. And then one day in November, the Lewis’ were in for another surprise. An adoption attorney friend called the couple, asking if they’d be interested in adopting a baby boy whose mother was in labor. The couple agreed, leaving their Birmingham home to make the trip to South Carolina to bring their new son home. The couple received two calls on their way. One call alerting the couple that it wasn’t a baby boy, but twins, and a girl was coming along, too. After talking and praying, the couple agreed to adopt her when a second call come in alerting the couple that the little girl was likely not going to make it through birth. She didn’t have a brain.
After arriving at the hospital, the couple learned the baby girl did, in fact, make it through birth. The doctors spoke with the couple, explaining that the baby girl had only a brain stem and no brain. She would never be a ‘real person’ with abilities to think, bond, speak, or even feel. The doctors told the couple they didn’t have to take the girl home. God spoke to them at that very moment. The Lewis’ knew both babies were their children and Ava would not be left behind.
After spending 44 days in the hospital, Ava Leigh Lewis was finally able to come home with her parents and brother -just in time for Christmas! It isn’t without hardships, however. Ava is suspected to be blind, oftentimes sleeps for days at a time, and according to cries and pain-stricken faces, feels at least some pain. Some day’s are better than others for Ava, but her family cherishes every minute they have with the amazing little girl.
Her brother, Sam, spends as much time cuddling his sister, who, at six months of age, weighs just nine pounds. A team of hospice workers, family, and friends all work together to help Allison, John and the seven children. The Lewis family, including the children, understand that Ava’s life won’t be as long as their own, and that any day could be the last day for the precious girl to take a breath. But the family has vowed to create as many special memories with little Ava as the Lord will allow them. Despite being born with a brain stem only, there is a purpose for this tiny miracle that God created. How amazing that a family as special as the Lewis’ were chosen to adopt her.