Mighty Micah ~ And the ‘For Micah’ adoption grant

When our staff met him on an advocacy trip in November 2016, we knew this boy was special.  His advocacy name was ‘Bernie,’ and he was all smiles from minute one.  And my gosh, was that smile infectious!  Little did we know that while we were enjoying his smile and silly little giggle in person, across the world a Mommy and Daddy (HIS Mommy and Daddy) were also falling in love.  In honor of Mighty Micah Smith, we are humbled to share his story.  Though his time here on earth was brief, his impact on those around him will last forever.  Rest in peace Mighty Micah.

Micah’s Adoption Story

Our journey to bring Micah home began in 2016. God opened the door for us to adopt Internationally from China, and we begin praying that God would lead us to the right child for our family. We already had two kids, one boy (age 6) and one girl (age 9). We had a heart to adopt an older child after some involvement we had with a foster child in our church.

I soon learned that a group of advocates were going on a mission trip with Madison Adoption Associates to some of the orphanages in China, and I immediately started following their journey. I became drawn to one of the boys in the pictures/videos. This sweet boy would later be known as our Mighty Micah. We locked in the paperwork to adopt Micah in November 2016, and begin the long journey of paperwork to bring him home. I prayed frequently that God would show him our faces in a dream or a vision so that we would not be total strangers when we arrived.

God honored that prayer, and when we traveled to China in November 2017, Micah was full of giggles on Gotcha Day. He laughed and giggles so much that the adoption worker who was with us could not translate much of what he was saying. He told us “I think something may be seriously wrong with him. If you want to give him back, now is the time. After you adopt him tomorrow, he’s your child and he has the same rights as your other children.” That was a very scary moment. I couldn’t speak Mandarin and Micah couldn’t speak English. This was the only translator we had, and I trusted what he said. However, I also knew what I had prayed for the past year and a half. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt (before I ever got on the plane) that God had orchestrated this journey, and I trusted that more than I trusted what he was telling me. As an Occupational Therapist, working with disabilities was not foreign to me. However, my husband would think differently. We had agreed hydrocephalus was something we could both handle, and we were determined to bring Micah home with us.

We adopted Micah the next day, and he officially became a Smith. It was a great day! Micah came home just in time for Christmas 2017, and begin life with a forever family. People always ask how we communicated in the beginning, and I explained it’s just like talking with a toddler. Lots of pointing and shaking your head. Eventually the language develops slowly but steadily, and ever so cute with his little accent attached. Over time, he grew physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. He LOVED people, especially kids. He never turned down an opportunity to play and was happy in every situation. The more he became familiar with our home and our routine, the more he laughed and smiled. He was happy with the simplest things and always said thank you. He liked to eat and could eat more than a grown man which eventually leveled off when he began to realize the food would always be there and he would always have access to it.

Micah loved his siblings and bonded to them very quickly following there lead in almost everything. He was always their biggest fan. He didn’t like us to be separated and would ask a hundred times for the missing person until they returned. He loved to go to school and church, and enjoyed being around all the other kids. Micah never met a stranger.

I suspect Micah was born with hydrocephalus. However, he was never shunted. His head was larger than normal (which I grew to love). We brought him to the Neurosurgeon once we adopted him. She said his head grew to accommodate the extra fluid. Subsequently, the problem had resolved itself so no need for a shunt. Micah’s hydrocephalus was maintained for years, and he lived a relatively normal life (with some developmental delays).

Then, one day he began having symptoms that were intermittent. We made him another appointment with the Neurosurgeon to follow up. She said “in my experience, hydrocephalus does not have good days and bad days”. She agreed something was going on and wanted to do an MRI, but it would be 3 weeks before she could do it. That was on a Monday in June 2021. That following Saturday, Micah symptoms suddenly worsened and he became unresponsive passing away July 2021.

Our time with Micah was cut way too short, but those were some of the best days of my life. I would adopt him again and again if I had it to do all over. He brought so much love, laughter, and joy to our family. We loved him so much and are so grateful for the time we had. He left a mark on our hearts that nothing can erase. He became known as Mighty Micah who not only left an impact on us, but on an entire community. I pray that Micah’s story inspires others to adopt a child with hydrocephalus, and provide a forever family to a child. I wouldn’t trade the time we had for anything, and I would do it all over again. Adoption can be scary especially when it’s international and there are so many unknowns. But at the end of that scary road, there is a sweet precious child longing to be loved. The simplest if things…love. I know Micah is in heaven singing in the angels choir and playing with all the other kids who left too soon. I know we will see him again and what a day that will be. Until then, I will strive to share his story and honor his memory in any way I can. Choose Joy. Choose Love. Choose adoption.

During this Hydrocephalus Awareness Month, we are humbled to honor Micah by announcing an MAA grant for children with hydrocephalus. The ‘For Micah’ grant is a $1,000 grant available to any eligible family who commits to adopting a child with hydrocephalus. To learn more about our programs, and eligibility, please complete a free Prospective Adoptive Parent form, or email lindseyg@madisonadoption.org