Twenty-two years ago a newborn baby, born way too soon, was abandoned in the hospital. A local adoption agency called us to see if we would be willing to adopt him. We had adopted a child from this agency previously so they had our information in the system. They told us that the baby was very, very tiny and very, very early. We agreed to meet at the hospital and discuss options for this new child. We were ushered into NICU to see the tiniest human baby I had ever seen. He was ten inches long and had dropped from two pounds to one pound thirteen ounces. He had been delivered at twenty-six weeks. He was in definite trauma and hooked up to a ventilator and a zillion other things. I could see the tips of two of his fingers but I couldn’t touch because his skin was still too tender.
We talked and asked questions and then went home to pray. Later that day we called the agency and told them that we would adopt the little boy. We met to sign papers and agreements and ask more questions. When all was said and done we were emotionally wrung out. So many “what ifs” were running through our minds. About the time we gave it up and went to bed, the phone rang. It was the hospital and our new son, of a very few hours, needed emergency surgery to stay alive.
I fell on my knees and begged God to help us get through the night. My burning question was, “What in the world have we done?” We hurried to the hospital. The baby was already in surgery. We paced and worried and waited. Finally, we got to see him for about three minutes and were told to come back the next day. I had so many questions and was so scared but I also had three other children at home still asleep in their beds.
Our new son stayed in NICU for almost six months. On his arrival at his new home he weighed in at four pounds four ounces and was greeted by two big sisters and one older brother. He was like a living doll – only smaller. As we all adjusted, I realized that he hurt a lot and got cold a lot and did not under any circumstances want to be left in a room alone. He had to return to the hospital for three more surgeries and each time, we were told that it was a miracle that he was alive.
As he grew he had some problems and we were told that he would never sit up, crawl, point, or walk. If we could name it, they told us he would not do it. I took him, with three others in tow, to therapy five days a week so he could get the help he needed, then we worked on him at home on the weekends. We kept up this schedule for years. He had eye surgery and wore glasses, he wore casts on his legs to help the muscles straighten out, he received botox treatments in his calves, and he received mega doses of love.
In order to keep up with the other kids, he had to push himself in ways they didn’t understand. At the age of nineteen he walked across the stage of a AAAA high school and received his diploma. While in Jr. High and High school he played on the football team, played in band, and knew absolutely everyone in the school. There were times we couldn’t find him at church because he was always talking to friends. He knew everyone and they all loved him.
Not much has changed. When God placed this child on earth, He gave him a personality that would help him through many dark and disappointing days. We go to tennis matches and people tell me how much they love him. The entire church tells me every time they see him. We attend Christmas parties and people come out of the cracks to tell us how nice he is. And he is. If you have ever shopped at Sam’s Club in Bluefield, Virginia, you know him too. Hayden Musick is a wonderful young man and today is his twenty-second birthday.
I don’t need the Christmas season to remind me about miracles because I have a miracle living in my basement! Happy Birthday Hayden! Love you!