Katie: Adoption means so many things to me. Because of adoption we have been able to tangibly see how the Lord has redeemed our situation. He says He will give us beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, and praise instead of a spirit of despair. Despair is where we lived for many years. Cancer took things from us. It took dreams we had our entire lives and leveled them. It destroyed parts of my husband. It changed the course of my entire life, and the generations to come. But God is faithful to redeem that which the enemy has stolen from us. For years, that was my prayer ‘Lord give us back what the locusts have eaten. Restore the years stolen from us’ (Joel 2:25).
Adoption has meant laying down my expectations, hurts, and the need to control situations and laying it all at His feet. It has meant that parts of me have had to die. Giving up control has been a really hard process, and one I continue to walk out. It has meant laying down control and how I thought things would turn out and being open to His plan. It has meant learning to trust that His plan and ways are better than and higher than anything we could dream up.
JD: I grew up in a great Christian home, with loving and supportive parents; my home life was a God-given blessing. I was very athletic as a kid and even into my young adult years, from baseball and backyard football games, to skateboarding and snowboarding with my friends. My overall health was pretty good – sure I would get sick here and there, but nothing out of the norm. What I’m getting at is, I never would have ever imagined that I would receive a doctor’s report later in life that I would not father my own biological children. Nothing leading up to that moment would have caused me to believe that could have been an issue. Yes, I had cancer as a baby but that was something I couldn’t even remember; and besides God healed me and I was a healthy young man. That was and is still a very hard burden to carry. It’s hard to fathom something in your life that except for a miracle would most likely be a permanent condition.
Knowing that you won’t have an opportunity that many don’t think twice about, and knowing its your condition holding back your wife’s opportunity to carry a child is a heavy burden that I’m still working through with God. But God never ceases to amaze me, His plan is always perfect and it was in place long before I was even born. As I’m writing this, the next child we adopt has already been predestined for this family; we are coming into alignment with God’s plan…and it’s powerful. He takes something that was meant to bring harm and turns it into something amazing. God has a bigger picture in mind for our life, and I’m just finally getting on board with Him….and I’m blown away!
Katie: I also grew up in a Christian home. I’m one of 4 girls. From my earliest memories I dreamed of becoming a mother. It’s really all I wanted to do in life. I dreamed about being pregnant, what my children would look like, how many I would have. I had dreams of being a ‘young mom,’ planning on being done having all my kids by 30. I really did think it would all happen the way I always envisioned. And when we got the diagnosis that January day, I felt like the rug had been completely pulled out from under me. My world just imploded on me.
As a couple, we went through some really dark years after our diagnosis. I, Katie, was immediately open to adopting but JD was closed off to the idea. So here I was, a young married woman who has always dreamed of having a family, being faced with the possibility that it might never happen for me. JD was angry about his diagnosis. I was angry that he wasn’t open to adoption. It was ugly. And we allowed that anger, bitterness, grief, to drive a big wedge between us. We hung out in this dark place for a couple years and it was miserable. When it got so bad that our marriage started to crumble we turned towards the Lord as a couple to come in and save this mess we had created. That began a road of healing, forgiveness, and ultimately being open to what His will was for our life & our marriage. Which then lead us to adoption.
JD: Adoption has been an amazing lesson for me in God’s timing and His perfect plan. He completely changed my heart regarding adoption. I remember sitting in bed with my wife Katie, hesitant toward the thought of adopting; I heard God clearly say, ‘I adopted you.” Just like that, God spoke and immediately my heart starting changing; a desire to adopt quickly entered into my heart. Eight years went by of ups and downs regarding our journey into adoption for the first time, but this was God’s plan all along. This is the other side of adoption for me personally. I would often ask God to give us the child He had predestined for our family, and in His timing; He did just that. My son Judah is a daily, tangible reminder to me that God has a better plan for my life than I do! Judah is a reminder that when you wait for what God wants for you, no matter how hard or how long; He will truly give you the best. My love for my son is immense, it’s so big; I can’t put it into words…..this is adoption.
Judah’s story: We learned about embryo adoption not long after our diagnosis. Although we thought it was a really amazing way to adopt we immediately wrote it off thinking it wasn’t for us. Years passed and the idea of embryo adoption continued to come up. It took awhile but we started to feel like it might be the path God was asking us to take. When we finally felt ready to move forward with adoption, we felt led to seek embryo adoption. We adopted a set of 4 embryos in 2013. We become pregnant with Judah that year. He had been frozen for 3.5 years. We were being thrilled that we were given the opportunity to carry our adopted son. The pregnancy was hard and in February of 2014, Katie became very sick. Through a series of miraculous events she made her way to the hospital and was diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia. Judah was born 4 days later at 29 weeks gestation. He weighed 3lbs 1oz, and was immediately whisked away to the NICU upon delivery. We were not able to hold him until he was 5 days old. After spending 10 days there Katie was finally released as healthy enough to go home.
We had Judah after waiting 8 years for a child. Leaving him behind in the hospital that day was one of the most excruciating feelings. Although we were so thankful that Katie & Judah’s lives were spared, it was a very painful time. He spent 45 days/6 weeks in the NICU. We drove back & forth to the hospital multiple times a day. It was physically and emotionally draining, and certainly not the way we ever intended the joyful birth of our first child to be. However, with minor set backs here & there, Judah continued to thrive and grow and we were able to bring him home. The year that followed his birth was hard. Because he was born so prematurely he was behind developmentally so we had a lot of work to do to help him catch up. We had, yet again, another opportunity to cling to the Lord during that time. To trust the Lord with our son. To hand him back over the Lord when we found ourselves taking ownership of him. He was a gift we were given by the Lord. And we see now this incredible story God created by bringing Judah into our family. The details are amazing. It’s certainly not anything we could have ever dreamed up.
Will you join us in taking the next step in this incredible, redemptive journey? If you haven’t already, take a moment to learn more about our story by watching the video above.
God has adopted us into His family, and we have the opportunity to adopt children into ours. I want to look back on my life and see that our family is a reflection of the gospel and what Jesus did for us.
Katie and JD
JD and Katie met in October of 2004 and were married in June 2005. When Katie moved to Pennsylvania in 2004, she had no intention of staying for long, but she soon met JD, and they were engaged less than 3 months later. JD is a lineman apprentice, and Katie is a stay at home mom. Katie also works part-time as a massage therapist and doula.
This family hasn't added any updates yet. Check back soon!