Boonville local Kelly Smith battled with infertility for 12 years before she met her son.

Smith got lost as she drove in search of the FedEx office to drop off his adoption papers. At the time, her son was at an adoption center in Vietnam and had undiagnosed medical problems. He needed to be taken to the U.S. to be treated as soon as possible.

“Something happened that led me to where I needed to be just in time,” Smith said.

Anxiously, Smith sat alone at a stoplight when a FedEx truck turned directly in front of her car. The truck guided her to the post office where she promptly sent off Ben, her son’s, adoption papers.

Smith’s essay “Miracle at the Stoplight” has been selected from thousands of submissions to be featured in the publication of “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Believe in Miracles.” This is the second time her work has been chosen for “Chicken Soup for the Soul” and will be published in February of this year.

Each year, the publication produces a dozen books each with a different theme. Smith submitted her story because of the miracles or “God winks,” as she calls them, experienced when adopting her oldest son from overseas.

“Whether it's having a child who has special needs with a lot of health issues or it's infertility, I think if I focus on the little winks that say you're not alone, I can really stay positive,” Smith said. “I hope that if other people read those stories that encourages them to notice those things in their own life.”

Three months after Smith dropped off his adoption papers, Ben was in her arms. She and her husband traveled to Vietnam to meet and pick up their son who has cerebral palsy. At the time, he was malnourished and couldn’t lose a minute getting home and accessing care.

“He connected with us right away, but we had to get him home to get his medical needs addressed,” Smith said.

Ben is now a healthy 16-year-old attending Boonville High School, where Smith teaches English. Smith has been writing since she was a little girl. Prior to teaching, she spent 10 years as the executive director of Habitat for Humanity in Jefferson City before returning to her hometown of Boonville with her husband and three sons. This decision came after getting pregnant with her youngest son and needing to spend more time with her boys.

“When I saw Ben’s picture for the first time, I really knew,” Smith said. “That seemed like a wink from God itself.”

Smith writes regularly on her website Additionally, she has written and hopes to publish a novel of her own in the future.