JOSH & ASIYAH KURTZ
Thank you so much for your generous donation towards our adoption! Our adoption journey has been full to say the least and there were many, many times that we were ready to give up. But God, in His grace and love, gave us the desire of our hearts: our baby Joel.
We began our adoption journey in the summer of 2010 and the first few years of our journey were uneventful. In early August 2013, we were matched with a birth mother, Stephanie, from Oklahoma who was expecting our son, “Benjamin”. Due to complications from Stephanie’s diabetes, Benjamin was born two months prematurely and spent quite some time in Neonatal Intensive Care.
My husband, Josh and I, traveled to Oklahoma City along with our two oldest children, Elliot and Olivia. After we had been in Oklahoma for nearly two weeks, Stephanie missed the scheduled court date to relinquish her parental rights. She notified us by text message that she couldn’t go through with the adoption plan. We were absolutely devastated. It took several weeks for us to process the loss. Josh and I began to ask ourselves whether we had done anything to cause the adoption failure. It was so frustrating. We had many questions but very few answers.
One morning not long after we lost Benjamin, I woke up with a Nat King Cole song in my head. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with it but the title is “Pick Yourself Up”. In the song, Mr. Cole says, “Take a deep breath, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.”
Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2013 – on our drive back from having dinner with relatives, Josh and I decided to stop trying to grow our family. It had been more than 3 years since we first started the adoption process. We were tired of the well-meaning questions about adoption and the holidays exacerbated our feelings of loss. It was just too draining, both emotionally and financially as we had lost a considerable amount of our savings trying to bring Benjamin home. It was a tough decision but we made it with the intent of preserving the rest of our hearts and helping our family to heal.
But what we didn’t know is that our son, Joel Patrick, had been born the night before—on Thanksgiving Eve. That little boy immediately wrecked any ideas I had about self-preservation…his smile has reduced me to love many times over.
We finalized our adoption of Joel on July 9, 2014; he is the sweetest, most calm child I have ever known. He loves to babble and his favorite words are Mommy, Daddy and doggie. At 15 months old, he isn’t walking yet, but that is probably because he can usually be found snuggling in the crook of my or my husband’s arms.
I have included a few pictures of Joel and one from our court finalization. Your financial gift helped us tremendously in a time of emotional and financial need. What you are pursuing is God’s work: doing good and loving the fatherless. Thank you SO much for being part of our adoption journey.