For one very special baby, adoption may have literally saved his life. Marcus was a little boy who had gotten the worst possible start in life. Born to a heroin-addicted mother, three months premature, with a host of problems, Marcus was barely clinging to life. Then his mother abandoned him. His doctor said he only had a 30% chance to live to see his second birthday. The tiny one-pound baby had nobody, until one day when Kelly Lively kissed him on the cheek and whispered in his ear, “My name is Kelly. I want to be your mom. Would you like to come home with me?”
Lively was working as a nurse when she first saw Marcus. She was volunteering with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and taking care of other medically fragile children. Lively had never been able to have children, but she always hoped to foster or adopt a child. One day, as she was working, she overheard a caseworker talking about a little boy, Marcus, who was predicted to die soon. When she saw his picture, she started sobbing. “They said, ‘What’s wrong? He’s so cute.’ But all I could see was that there was no life in his eyes. He was so sick,” Lively told the Kokomo Tribune.
Soon after, Lively traveled to Shelbyville, where Marcus was being treated, and immediately spoke to his caseworkers and doctors about adoption. They were shocked and incredulous, as almost no one wants to adopt medically complicated children. Most children like Marcus live out their lives in an institution, they said.
When Lively brought Marcus home, he was still very sick. He didn’t want to be touched, since he spent more than a year in a medical facility without hugs, kisses, and cuddles. Lively spent every waking moment nursing Marcus back to life and health. She taught him sign language, since he couldn’t speak because of his tracheotomy tube. She was able to do her job at home so she could be with him all of the time. And slowly, her love and attention has given him a new lease on life.
Now, Marcus is three years old. In December, Lively officially adopted him. He loves reading and playing, and his doctors hope to permanently remove his tracheotomy tube this spring so that he can start to speak. Marcus is thriving with the preschool lessons she’s teaching him at home, and once he is medically stable, Lively will send him to kindergarten with the other children his age. It’s touching to think that the tiny baby, who was never expected to be able to walk, talk, or have a normal life if he survived the hospital, has been brought this far by the love and dedication Lively has shown him.
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