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When a child is born in unhealthy conditions, it can be heartbreaking. When that child is then abandoned not only by his mother, but by his planned adopted family too, it is utterly devastating.
That’s why this story of an opioid addicted baby who was rescued by an unknown but endlessly loving family will bring you to tears. Read on the hear the inspirational tale of Enzo DiCicco, the boy who overcame serious in utero drug addiction and found the family he was meant to be part of.
Enzo DiCicco was not born with this name. In fact, he was born without a name, without a mother to hold him, and without a family to go home to. What he did have was a series of seizures caused by withdrawal from the opioids he had grown used to in his mother’s womb. His mother had slipped out of the hospital quietly after giving birth, and the family who had financially supporter her during her pregnancy in exchange for adoption rights watched this tortured baby scream and struggle for three hours before they left the hospital without him as well.
Nurses watched him closely in his incubator, swaddled him tightly, and gave him regular doses of morphine and methadone. Social workers had seen too many babies in this same tragic state, and they set about looking for a family for this unnamed baby.
Enter DeAnne and Bill DeCicco of Fort Myers, Texas. The couple had wanted a child so badly, but it was undeniable that this wasn’t the experience they had imagined for themselves. He was six days old when nurses removed the wires that measured his heart and seizure activity and placed the little boy in DeAnne’s arms. She knew immediately that no matter what had happened in his short life so far, this was her son.
“A lot of people don’t want to take it on because there are a lot of unknowns,” DeAnne said. “It wasn’t a deterrent to us. If anyone was able to cope, we were.”
Today, Enzo receives constant care from the DiCiccos and regular therapy at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Outpatient Care Fort Myers. He is leaps and bounds ahead of other children with neonatal abstinence syndrome, and it’s all due to the work that his parents have put into helping him grow and thrive.
“We’ve done everything to give him the best chance to evolve out of this,” DeAnne said.
“Mommy, Mommy, tell the Enzo story,” he said.
DeAnne began: “Okay, so …”
“We got a phone call about a baby and it was me,” Enzo broke in with a big smile.
“Yes, and you were not in Mommy’s …”
“Belly,” said Enzo.
“But you were always in our …” DeAnne said.
“Hearts.” He didn’t ask questions yet. One day, she knew he would.
“Yes, and who brought us together?” DeAnne asked.
“Jesus,” Enzo responded. He sat on the floor now, his head leaning against her knee.
“That’s right, Jesus made us a family. We didn’t see him in the hospital because he’s in your heart.”
“I was in a bubble,” he said.
“That’s right,” DeAnne said. “You overcame a lot.”
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