Saturday, May 14, 2016

When Allison and Josh Lewis met each other in college, they knew right away: It was meant to be. It was just a matter of time before the couple got married and started planning their future together. After graduating, they moved to Birmingham, Alabama.

They talked about starting a family and thought they wanted two, or maybe three kids. It all happened a bit quicker than they'd planned and Abby, Jack, and Isabel were soon born one after the other. But they didn't stop there. They later decided to adopt little Micah and then Allison got pregnant once again with their daughter Julia. The Lewis family thought they'd completed their smiling family.

But it would appear that fate had something else in store for them. Allison received a phone call from a friend who worked for an adoption agency. She told Allison about a baby whose biological mother wanted to give it up for adoption and wondered if the Lewis family had room for one more in their hearts?

Even though it wasn't part of their "plan," Josh and Allison quickly decided to adopt this baby. When they received the call that the mother was going into labor, Allison loaded the car with her five kids and headed straight to the birthing clinic. They got an unexpected surprise on the way: Two babies were born, a little boy and a little girl! The Lewis' didn't waver for a second, both babies would have a home with them.

But that wasn't the end to the surprises. The doctors soon notified the family that while the little baby boy was healthy, the little girl was very ill and would be unlikely to survive the day.

When they arrived at the hospital, Josh and Allison were told that the baby girl only had a brain stem, but the rest of her brain was missing. No one knew how long she would survive. The doctors advised the Lewis family against adoption, but they disagreed, "She is our daughter!"

They named the new members of their family Sam and Ava. The next two weeks were difficult with many tears and lots of hope that Ava would eventually be allowed to come home with her new family. Josh and Allison also had the chance to spend a lot of time with the twins' biological mother, who had been through so much to offer these two babies the gift of life.

Then, they finally received the news they had been waiting for: Ava could come home.

The family was able to recover once at home. Allison and Josh were honest with their children: They weren't sure how long Ava would be with them. But they wanted to make as many memories as possible in the meantime and give Sam plenty of chances to cuddle with his twin sister.

Twins have a very special bond and it was clear that they both felt better when the other was nearby.

And the big brothers and sisters were likewise happy about the chance to get to know their new siblings.

But the fear of losing their youngest was present everyday for Allison and Josh even though they felt honored to have her in their lives. Wow. What a beautiful, strong family. Here is a video of their story:

I hope the Lewis household get to share many more days with Ava. What an amazing gift.

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