PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — In a year with consecutive challenges for millions of people, one family is choosing to keep love at the forefront.

“Everybody just wants to be loved and feel loved, and we try to instill that in our kids,” said mother Christina Smith.

For the Smith family, love may look a little different.

“The moment we walk in the door, phones keys wallets all that stuff out getting that wiped down with various bleach wipes then immediately washing your hands,” Daniel Smith said.

Daniel and Christina are raising four children, all born prematurely.

Two of the kids, Issac and Elijah, have been under the care of Easterseals for more than five years.
Issac has a brain injury and immune issues, putting him at higher risk of contracting COVID-19.

“Even though Issac looks different, he’s just like everybody else, and he loves just the same as we do,” Christina said.

Out of pure love, the family said they’ve been taking serious precautions.

“Things like that become second nature and no one really complains,” Daniel said.

Issac is creative. He likes music and drawing. What once looked like colorful streamers on white paper became an elaborate design on a men’s tie. It’s called “Celebrate Love.”

“Took him about 30 minutes to do the whole drawing, and I think he was pretty proud of himself,” Christina said.

It’s a running theme in the Smith family.

“Teaching our kids to love everyone, even if they’re different, even if they don’t look like you or act like you, whatever disability they have,” Christina said.

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