4 minute read

Meet the Kraftson Family - The Blessing of Beckett

By Rebecca Wood - Photos by Heather Gregg - 21 Vines Photography

In 2017, Megan and Brett Kraftson were the parents of three young boys. Life for the Kraftsons was full, but not complete. This faith-filled couple felt the Lord’s nudging to expand their family through adoption.

Initially, the Kraftsons pursued international adoption but hit numerous roadblocks to placement. Then, the pair delved into domestic adoption, but they continued to face hurdles, setbacks, and even an adoption scam.

After a year went by filled with closed doors, Brett said, “I think we should adopt a child with Down syndrome.”

Megan recalls experiencing an inner peace about Brett’s suggestion. Soon after, the Kraftsons researched Down syndrome adoptions and linked up with National Down Syndrome Adoption Network (NDSAN) in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“We continued to follow the Lord’s direction and leading, and doors started opening and we started moving forward,” Megan said.

Through NDSAN, a family selected the Kraftsons for placement of their baby. In December 2018, the couple received word of the baby’s imminent arrival. The family raced to Northeast Ohio and met their newborn son Beckett at the hospital. The Kraftsons were eager to bring Beckett back to their Fishers’ home, but he remained in the NICU for the first several weeks while working through feeding issues.

Almost a month later, the Kraftsons moved Beckett home. Megan remembers that her son was a super easy baby but admits those first few months proved challenging, as Beckett required a barrage of initial doctor appointments.

However, the family settled into their new normal. The Kraftsons’ older sons doted on their new brother. Megan recalled a sweet moment when her son Lucas gazed at Beckett and said, “We waited for you for two years, and now you are ours.”

Today Beckett is a thriving 2-year-old. Megan calls him a typical toddler who is exceedingly curious and into things.

“He’s the best,” Megan said. “He’s super easy going and sweet. He’s able to find joy in every situation.”

Beckett has developed a sense of humor and likes to make his brothers laugh. He enjoys “helping” his siblings practice piano by banging on the keys. He loves attending his brothers’ sporting events.

Beckett participates in physical, developmental, and occupational therapy at First Steps. Brett, a special education administrator for the Indianapolis Public Schools, brings his considerable knowledge and expertise to helping navigate the special needs world for his son. But the biggest current challenge is simply time. The family is always juggling Beckett’s therapy schedule and doctor visits with homeschooling the older boys (ages 11, 9, and 6).

However, the family never faces challenges alone. They have plugged into the Down syndrome community and connected with other Down syndrome families.

Megan touts The Lucky Ones Facebook group as a great source of guidance and advice for her family. “These women are amazing and so supportive of each other. They are a great source of knowledge and were so helpful and encouraging as we navigated those early days of the NICU stay and endless doctors’ appointments.”

Brett is active with the Down Syndrome Indiana (DSI) Dad’s Group. The family started to get involved with Gigi’s Playhouse before COVID temporarily halted their programs.

In addition, three other families at the Kraftson’s church, Pennington Park Church, have children with Down syndrome. The other families are a great source of encouragement and camaraderie.

Friday nights are pizza and movie night at the Kraftson home. The family enjoys biking together, with Beckett towed in a trailer. This active brood also loves to explore parks and take hikes.

The family adds travel to their annual itinerary. In summer, the Kraftsons stay at a family member’s cabin in the upper peninsula of Michigan. “Beckett loves the lake, so he spends the week splashing in the water,” Megan says.

Several times a year, the Kraftsons visit Brett’s family in Washington, D.C., where they also make time to see the monuments and museums. Megan notes that Beckett gets a little anxious when they visit new places. She says bringing favorite books and toys help ease his anxiety.

Megan acknowledges that some families are fearful of adopting a child with special needs, especially if extended family members aren’t totally supportive of the idea. She admits her own family lovingly welcomed him into the fold once he arrived.

“He has both sets of grandparents wrapped around his finger,” Megan laughed.

For those wrestling with that decision, Megan offers, “None of us know what the future will be like and what challenges lie ahead. Even ‘typical’ kids have challenges. If fear wins, we miss out on the blessings.”

“We hadn’t [initially] planned to adopt a child with Down syndrome and people are sometimes surprised to hear that,” Megan said. “If we had stuck to our ‘plans’ we would have missed out on the incredible gift that Beckett is to our family. He brings joy to everyone around him, and we are blessed to be his family.”

Would you like to share your story in a upcoming issue of Special Needs Living? Email us at SpecialNeedsLivingIndy@ n2pub.com.