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Ku’s first days of life were difficult. He was born three months early and spent the next month in the NICU. His future was unknown—until he met his foster mother, Sara Hornick.

Sara and her husband experienced infertility, which ended with an unplanned hysterectomy. They were devastated, but found relief in knowing there were options.

Sara will never forget the call she received about a tiny baby in the NICU who needed a family, love and a safe home. Sara spent the next month in the NICU snuggling and caring for Ku.

“He was so tiny. I spent every day with him. He had heart issues, he struggled to breathe and they thought he might have muscular dystrophy because he couldn’t move his limbs,” says Sara.

Four weeks later, when the Hornick family brought Ku home, they quickly realized he was an important part of their family and would be forever.

Not knowing how long he would be with them, they adjusted their lives to make sure he had all he needed while he was. Due to his complicated medical needs, Sara and her husband needed to be within minutes of the hospital at all times so Sara decided to care for Ku full time.

The two bonded immediately and Sara hoped and prayed they would be eligible to adopt him.

They were ready and committed to keeping Ku alive. “It became my purpose. We were determined to do everything in our power to save him and give him a good life,” Sara remembers.

Soon, the family would find that Ku’s battles had only just begun. At seven months old, at a routine check-up appointment, Ku was rushed to the hospital. As the family sat at his bedside, Ku began to crash.

Sara recalls having nothing but the clothes on her back when she and Ku were life-flighted to Sioux Falls.

“I’ll never forget the kindness I received from the LSS team. They cared for me, while I was caring for my baby. They brought me clothes, blankets, food, anything I needed.”

Sara continues, “That’s the best thing about LSS. You aren’t just a case number, you are human. You are family.”

Sara never left Ku’s side while in the hospital. They were soon sent home with an unknown outlook on Ku’s future. The Hornick family celebrated his birthday every month just in case he didn’t make it to his first birthday.

Today, Ku is three years old. He is a Hornick—happy, healthy and thriving.

“Every day he is surprising us with his words and actions,” Sara continues. “We have a long road ahead and he will always be special needs but he’s ours. For everything that he’s been through, he’s such a good kid, he’s just magical.”

Ku is thriving because of the love of the Hornick family. Unfortunately, the current list of LSS foster families is limited to 25 percent of the families needed to serve kids like Ku. You can help recruit, train, and license more families by making a gift to LSS.

Since 2016, Sara and her husband have been blessed to have cared for 26 foster children during their time as foster parents. Each one with their own traumatic backgrounds and some with medical needs—You can help recruit, train, and license more families—like the Hornicks—by making a gift to LSS.