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Ever since Revee and Andrew Kraszewski's 18-month-old son Wyatt died of a heart condition last spring, the pain has been unwavering — but now they are finding unexpected solace.
“When your child dies, it is not something you ever get over,” Revee Kraszewski, 27, told TODAY.
Amid their grief, the Clarksville, Tennessee, couple — who also have daughters Audrey, 5, and Raelynn, 3 —are adopting twins, whose biological mother has a fatal illness. The twins are due in October.
The couple always wanted a large family. They decided they would adopt after Revee Kraszewski almost died of HELLP syndrome, a type of preeclampsia, while delivering her first child, Audrey.
“Adoption was something that God laid on my heart,” Kraszewski said.
They heard of a mom looking for someone to adopt her daughter, and Raelynn joined the family. Only three weeks later, Kraszewski learned she was pregnant with Wyatt.
“It was very surprising,” she said.
Doctors closely monitored this pregnancy and Kraszewski delivered Wyatt by Caesarean section. His arrival gave the Kraszewskis a taste of life with two babies.
“They were about nine months apart,” she said. “It was kind of like having twins. But when one is crawling one way, the other was running the other way.”
Last spring, Wyatt developed a fever. Since he was born with a congenital heart condition, the Kraszewskis took him to the doctor immediately. He didn't have the flu and was sent home with medicine to lower his fever.
That night, Wyatt was so full of energy at the park that his parents thought he was recovering. But when Andrew went to check on him later that evening, he discovered Wyatt wasn't moving and had turned blue.
“Andrew started immediately doing CPR,” Kraszewski said. “But he and I kind of knew that Wyatt was already gone.”
They had no idea that Wyatt's fever was the beginning of viral myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart. Wyatt's body just wasn't strong enough to overcome it and he passed away on May 1, 2017.
Before Wyatt's death, the family had been discussing adoption again.
But at first they could focus only on grieving.
"Our lives have changed. Obviously, it was so tragic," Kraszewski said.
Earlier this year, they heard about a woman who was pregnant with twins and looking for a family to adopt them. But it was complicated: The biological mom has a fatal illness and needs an organ transplant. Her doctors are concerned she might not survive giving birth, Kraszewski told TODAY Parents.
Having experienced babies close in age with Raelynn and Wyatt, the Kraszewskis feel prepared and excited to add twins to their family.
Even though a self-matched adoption costs less, they still needed money for it. So they started working with an organization called the Both Hands Foundation to cover their expenses. The couple and their friends spent a day helping a local widow fix up her home. All the volunteers ask for sponsors, much like a charity race, and all the money raised goes toward the Kraszewskis' adoption costs.
Kraszewski hopes their story shows that love endures, even when life seems hopeless.
“After loss there is still joy,” Kraszewski said. "I want other people to know that if their child does pass away that life does get better."