While he’s only 3 years old, Isaiah Littles has already learned a little more about what family means to him.
Before he was born, Isaiah faced a challenging road. His biological mother struggled with substance abuse, and he made his entrance into this world prematurely at 32 weeks gestation. He was placed on CPAP and spent the next few weeks in the NICU until an underlying heart condition led to an operation to correct it. In total, he would be hospitalized for the first six months of his life.
With a growing list of medical concerns and needs - cerebral palsy, microcephaly, sickle cell trait, and more - it quickly became apparent that Isaiah’s biological parents weren’t equipped to care for him, and he was placed into foster care in early 2020.
Isaiah lived with his first foster family for more than a year before he was moved to the home of Chris and Pierre Littles in July 2021. As medical foster parents, this incredible duo has provided loving care to numerous children with complex medical needs.
“It’s really challenging at times,” Chris said, “But not for the reasons you probably think. We have to maintain contact with the biological families, and that means we need to remain neutral. It’s just a lot of different situations. A lot of different living environments.”
At this point, Isaiah had gone from the NICU to his first foster home to his new foster home in the span of 18 months, his family changing with every move.
But with the Littles, it took just 90 days for Isaiah to become their legally adopted son. Isaiah was home.
In the nearly six months since his adoption, Isaiah has firmly cemented himself as the goofball of the family. He is nearly always laughing and lets out his biggest belly laughs when Chris tucks him in and tells him to stay in bed.
His current favorite toy is a rinsed-out pediasure bottle - (‘He’ll fight you for that bottle,” Chris laughed) - and he loves it so much, his therapist now uses it during their sessions. In a word, Isaiah is joy.
He’s also close with his older brother, five-year-old Xavier who was also adopted. And right now, Chris and Pierre have their hands full with two medically-fragile foster children, 8-year-old Kyson and 6-month-old Bryson, who round out the group of boys. It’s a lot, for sure. But the safe and loving environment the Littles provide…well, that means everything.
It seems like Chris and Pierre seem to have a big impact on those around them who witness how special they are. Take Chris’s sister, for example. She watched him shoulder the responsibility of being a medical foster parent with such grace that it forever changed her own family. She is legally adopting her brother’s oldest current foster child, Kyson.
It seems like love and compassion run in the family.
And speaking of inspirational families - remember when we introduced you to Angela McDonald? She grew up in the foster care system herself and then went on to foster medically fragile children in her adulthood, including her son and Chive Charities recipient, Kenny.
She knew of Chris and Pierre, too, and probably understood what challenges they face more than anyone else in their community. She lives those same things every day. So when they mentioned the struggle of transporting multiple kids with bulky medical equipment, she had an idea.
“She told us about the van Chive Charities got for Kenny and her family and how much easier it made everything,” Chris told us. “And she gave us your information and told us to apply. We figured it was a long shot, but what did we have to lose?”
We read the details of their application, and like those who know and love them, we saw how special they are, too. With the help of our donors, we were able to fund the purchase of an amazing 2019 Ford Transit passenger van that can accommodate the family they have today - and the family they might still become. The total impact was $66,498.
“This will be so huge for us, I can’t even explain it,” Chris told us. “We can travel together - all in one vehicle - and load the kids in quickly with all of their equipment. It couldn’t come at a better time, either!”
The Littles are scheduled to take their first family vacation together this November to a special spot in North Carolina called “The Still Place.”
The Still Place offers rest, renewal, and re-creation to families with children affected by serious illness or loss. Better yet, it provides a unique experience and retreat for each family at no charge. This new van will help get them there…together.
Isaiah has experienced a lot at just two years old. Those early days in the NICU…that first foster home…his first 90 days with the Littles…then his forever family. His forever home.
Family looks different to everyone. It’s moms and dads, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and siblings. It’s biological parents, adoptive parents, foster parents. It’s friends like Angela who see your need and know just how to meet it.
At Chive Charities, ours is an incredible group of inspiring recipients, committed donors, and impactful partners. No, it’s not the same for everyone. But the love and support you feel? That makes all the difference. Become part of our family and DONATE HERE.