By: Katherine Arch
On January 1st, 2016 IWU alumni Nathan (’05, Social/Behavioral Sciences, Business Administration) and Kim (’04, Elementary Education) Cromer welcomed Caleb Jonathan Cromer into the world. Caleb was Grant County’s first birth of the year, born at Marion General Hospital. Many people herald the birth of a child with comments about the miraculous nature of new life, Grant County’s first baby of the new year, however, cannot be described as anything short of a miracle.
When the two married ten years ago, doctors told Kim and Nathan that they would never have children. Coming from a family of twelve children, Kim especially was very upset by this news.
“We were told it would be a miracle to have a baby,” Kim recalls. Upon hearing this news, the couple felt called by God not to pursue fertility treatments. Instead, they chose to wait patiently and hope that God would grant them their desire to have children.
“There’s a verse in Psalm 113 that says “He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother” (Psalm 113:9 a) I clung to that verse at that time,” Kim recalled. “I felt as though God gave me that verse as a promise. I needed to wait.”
During this period of waiting, Kim recalls that she was working at McCullough Junior high as a teacher. Many of McCullough’s students are from poor socioeconomic backgrounds, every day Kim faced the struggles of poverty. Her heart was heavy with the struggles these students faced.
“I wanted to help children who were hurting,” Kim remembers. “So Nathan and I decided that we wanted to pursue doing foster care and in-home childcare.” After making this decision, Kim stepped down from her position at McCullough and the couple began the journey of foster care.
“We had groups of siblings several times; sometimes we just had individual kids,” stated Kim. “At one point we had a five-year-old, a three-year-old, and a one-year-old in our house at the same time!” About two years ago, the Cromers took in a young boy named Isaiah; this child they were able to adopt. Kim commented on the significant difference between adopting and doing foster care. She mentioned how difficult it is to give children back when their time as foster parents ends.
Looking back on the series of kids that came and left their home, Kim recalls that the process of doing foster care was “emotionally and physically exhausting.” The Cromers, however, sensed strongly that this was something to which God had called them. So they continued volunteering to take children through the foster care system. At the same time, they finalized adoption for Isaiah. After successfully adopting him, the Cromers found out they were pregnant.
“We were thrilled,” Kim stated. “We felt as though God had promised us this child, and now we were being given him.” The pregnancy was without complication, and on January 1st, the couple welcomed Caleb to their family.
“His name has special meaning,” explained Kim of her son. “Caleb means “faithful”, and Jonathan means “gift from God.” We really felt that both of those names were fitting.”
Five days before Caleb’s birth, their last foster care child left their home. The family plans to take a year off of foster care to adjust to their new family dynamics and resume care next year.
“We have no promise that we’ll have a child again,” Kim emphasized, “and his birth doesn’t change our desire to do foster care. This is something we still feel called to do. Caleb was simply our miracle baby.”
The Indiana Wesleyan Alumni family is excited to celebrate the birth of Caleb Jonathan with the Cromers!
Written by Katherine Arch, Story Teller for Alumni Relations. Katherine Arch is a Senior English major at Indiana Wesleyan, and a member of the Track and Cross Country teams. She is passionate about sharing people’s stories and celebrating their unique divine potential in written form. Katherine also operates a website called “Join the Ranch” at jointheranch.weebly.com. It is about pursuing God’s purpose for her life and vocation.