Ryan’s Storyposted on October 11th, 2012 / by Kimberly Karkos / 6 Comments
It was a fall day, in the year 2000.
That was the day I learned my baby’s heart had stopped beating. My life stopped in that moment. It was as if I stepped out of myself, I heard the nurse utter the words but I could not believe it.
It was our third pregnancy. The first two were miscarriages around ten weeks as I recall, and this one was, you know, “Third time’s the charm.” I was 26 weeks pregnant when they placed me in the hospital for hypertension. 200/130 BP. I didn’t feel bad, what’s the big deal? The next week was spent trying to wrap my head around the fact I would be here another 10 or so weeks at least.
It was a Thursday night. My mother, my husband and my best friends were all sitting around watching Friends. It was the last night I would hear my baby’s heart beat. I remember it so well. The next morning the nurse came in for a heartbeat check and there was none.
Many times I asked “Why, God?” “Why can’t I have a baby?” “Why can’t I have a grand-baby for my Mom who has cancer and may not live much longer?” What have I done to deserve going this far only to have him taken from me?” These are the questions I had in my mind.
After 36 hours of labor, magnesium sulfate pumping in my body and lighting it on fire, I finally delivered my 1lb 2oz baby boy, Ryan Joseph. He was beautiful. The nurse was a gift from God, I know now. She insisted we hold him and she took photos so that someday, when I wasn’t so bitter and angry at God, I would be able to look back at the photos and see the miracle of my boy, whom I would be rejoined with in heaven some day.
After the craziness of planning a funeral and a few weeks that followed, I received an article from my mother about an adoption agency in CA. I felt compelled to pursue this. Why all the way in CA I did not know but I did not care. I told my husband, pack your bags, we are going here. So, we did. It took six months before we were matched to a child, who after holding in the hospital for a week, was taken from us by the birthmom who had changed her mind. I will never forget calling my mother to break the news, once again, that her baby is NOT going to be getting a baby.
As it happened, my brother was flying down with his girlfriend that very day of our adoption loss and he had no idea what he was in for when his baby sister came running to him, sobbing on his shoulder. “I’m sorry Kenny, you wasted your time, there’s no baby, the birth mom changed her mind.”
My big brother, my rock, and his girlfriend selflessly took off one week to spend with us in San Diego. To help me understand and come to terms with all that had happened. To laugh with us and to cry with us.
To share the Gospel as no one ever had before.
Throughout all of these circumstances, I never really prayed for God to bless me with a child. I grew up Catholic, never really understood the idea of being Christian and that it wasn’t about the religion but rather, the relationship with Jesus. My big brother brought me to Jesus Christ on November 16th, 2001 during that week. On that day, I got down on my knees and I gave my life to him. It was no longer anger that filled my heart, but instead, it was hope.
My mother passed away the next year in May from cancer. All I ever wanted to was to be able to give her a grand-baby from her baby. It was another dark time in my life but because I had Jesus and I knew what a devout Christian my mother was, I knew she was in heaven. In fact, I’m certain she went directly to heaven and told God to “Give my daughter a baby!” She had that kind of relationship with him.
One week later to the day, on Mother’s Day of all days, we found out that we had been chosen by a birth mom to adopt her little boy. A boy! I was overjoyed because I really wanted a boy. This birth mom had contacted the agency and said “I don’t want to look at anymore profiles, I only want this couple.”
Three months later, my world was rocked in the best way, with the birth of my sweet Samuel Ryan. Not a day goes by that I think about how God’s timing was what I needed to focus on and not my own. I just didn’t understand that. I was angry and bitter at God but then once I surrendered He showed me the power of timing.
We celebrate Sam’s big brother Ryan in heaven by going to his grave site each year on his birthday and releasing balloons up to heaven. My son Sam tells everyone he has a big brother in heaven and we are so excited to meet him again someday … but not too soon.