Vetern on Veterans Day

While I would never put myself on the level of those fighting on the front lines, or having served our country nationally and abroad, I do think Matthew and I have become veterans of the Northside Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. After a mandatory (due to Levi's birth) scheduled c-section, the newest addition to our family, Roman Samuel Smith, came into the world on 11/11/16, Veteran's Day. He bears the strong name of the Italian city that my sweet friend Kyra was called to serve, love, and spread the good news of the gospel. While we both did well during surgery, Roman took on some fluid and was quickly taken to the transition NICU in hopes of recovering easier before I could hold him. Needless to say, he had to be fully admitted to the intensive car unit about six hours after "working too hard" to breathe.

When I heard that he wasn't as "strong" as his name would lead you to believe, I was devastated. Having all three of our children consecutively taken straight to the NICU felt like a hard blow, and when I found out just 48 hours after surgery that he wouldn't be coming home with us, the discouragement and disappointment was palatable. Just 16 months ago we had finally left the NICU world with little Levi, so I was not extremely eager to return so quickly.

Thankfully God began a quick change in my heart. Many people suffer consecutive blows much harder than this. Multiple bouts of cancer, multiple lost babies, multiple family deaths. Plus, we were more than prepared for this type of experience. Roman may have arrived shortly after Levi came home, but he was and is not Levi.

When soldiers enlist, they do not always get to choose where they are deployed. When I signed up to be a parent, I decided to serve and go wherever God called me. Sometimes soldiers are deployed to the same awful location whether they like it or not, but they carry a badge of honor for their calling. While I may not have wanted a third deployment to the NICU, this is currently my calling, and it actually feels like an honor. We already have the supplies, training, and tactics in place from our last stint, so really it's a rather easy transition when compared to our last stay.
I am so thankful for those veterans who have fought or are still fighting for our freedom. Currently, here on the home-front, we are fighting to get our little Rome home, and it's a great cause worth fighting for!

After 5 days in the world he's getting stronger, and hopefully we will have him under our roof ASAP!

~Veteran Buster


  1. Sweet Roman, you are so beautiful!! What you lack in physical strength you have in spades in spirit, God has you and your family in His loving arms! When I look at you I can see angels surrounding you holding you tight! Sleep to their lullabies and dream of having adventures with Jesus and all who love you! Give mommy and daddy my love!
    I love you and am holding you tight in my heart tonight, little soldier!


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