Thousands fill an Auburn teens heart and mailbox

AUBURN, Ala. -- When you walk into the living room of the Smith family home, you may see Chris Smith sitting in his chair with his favorite Auburn Tigers blanket. At his side, you'll find binders full of postcards and a shelf full of books.

How they got there stemmed from one Facebook post.

Back in 2006, Paul and Rachel Smith adopted Christopher from Ukraine when he was three and a half years old. At one-month-old, Chris was severely burned. Now 14 going on 15 years old, Chris' life has taken a turn for the better. He has defied the odds and learned to walk, talk, eat and more.

"People look at us all the time and say you've been the biggest blessing he could have ever asked for," Rachel Smith said. "We're like, no, he's been the biggest blessing to us. I thank God every day that he can walk, that I can walk, things you never think about, that he can eat food, things we don't think about as Americans, I have learned to be thankful for. The privileges we have every day just to be able to breathe, speak, move and walk, that's a blessing, and to see someone who couldn't do that and God allowing him to learn those things. He is a trooper. He never gives up. He's taught us so much about life."

Back in September, Chris was getting ready for his 15th reconstructive surgery. He was not looking forward to the surgery, and his dad posted on Facebook asking if anyone wanted to send Chris cards to cheer him up, they would be much appreciated. The family expected a few cards from friends and family, but got a whole lot more than they bargained for.

Close to 2,000 postcards, cards, gifts and more have been flooding the Smith home. Thursday, Chris received a postcard designed quilt from some folks who have heard about his story.

After each gift comes in, the family puts a pin on that place in the two maps that sit in their hallway. So far, Chris has gotten a gift from almost every state and six continents.

"It gives him something to look forward to," Rachel Smith said. "He's sitting here day, after day, after day. In the first couple of weeks, he was in so much pain, and this was just like a bright spot in his day, just reading those cards everyday and pinning them. I just want to tell everyone thank you."

"I like it," Chris said. "I go outside and check the mail and see a package and just say, woo-hoo!"

Chris is set to have another surgery in mid-November.

If anyone is interested in sending Chris mail, you can send it to this address:

Chris Smith

384 Timberwood Drive

Auburn, AL 36830


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