Jason and Stephanie have been married for almost 13 years. Together they have 3 children, 8 year old Koah, 4 year old Abigail, and 18 month old Isaac (now in heaven). Their youngest son was diagnosed in utero with a severe heart defect, kidney issues, and brain issues. He was not expected to make it to delivery. The doctors recommended abortion, but that was NEVER an option. They loved this baby no matter what. The doctor did not want to monitor the baby’s heart during labor and even asked Stephanie if she was sure she wanted to have a c-section to save a baby that was incompatible with life. But by the grace of God, he not only made it to delivery, but lived almost 19 incredible months. His kidney issues and brain issues were not nearly as bad as the doctors had thought. He underwent 3 open heart surgeries, g-j tube placement, tracheotomy, and emergency abdominal surgery, among many other procedures. He died 5 days after having emergency abdominal surgery while admitted at Children’s Hospital Boston in the cardiac ICU. He died in his mother’s arms with his daddy right beside him while his mommy was telling him about heaven and how beautiful it was and how God was going to take care of him now, but that she would see him again one day. In his short time here on this earth, Isaac touched more lives than most healthy grown men do in their lifetime. God used him to save his big brother Koah’s life. Because of Isaac, the other 2 children had their hearts checked, and Koah then had heart surgery a few weeks later. At one time, this family had 2 sons in the cardiac ICU. Not only did Isaac save his brother’s life, but he changed his family’s hearts as well. Stephanie had always had a special place in her heart for special needs children, but now it was so much closer to her heart. Before their oldest was born, she was a Speech-Language Pathologist in the school system and had many students with special needs. She used to think that the parents of the special needs children were so blessed. Little did she know that one day she would have her own biological child with special needs, and what an INCREDIBLE BLESSING that would be. Stephanie enjoyed every second of taking care of Isaac (including managing his home vent, continuous feeds, trach care, g-j tube care, suctioning, meds 8x a day, injections twice a day). Because of Isaac, Koah and Abi have changed, as well. They are better, stronger, more loving kids The are very accepting of others’ differences, in fact, they usually don’t even notice. They loved taking care of their brother and can’t wait to add another child to the family. Stephanie and Jason had always talked about adoption even before they had children. But after having the incredible privilege and blessing of being Isaac’s mom, it was no surprise that she preferred and sought out a child with special needs. Recently, Stephanie was looking on Reece’s Rainbow. She was originally looking for a child with complex medical issues like she was used to, but when she saw Ryder, she knew he was the one that was meant to be their son. She then showed him to Jason and the other children. It was because of Isaac, that Ryder would be joining the family. So not only did Isaac save his big brother’s life, but he was now saving his little brother’s life. Isaac’s life reminds us that life is short, we are just passing through, this life is not about us, but about bringing glory to God every day just like Isaac did every day of his life. What better way to bring glory to God than to demonstrate God’s heart of adoption by providing unconditional love and a home to what the world might consider the unwanted. BUT the crazy thing is that we know we are the ones, not Ryder, who receives the biggest blessing in all of this. We know what AMAZING JOY special needs kids bring to a family. I think that we as a family need Ryder more than he needs us. Please pray for Ryder and for us as we travel through this adoption journey.
Here they are with their new brother and sister, Koah and Abi and new momma, Stephanie! I thought this was a beautiful story, so I had to share! I will definitely be posting updates of this family as I get them! I cannot wait to see the homecoming of these boys! God is so good!