Nathan Davis came into his parents Ali and Anthony’s life when he was 12 days old, struggling for life after only 24 weeks in his birth mother’s womb.
They watched over him in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for four months until they could bring him home to their two other adopted children, Matthew and Emma.
Now Nathan is four and, energized by the flurry of camera clicks and reporters’ questions on Tuesday, he never stopped moving.
“He’s hamming it up,” Anthony Davis said.
The Davis family attended the Kern County Board of Supervisors’ meeting Tuesday to tell their story and celebrate the Safely Surrendered Baby program.
Ali and Anthony said the program that gave them Nathan is a critical option for women who can’t care for their newborn.
“We want to thank the birth mother for her courage to safely surrender,” Ali Davis said.
Cindy Uetz, Chief Deputy Director of the Kern County Department of Human Services, told supervisors that 63 newborns have been safely surrendered by mothers in Kern County since the program started in California in 2006.
Six babies were surrendered in Kern County in 2017, she said.
Mothers can turn their babies in at most emergency rooms and at city of Bakersfield and Kern County Fire Stations within three days of birth.
No names will be taken. No questions are asked.
The mother then has 14 days to claim the baby — using a confidential bracelet matching one on the baby.
If that doesn’t happen, the baby moves on to a waiting family.
February is Safely Surrendered Baby Awareness month in Kern County, Supervisors ruled Tuesday.
The goal is to bring awareness to the program — which is designed to prevent babies from being abandoned in risky or dangerous situations.
“This is bigger than just Kern County. This is bigger than us,” said Supervisor Mick Gleason. “We can make arrangements. We can match a beautiful human being with a beautiful family. This is all goodness.”
The Davis family has always been about foster parenting and adoption.
Anthony Davis said the family has probably fostered 50 children since they began years ago.
They adopted Matthew, 11, and Emma, 9, and continued to foster children so that, he said, they understood that love and family transcend the boundaries of blood.
Nathan came as surprise, they said, but they got the call because they were uniquely prepared to help him.
Nathan's older brother Matthew had also been a micro-preemie — a baby who weighs less than 1 pound, 12 ounces, or is born before reaching the 26-week mark.
“My friends call me the baby whisperer,” Ali Davis said.