Little miracle baby Ava was born without a brain, but her adoptive parents Allison and Josh Lewis loved her thoroughly. They had had the chance of accompanying Ava throughout her short days on Earth.
Allison and Josh Lewis, from Birmingham, Alabama, thought that they were adopting just one baby. However, on their way to North Carolina to take custody of the baby, they got an unexpected phone call from their adoption attorney named Janet.
Janet informed them that the mother of the baby was having twins. She said that the most recent ultrasound discovered another baby and it was a little girl.
"Two babies I won't lie... it felt overwhelming. We kept reminding ourselves, though, that the lord had gone before us in this, and while we had all been clueless about the second baby, he'd known all along," Allison said on her Facebook post in December 2015.
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The couple, who first started their love story when they met in college in 2000, decided to call Janet back telling her that they were going to adopt both of the babies.
But their happiness didn't last long when they received yet another phone call from their adoption attorney. She told them that one of the twins was born with abnormalities and may not survive.
"I threw open the car door and raced into the hospital as Josh left to drop off our five big kids," Allison recounted.
"There was a lot of waiting and hall pacing, but eventually we were ushered into a dimly lit NICU room where a thin, little baby lay in a small bassinet. She was covered in wires and tubes, and her strawberry blonde hair was hidden under a blue wool hat with a pink stripe on it."
The baby seemed perfect "from the neck down," but the ultrasound of her head revealed that baby Ava was born with just a brain stem.
"As I stared at the void on the monitor before me, the tears streamed hot down my cheeks. But when I turned back around to look into the face of the life I saw before me - a life made by the hands of a good and loving Creator," Allison wrote.
When the doctor asked the couple if they would take the baby girl or leave her, they said: "She's our daughter."
Along with her twin brother, Sam, Allison and Josh opened their arms wide to welcome Ava into their lives. The pair was already blessed with four biological children and one adopted child.
On May 19, 2016, Ava passed away when she was six months old. She was buried in a tiny, wooden casket, crafted by Josh.