Posted on December 14, 2012 at 1:56 PM
HAMPTON -- Doctors told Eric and Rachel White that their son Josiah may not be able to live a month or even a week.
He was born without a brain and only a brain stem.
"The prognosis was he would have a week to a month to live at the most. I think it's about 90 percent of babies with his condition would even survive delivery, so he was already exceptional," said Rachel White.
The Whites say it was their faith that led them to adopt Josiah.
"It was just a conviction of the heart. God called us to do that," Eric White said.
"His prognosis was he had a slim chance of survival. We had to have a burial plan in place before we could even bring him home," explained Rachel White.
13News first met the White family last June when the family celebrated Father's Day. Josiah was 16 months old at the time.
He turned 2 years old on February 9th. Eric and Rachel said he seemed to be getting healthier.
"And then his second birthday came around, and it's like he's getting better. He's laughing. He's learning to interact with us," said Eric.
Last Tuesday, Rachel said she was out of town and got a call from her home nurse saying that Josiah had stopped breathing and died.
She thought, "Okay I can't breathe right now but I know we're in God's hands, and I know that he is going to take care of this situation and he's holding our son."
Eric was serving in the Air Force in Afghanistan. Within 30 hours, he was back home in Hampton.
"And to have something sudden like that also while you're 8,000 miles away happen and my wife have to deal with it by herself, that's my fear," said Eric.
Although Josiah was a special needs child, the Whites say that Josiah has done more for them, than they could ever do for him.
"Josiah was helpless in his body and we showed him love but we realized that when we brought him home, we would learn more about love from him than we had to teach him. He definitely showed us what love was," said Eric White.
"From the very beginning, when we realized the short prognosis, we're loving his soul and his soul is still a part of our family and it's always going to be a part of our family," said Rachel.
A memorial service celebrating Josiah's life will be held on Sunday March 25th at the Coast Community Church in Yorktown at 3 p.m.
Josiah's family says that instead of flowers, people can donate to a special needs adoption fund that will directly help people in the community.
The Whites plan to spread Josiah's ashes in a garden with a Dogwood tree.