Danielle's Story

If you know us personally, then you know our story and our history. You know the journey we have traveled as a family. You know our sorrows and our pain. You know how our lives changed in an instant. You know how much we have grown and learned. You know how much we love our life and the season we are in.

If you don't know us personally.... I want to tell you a story about us.

Photo Credit: Melanie Pittman

Photo Credit: Melanie Pittman

This is us. We are the Patton Family. Kyle and I met on a hot July day in 2005. I was just out of high school and he had just recently relocated to be with his family in Texas. We dated for about six weeks and eloped. Yes that's right folks we knew each other for six weeks and decided to get married. I had no idea how to be a wife, but there was something about this guy that made me say yes. He says that he knew I was "the one" from the first date, but I had no clue what I wanted from the relationship that first date. I was just looking forward to a free movie and conversation. He sure won my heart though.

We eloped labor day weekend in Dallas and a few weeks later found out we were pregnant. A few weeks after finding out we were expecting our first child, I had a miscarriage. I was devastated, but I was ok. I decided that maybe starting birth control was a good option for us while we were still getting to know each other and starting a new life together. Well that plan didn't work out too well. In the middle of switching pills, I ended up getting pregnant again. That pregnancy turned out to be our sweet boy Joseph. This boy changed my life so much. I never knew how much I could love someone other than Kyle. That pregnancy was horrific. From constant sickness, a leaking gallbladder, a surgery to remove my gallbladder at 27 weeks pregnant, bed rest for 6 weeks and a very traumatic birth story led to this amazing boy.

Fast forward a few years and we started trying to have more kids. Nothing was happening and I didn't understand why. After years of doctors appointments and my own research, I was finally diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). This was causing irregular cycles and cysts on my ovaries which can also prevent ovulation. Battling second infertility was a very hard place for me.

After struggling for years, I had finally come to a place of being content as a mom of one child. I knew I needed to completely move forward and focus on the good life I had in front of me. So we went on about our lives and enjoyed Joseph as an only child. Then one day our lives changed forever. Kind of like when you take a pregnancy test and it is positive. That kind of life changing. All of the emotions and thoughts and worries. It was all the same, but in a different way.

Photo Credit: Melanie Pittman

Photo Credit: Melanie Pittman

This is how our little CJ came into our lives. He was only  13 months old when we brought him home. He reminded me so much of Joseph when he was that age. It was an adjustment having a little one in the house again. But man it made me so happy. It was only the beginning of the next chapter.

A few months after CJ came home we decided to get foster certified with an agency. In 30 days we did all of the paperwork and requirements needed to become an official foster home. Shortly after we got a call about a little girl. I went to visit her and then I met her two younger sisters. Originally we were only going to take the oldest sister. We felt like that was what was best for us at the time. Well I met the other two girls and instantly fell in love. God was whispering to my soul "these are your girls. take them and love them." The only hurdle was convincing Kyle to take all three girls and bring our family count to seven.

I returned to the house and just started weeping in Kyle's arms. He was worried something was wrong. He was right, I was worried these girls were going to die if they were apart from each other. That next morning I called our agency worker and told her to place all three girls with us. Y'all, my house was overflowing with pink decor and dresses! I was on cloud nine. The days, weeks and months to come were nothing I was ever prepared for. We lived one day at a time and we sure had some really hard moments. A week after bringing the girl's home and adjusting to life with 5 kids, our house flooded. The flood was just the beginning of our battle in that moment. Our girls were really struggling in all areas of life. From sleep to eating solid foods, but we never gave up. We kept fighting for them.

Photo Credit: Melanie Pittman

Photo Credit: Melanie Pittman

That flood landed us in my dads camper at a local KOA for a week. Yes, all 7 of us lived in a camper for a week. Kyle and I decided if we could do that without strangling each other, then we could face anything. Then we laughed, because we knew we would be out of our house for a while. Well we actuated ended up living in a hotel for about 5 weeks. Talk about a trial. That was a mountain we conquered together as a couple and family.

We get the house put back together and start to settle back into routine; and then we get a call saying CJ's mom is pregnant and due pretty soon. My heart was excited, worried, overwhelmed and physically exhausted. But of course we said yes. We literally went from one kid to six kids in less than a full year. And you thought eloping after a few weeks of meeting was crazy! No this was crazier than that.

Over the last few months I have come to realize that God calls us to what others may think is crazy. But the kingdom isn't crazy, it is what God calls us to. These are the decisions He prepares us for. To say yes to the life he had planned all along. The journey was so long, but he had such a beautiful story for us that we couldn't even begin to imagine for ourselves.

And this my friends is how we became the Patton Party of Eight.

To connect with Danielle, email her at daniellepatton@refugewaco.org

Photo credit: Melanie Pittman

Photo credit: Melanie Pittman

Photo Credit: Natalie Mitchell

Photo Credit: Natalie Mitchell