For Matt and Kimberly, adopting Kaiden 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 the City of Bremen Parks and Recreation Department, weren’t thinking about adopting when five-year-old Kaiden 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 Kaiden. Kaiden was a kindergartner at the school where Kimberly teaches. In the previous few weeks, the school counselor and his teacher began to realize that Kaiden, who was in foster care at the time, really needed the stability of a permanent home. The close-knit staff was aware of Kimberly’s recent miscarriage, so they were hesitant to approach the Codys about the possibility of adopting Kaiden. However, the counselor decided the timing was right for Kaiden and thought it would be a great match.
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 Kaiden moved to their home just two months later.
For Matt and Kimberly, adding an energetic kindergartener to their lives was a big adjustment.
“Kaiden 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 Kaiden thriving.
Due to Kaiden’s past experiences, Matt and Kimberly have had to work on building trust with Kaiden.
In such a short time, the Codys and all of the staff at school have noticed a big change in Kaiden.
Laura Fowler, adoption recruiter, LSG, says, “Kaiden 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, kindergartner.
While Matt was cautious about getting too attached during the home study and paperwork, once Kaiden 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 Kaiden’s team for her first season of baseball and Kaiden’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, Kaiden 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 Kaiden 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 at that time,” says Kimberly. “We didn’t have that child, so we could have Kaiden.”