Josh and Katie Butler had always dreamed of having a big family. Katie once found a bucket list of Josh’s that said he wanted 13 kids. They ultimately decided that they wanted two biological children and two adopted children. Little did they know, fate had other plans in store for them.
When the couple found out they were pregnant with their first son, Dewey, they were ecstatic. But just 20-weeks into the pregnancy, things took a terrifying turn.
“We went in, and they told us there was some thickening of the neck and that the baby had club feet,” Katie told The Daily Advertiser. “Those were all markers for genetic conditions.”
“They said that (ultrasound) machines could only do so much,” Katie recalls, “and that we might just have a small baby. But as Dewey grew, things looked bad.”
At just 39-weeks, doctors induced Katie which led to an emergency c-section. Katie was able to briefly hold Dewey before they rushed him to the neonatal intensive care unit. The doctors told Katie and Josh that he did have club feet and a webbed neck, however, it wasn’t as severe as they’d initially expected.
“For the first two weeks,” Katie says, “all he was diagnosed with was diabetes. But then they discovered that chromosomes 6 and 10 had broken off and flip-flopped, but it didn’t happen equally. Basically, he was missing some genetic information and some was duplicated.”
After bringing Dewey back to the hospital for a routine visit, things took a devastating turn for the worse. Dewey was rushed into emergency heart surgery, but sadly — the 4-month old baby did not survive.
Katie and Josh were completely heartbroken and overwhelmed with grief by the loss of their son. But in a twist of fate, their lives were yet again, about to be changed forever.
After the death of their son, Katie was completely overcome with grief and heartache. All she had ever wanted was children, and now she had a hole in her heart.
“While we were in the hospital, you get to be good friends with everyone,” Katie says. “Since we were discouraged from having any more natural kids (because Dewey’s condition was genetic), we were talking to different nurses about adoption. In November, it was a Wednesday, I really poured out my heart to God, crying, that I needed another baby. We had so much love and poured it into Dewey and now he was in heaven … I needed more kids to love.”
A baby named Braxtel had been born at the hospital and had never left. He had severe respiratory problems but was about to be discharged. There was just one problem — Braxtel didn’t have parents or a home.
One of the nurses who had gotten to know Katie over the past few months immediately called the Butler’s when she heard about Braxtel, aka Brax’s, situation. Katie and Josh were more than interested and decided to meet Brax a few days later.
“Like Dewey, Brax was on a ventilator and had a trach, and when doctors told us, we were like, ‘We got this.’ With Dewey, there was no chance of his lungs getting better, but with Braxtel, he could get better. It was an optimistic situation,” Katie explains.
Brax’s biological parents were unable to care for him and all of his medical needs and costs.
“His biological mom decided to let him be adopted because she recognized that she couldn’t provide the best care for him,” Katie says. “And that’s a hard decision. But I am so grateful she did, so we could love him and care for him.”
It was on February 9th, 2016 that Katie and Josh were finally able to bring their new baby home. It wasn’t the plan that they had made originally, but they couldn’t be more grateful for Brax and how he entered their lives.
“There have been a lot of emotions,” Katie says. “Our high are really high and sometimes, we just get sad. I just cry. I had to start singing worship songs to get me to focus on the bigger picture: God is in control, Dewey is healed, Brax has a second family, and there is so much to rejoice about.”
The couple couldn’t be happier, and they say their marriage is so much stronger because of all they’ve gone through. Their touching and emotional story below truly shows the power of love.
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