When 7-month-old Jordan smiles, his mother, Aimee Aguilar, breathes a sigh of relief.

It isn't the typical response for a mother to have for a newborn son, but after the Aguilars' journey to get to this point, a smile is all it takes to provide some comfort for the frazzled family.

"It's kind of rare to see him smile," she said.

Aguilar was two days past her due date on May 3 when her vehicle was struck by another vehicle near Mahnomen, Minn.

Jordan was delivered by an emergency Caesarean section, but the impact from the crash caused the placenta to separate from Jordan.

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The baby lost oxygen and doctors initially said he was unlikely to survive.

Forum staff members voted the story of Baby Aguilar the most inspirational in 2008.

Aguilar took Jordan home in June after a monthlong hospital stay at MeritCare Hospital in Fargo.

It hasn't been an easy transition since the May crash abruptly brought Jordan into the world.

Seizures, trips to the emergency room and trouble keeping food down have all hampered his growth, said Joe Aguilar, Jordan's father.

"When we brought him home, things were kind of scary because we didn't know how things were going to progress," he said. "He knows that we're there, though, and that matters."

The Aguilars' 2-year-old daughter, Gabrielle, met Jordan when they brought him home.

Jordan's 10-year-old brother, Nicholas, was also clamoring to meet him, Aimee Aguilar said.

"(Gabrielle) knows she needs to be careful around him, and (Nicholas) was excited, but scared to hold him."

Aimee Aguilar's sister and father look after Jordan when his parents are at work.

"He has a very special bond with my dad," Aguilar said. "Some days, he can get so worked up, my dad is the only one who can calm him down."

Dennis Hisgun said the bond came naturally with his grandson.

"He brings a lot of joy to our family. I was just doing what a grandpa does," he said. "I look forward to seeing him every day. He's my little buddy."

Sammi Hisgun, Aguilar's sister, said it's been a joy taking care of Jordan.

"Most people think it would be a tough job. I'm used to it," she said. "He's a normal baby."

Despite seizures and illnesses, Jordan has been making remarkable strides, Dennis Hisgun said.

"We didn't even think he would be with us, so we're very thankful for that."

"I still can't believe that this is happening," Joe Aguilar said. "The thing that aggravates me the most is that he never had a fair chance from the get-go."

No matter how Jordan was brought into the world, the Aguilars are grateful to hear the cries of their baby and to see the small grins that cross his face.

"It hasn't been easy," Joe Aguilar said. "It's just amazing. It's very touching to know that people are still following baby Jordan. I know a lot of people think about him."

Jordan's grandfather counts himself among those people.

"He's taught me so much about being patient and caring," Dennis Hisgun said. "He's a special little guy. He brings a lot of joy to our family."

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kim Winnegge at (701) 241-5524