Adopting a child was not originally on the agenda for this couple. They, like other couples, wish to have a kid of their own. Indeed, they already had a kid of their own. But a tragic turn of events forced them to pursue adoption. More than that, they adopted a child who was in desperate need of love and assistance from a kind and generous family.
Here’s what happened in their heartbreaking story. Katie Butler and Josh Butler have been married since 2012 and have two children. Their fairytale relationship began when they happened to run into each other in the journalism building at Ole Miss, where they were both students. I worked as a copy editor for the newspaper. Well, Josh worked as a late night DJ, Katie, age 29, explains.
They were immediately attracted to each other. I come from a large family, Katie explains. Further, Josh was also incredibly family oriented, which was another quality that drew me to him. The rest, as they say, is history. Katie and Josh relocated to Nashville in 2010, and less than two years later they were married and embarked on their new life as a married couple.
It didn’t take them long to come to the conclusion that it was time to grow their family. Knowing that she was going to be a teacher, Katie wanted to time her pregnancy so that she could spend the summer at home with her child. I think we did a fairly good job of timing it, she says. We found out that we were expecting in September 2014, said the couple. All of them were overjoyed and everything was moving forward smoothly.
It turned out to be a baby boy, and his given name would be Dewey. However, after Katie’s 20 week scan, things took a frightening turn. We went in January 2015, and they told us that the baby had club feet and that there was some thickening of the neck, she explains. They were all signs for genetic disorders, says the researcher. Katie was referred to a specialist who conducted ultrasounds on Dewey on a weekly basis to check his progress.
One of the tests came back negative for trisomy 1518 and 21, she explains. Further, however, they were completely unaware of the prognosis. They just had a feeling he’d be a remarkable little boy. The doctors were straightforward, but they were also quite supportive. They told us that ultrasound machines could only do so much and that we might only get a little baby, Katie recalls.
However, as do we develop, things began to look bleak. His hands were clasped as he underwent each ultrasound, and it was often difficult to detect his heartbeat. Because of this, Katie was induced on May 15, 2015, when she was 39 weeks pregnant. According to her doctors, Dewey’s heart rate continued to plummet, prompting physicians to perform a cesarean section. It was discovered that the umbilical cord had been looped around his neck multiple times when they pulled him out.
They claimed the cord appeared to be only 20 weeks pregnant, which Katie believes to be the case. It was not a healthy umbilical cord, says the doctor. In the moments before he was taken away to the neonatal intensive care unit, Katy was able to hold her son. He did, in fact, have club feet as well as a web neck. But his ailments didn’t appear to be as bad as physicians had previously believed they were.
For the first two weeks, Katie explains, the only thing that was identified with diabetes. However, they noticed that chromosome six and ten had broken off and flip flopped, but that didn’t occur in an equal number of cases. To put it another way, he was deficient in some genetic information and had some duplicated. Because there was no documented cases, doctors were completely baffled as to what this signified. He remained in the NICU and every week, according to Katie, it seems as if a new issue had been discovered with him.
Dewey’s health was in a state of acute instability. At one time he didn’t require any oxygen, and then all of a sudden his trachea collapsed, recounts Katie. It was necessary for them to press the code button a minimum of eight times the tracheostomy was placed, the ventilator was turned on, and we were working toward obtaining a G tube for him. He would be able to return home. At that point, we prayed for it, but it seemed like one thing after another happened after that prayer.
Although he wasn’t ready for the Gtub, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it gave us an extra month and a half with him. On September 24, 2015, Dewey was taken back to the vet for a routine surgery. Katie, on the other hand, realized right away that something was awry. It’s customary for the nurse to phone the front desk to provide updates, she recalls, but we didn’t receive any calls this time. I had the distinct impression that something was taking place for the previous two days.
I had a strong sense that something significant was about to happen and that God was preparing us for something. She and Josh were downstairs eating lunch when they discovered that they had not yet gotten any news. Then a team of doctors arrived and stated that Dewey was not responding very well to their treatment. According to Katie, his heart had gone into irregular rhythm, and they were unable to remove him from the operation table because he couldn’t live with his heart in the rhythm that it had fallen into. They had to implant a pacemaker in his chest.
