Adopting a baby was not the initial plan for this couple. Much like other couples, they wanted a child of their own. In fact, they had a child of their own but a tragic twist of fate led them to the path of adoption. Not only did they adopt a baby, they magnanimously adopted a baby who really needed their love and support. Here’s their moving story.
Katie and Josh Butler were elated to discover that they were expecting a baby. They were greatly looking forward to welcoming their bundle of joy. In fact, they were so excited that they decided to keep the sex of their baby a mystery.
Unfortunately, their spirits were dampened during Katie’s 20-week checkup. They received devastating news that would change their lives forever.
Katie was worried that she might accidentally discover their baby’s gender during the 20-week ultrasound. But little did she know that there was something else in store for her. Something shocking and they had never seen coming.
“We learned that our baby had strong markers for a genetic disorder, the name of which we only found out after he was born: unbalanced translocation of chromosomes six and 10. After the 20-week mark, our pregnancy was significantly less joyful,” she said.
But adopting a baby was something that the couple still did not expect.
At 39 weeks, Katie was induced and delivered a baby boy whom they named Dewey. Dewey had a host of medical complications and surgeries to undergo. The road to recovery was long, arduous and uncertain but the couple remained optimistic in spite of the challenges.
“I fully believed Dewey was going to get better. I believed we would get to take him home. I believed he would be healed.”
However, tragedy struck when Dewey had to undergo yet another surgery. While in surgery, his heart jumped into a strange rhythm that the medical team had completely not expected.
Dewey had complications during his surgery.
The couple were told that once Dewey was out of the operating theatre, he would be moved to the NICU to the cardiac floor so that the cardiologists could closely monitor his heart. Sadly, that never happened for baby Dewey didn’t make it.
When the doctors broke the news, Katie couldn’t immediately process it.
Dewey had died so many times.
Josh got the message immediately and dropped to his knees. Katie described how she responded to him more than to the news for she chose to be in denial and not believe what she had just heard.
Even after they rolled his little body in on his hospital bed – I was just hoping that Dewey was sleeping.
It was a tough time for them and after two months, when Katie was still struggling to come to terms with the loss of her precious child, she received a message from a NICU nurse about adopting a baby. It caught her attention immediately.
“I received a text message that [there was] a baby in the PICU that needed a family. So I got in touch with this baby’s social worker the next day, and she filled me in on a few details: male, very premature, vent-dependant, around a year old.”
I told Josh we were going to foster a baby, he 100 percent agreed, and we scheduled to meet the medical team and this baby on that Monday.
And the big-hearted couple had no qualms about adopting a baby with serious developmental delays and breathing issues. They brought baby Braxel home on Feb, 9, 2015 and they say that life has been good ever since he arrived!
Adopting a baby with medical complications is a tough choice.
“Braxel is full of joy. We believe he knows that every day is a gift. He is so forgiving, and he’s so quick to make friends. He wakes up every morning and from every nap ready to go play! He is severely developmentally delayed in gross and fine motor skills, and in speech, but we have five therapy appointments a week, plus a home health nurse to get him caught up. It looks like he might be decannulated next year, which means no more trach! And then the doctors will remove his feeding tube! I fully believe that in the next few years he will be a typical little boy!”
We are touched by this couple’s oceanic compassion and their ability to love unconditionally. Our heart goes out to their little angel and we hope that he rests in peace and that Braxel grows up happy and healthy!
Photo credit: Katie Butler