Our resilient January child of the month is one-year-old Mason.
Mason was born extremely premature. At the time of his birth, he was positive for methamphetamines. His birth mother was positive for several elicit substances and was completely unaware of her pregnancy. She was arrested soon after his birth and has had no contact since. Mason remained in the NICU for 3 months and was eventually discharged to a kinship placement. Soon after placement, his caregivers began withholding his formula, resulting in excessive crying and fussiness. In October, after what was suspected as a repeated episode of shaking, he was admitted to the hospital with a non-accidental head trauma associated subdural hematoma. He had a shunt placed and remained in the hospital for 3 days. During this time, Operation Baby Watch volunteers were loving on him. We later found that a few of the volunteers that cuddled him during this time were friends of ours.
Upon receiving the call for his placement, we were just recovering from an extremely stressful first placement and almost said no. But, we didn’t. We met him at the hospital the next day and fell in love. He came home to us that evening.
He was severely developmentally delayed, malnourished and recovering from neurosurgery. We quickly discovered he also had reactive airway disorder and was hearing impaired. Over the next few months, the shunt was removed, hearing aids were ordered and other medical interventions were completed. Parental rights were terminated and we were moved to the adoption unit.
Now, he is doing fabulously! He is trying to walk, eating everything, making more sounds, and catching up developmentally. He is adored by his whole family, especially his big sister, Avery! The best thing, even with all of the adversity, he is a super happy boy that is full of smiles and laughter!
– By Jessica and Holly Wiles
For more information on Operation Baby Watch, visit One Heart Lubbock.