Daisy and Noah McGukin
Jefferson County
Not Feature Story
What does it take to make a family? Marty McGukin says hers was not complete until the adoption of Noah Asher on September 4, 2013 – and that the cheerful toddler whose middle name means “happy” would never have made his way into the McGukins’ hearts without Children’s of Alabama.

Marty and her husband, Matt, were parents to one biological child, Micah, now 12, until 2011 when they adopted Daisy, now age 13. Daisy, who was born with abnormal kidneys, had been the McGukins’ foster child for several years – and, she had been on hemodialysis first at Children’s and later in her own home.

While the McGukins were making visits to Children’s for dialysis and training for home hemodialysis, a little boy named Noah was born in the United States to parents who are natives of China. When their visas expired, their only choice was to leave their son on dialysis at Children’s with the hope he would one day be adopted and receive a new kidney.

Because Vickie Kanute, home therapies coordinator for the Renal Care Center at Children’s, and Holly Falkner, a Children’s social worker, were well acquainted with Daisy and her family, the McGukins were the first people they thought of when they learned of little Noah’s plight.

Two months later, the Marty and Matt were taking Noah home as their foster child.

Fast forward to the spring of 2015.

Last year, Matt accepted a job as a pastor in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Daisy and Noah now receive care from an excellent group of nephrologists in nearby Salt Lake City. But before their move, the McGukins experienced a huge answer to prayer when Noah underwent a successful kidney transplant at Children’s of Alabama on July 22, 2014.

As Mother’s Day approaches, Marty looks back on that same holiday four years ago, when she found herself with no one to call or visit. “As a parent-less adult child, I ached for that connection,” she says. “But little did I know where the road of motherhood would lead.

“Today, I have three precious children who call me mom. Two of them orphans and one biological but ALL of them are completely and wonderfully mine. On Mother's Day, I now honor the memory of my mom and celebrate the amazing group of people at Children’s who helped make me a mom in ways I never saw coming.”