It happened so quickly and emotionally, and we agreed to follow the treatment whatever it took to keep him alive. When Katie and Josh received the worst news of their lives, they were in the process of relocating Dewey’s possessions from the NICU to the heart floor of the hospital. Dewey was not able to make it through the procedure. When the Butlers found out what had happened, they were horrified and didn’t know where to turn. Katie recalls a time when she and her husband had a great desire to be parents so intends, in fact, that she’ll never forget it.
I discovered Josh’s bucket list, on which he stated that he wants 13 children, she explains. We spoke about having two of our own and then adopting two more. In an astonishing twist of fate, the unthinkable occurred at a moment when the Butlers could see no light at the end of the tunnel. You become excellent friends with everyone when you’re in the hospital, Katie says, because we were advised not to have any more biological children due to Dewey’s genetic problem. We were speaking with other nurses about adoption when it was a Wednesday in November.
I truly poured out my heart to God, crying out that I needed another child. We had so much love to give Dewey, and he was now in heaven. As a result of our efforts, I needed to have more children to love. The following day, Katie received a phone call from one of the nurses at the hospital. We hadn’t even been in the hospital for two months.
When she told me that there was a baby who was ready to be discharged from the hospital, she said it could be too soon for us because it hadn’t even been two months since Dewey’s death, but she thought it might be okay. She was unaware of the specifics, but she was aware that he required a family. Katie informed her right away that they were interested, and a few days later they were introduced to Baby Braxtel for the very first time. He’d been born on December 121 four and had never been out of the hospital before. His lungs were in really bad shape, and this was the root cause of all of his other problems.
As with Dewey, Brax was on a ventilator and was fitted with an endotrachial tube, and when physicians informed us, we said to ourselves, we got this. With Dewey, there was no prospect of his lungs getting better. However, with Braxtelle, there was a chance of their improving. It was a circumstance that could be optimistic, Katie says the baby’s biological family was no longer part of his life. His original mother made the decision to allow him to be adopted because she saw that she was unable to offer the greatest care for him.
Adds Katie, It’s a difficult decision to make, but I’m eternally happy that she did since it allowed us to love and care for him. The Butlers brought back Baby Brexit from home from the hospital on February nineTH, 2016, and they haven’t looked back since. The family has been on an exceedingly bumpy roller coaster ride, experiencing spectacular highs and incomprehensible lows along the way. They had a baby lost a baby and then received the blessing of a lifetime just a few short months later. According to Katie, there have been a lot of feelings.
Our highs are quite high and we occasionally become depressed. I can’t help but cry. In order for me to focus on the larger picture, I had to start singing worship songs. God is in control. Duly is healed.
Brax has a second family and there’s so much to celebrate about. I said nine months have passed since the Butlers welcomed Braxtel into their home and life continues to present difficulties for which they’re grateful. He’s doing okay, but he’s somewhat delayed in his development, Katie explained. We’re learning how to feed him by mouth. He’s very interested in standing, he’s learning to crawl and he’s made tremendous progress since we brought him home.
Even though he doesn’t like grass, he enjoys playing and being outside. Katie and Josh have been through more than most couples have in a lifetime and it’s only served to strengthen their bond. It has unquestionably strengthened our relationship, she says. Because of this, we’re more in tune with each other’s emotions, which helps us keep things in perspective from a distance. The entire scenario appears to have been bittersweet, filled with a great deal of love, sorrow and an enormous quest for peace.
I’m holding out hope that I’ll get to see Dewey again, Katie says. It would be extremely difficult if I didn’t have that hope. Everyone experiences difficult situations, but God remains the constant. He’s in complete command. I’ve gained a great deal of knowledge.
Bringing a stranger’s child into your life can be frightening and weird at first, but they are in desperate need of affection. I cannot believe how much joy Brax has brought to our family.