Hunter was three months old when Cody and Samantha learned of his birth.
Carefully, they read the email describing the tiny boy’s situation. Cody summarizes the information he remembers from that first email.
Born at 25 weeks—3 months premature
Birth weight not quite two pounds
By his due date (when Cody was introduced to Hunter’s situation), the baby had doubled in weight
Originally on a ventilator
Has moved from IV feedings to a nasal gastric tube
Has a shunt in his brain due to brain bleeds
Initially, there were concerns about the possibility of blindness, but Hunter appears to see.
There still is potential for developmental delays both mentally and physically.
“They wanted to know if we were interested in being presented as a potential match for this child,” Cody said. “We had been presented to probably ten to fifteen situations over the last two years and had never been chosen. We had felt like God had led us to do this, but we were having a lot of doubts.”
Even with all the uncertainties and unknowns, both Cody and Samantha felt a long-distant kind of bond with the child described in the email. Nevertheless, they refused to feel hopeful since that hope had been dashed so many times before.
“I was meeting Samantha and our two boys for lunch in the park,” Cody said. “We were walking around a pond. As soon as I saw it was them (Heart to Heart) calling, I wondered if this was THE call. So I put my phone on speaker.”
Samantha explains the rest of the conversation: “First thing they said was, ‘We have sat down, looked over your profile, and together we feel you would be good parents for Hunter.’” Samantha continues the story. “They said, “We feel your family is a good match for him. He’d be happy there and fit right in.”
“We didn’t say anything,” Cody said. “We were kind of in shock, and they didn’t say the words. Finally, we asked, ‘By saying you feel he would be good with us, what are you saying? You need to clarify.”
The clarification came simply with the words,
Joy. Disbelief. Shock.
Fear. A lot of fear.
Tears. Happy tears. A lot of happy tears.
“I know they kept saying stuff, but our minds were stuck on, “He’s yours,” Cody said.
Although the timing hadn’t been as they had expected, the timing was perfect. Cody, a civil engineer, had work he could accomplish remotely. Samantha makes her own work schedule.
“Heart to Heart was very kind and very nice giving us the next steps,” Cody said. “We were in shock. We had finally been selected. A long time coming. We didn’t say a whole lot to each other as we finished our walk. We were processing. Then we had to spring into action. Make plans to go.”
The couple had to update their home study because they were in the process of moving into a new home. This took a few days, but the timing allowed them to make a cross-country trip and to spend time with their new son and brother as he grew towards being released from the hospital.
There are no sweeter words.