For Matt and Kimberly, adopting Kaden has been a whirlwind of emotions and mountains of paperwork in just a few short months. Kimberly, an elementary school teacher, and Matt, director of his county’s parks and recreation department, weren’t thinking about adopting when five-year-old Kaden came into their lives.
The opportunity to adopt came at a difficult time. Matt and Kimberly, who had struggled with infertility for years, had suffered a devastating miscarriage after getting pregnancy through IVF fertility treatments. Just days into grieving the new loss, Kimberly found out about Kaden. Kaden was a kindergartner at the school where Kimberly teaches. In the previous few weeks, the school counselor and his teacher began to realize that Kaden’s current foster home wasn’t a good fit for him. They knew he needed a more nurturing, stable home as soon as possible. The close-knit staff was aware of Kimberly’s recent miscarriage, so they were hesitant to approach the Codys about the possibility of adopting Kaden. However, the counselor felt Kaden’s situation was so dire that they needed to move fast.
Fresh off her recent heartbreak, Kimberly wasn’t sure she was ready, but when she met the adorable and sweet five year old and learned about his need of a home, she fell in love. She believed that this was God’s answer to her prayers.
However, Matt wasn’t so sure.
He told Kimberly that he would support her, but she was going to have to pursue this and do the leg work. “I told her I was going to have to keep my distance. I just couldn’t put my heart out there,” said Matt.
So with help of the LSG adoptions team, Kimberly began the hard work of getting approved. Typically, prospective parents spread out the mounds of paperwork over several months, but in order to fast track their approval the Codys had to fill it out in one sitting. The couple was able to get a home study in just three weeks, typically it takes between 3-6 months, and Kaden moved to their home just two months later.
For Matt and Kimberly, adding an energetic kindergartener to their lives was a big adjustment.
“Kaden handled it like a champ. He was settled right in. He was never on edge,” says Matt. Kimberly chimes in, “For us it was life changing. The days of doing our own thing were over.”
But after a challenging first week, the Codys settled into a routine and schedule that worked for all of them and has Kaden thriving.
Due to Kaden’s past experiences, Matt and Kimberly have had to work on building trust with Kaden.
In such a short time, the Codys and all of the staff at school have noticed a big change in Kaden.
Laura Fowler, adoption recruiter, LSG, says, “Kaden was always so still and quiet. Like he’d been told that children should be seen not heard.” Now he’s a typical fun loving, often noisy, kindergartener.
While Matt was cautious about getting too attached during the home study and paperwork, once Kaden moved into their home just two months later, he was all in. Kimberly says that one of the best parts of parenthood so far is seeing her husband become a dad.
And it’s clear that he is enjoying his new status as well. Matt beams with pride when he talks about coaching Kaden’s team for her first season of baseball and Kaden’s attempts to do things “like Daddy.”
“It’s those little moments. It’s tiring but it’s so worth it. It fills your heart,” says Kimberly.
Before moving in with the Codys, Kaden had a difficult time at school. Now he is excelling. Matt and Kimberly want to instill in him that he can be anything he wants to be.
“He’s so smart. I told him ‘you’re going to be a doctor,’” says Matt. On career dress up day, the Codys made sure that Kaden was fully decked out in the career of his choice – a doctor’s coat along with a stethoscope and other accessories.
What was a low point in their lives turned into a miracle. “Now we realize that we weren’t meant to have a child through IVF,” says Kimberly. “We didn’t have that child, so we could have Kaden.”