Overcoming Life's Obstacles: A Story of Love, Loss, and Adoption

Trisha & Thomas Walker interviewed Giuseppe & Katie Ciccone on Seeds For Your Marriage podcast, where they have an amazing testimony of how their faith in Jesus, leaning on His truths in the bible and developing a deep prayer life has withheld them through a devastating loss of a child (2nd born) and sickness (MS) in their body (Giuseppe), and it has allowed them to come through the other side stronger with a profound testimony of the faithfulness of God and His healing power that is available to us.

This experience has enriched their understanding of God’s profound love for us as His children. So much so that their family (Mom, Dad, & 1st born) have extended the love in their home by adopting three children. Their family of 6 now share this faith in Christ with others. Giuseppe and Katie also coach people into full transformative health (body, soul & spirit) with their business, Trilogy.
Clip from Seeds For Your Marriage podcast interview.
Giuseppe and Katie Ciccone
Giuseppe and Katie Ciccone share their journey of going from the devastation of losing a child to becoming parents who foster-to-adopt. They emphasize the importance of keeping their marriage a priority and spreading the love of Jesus to their children and others. They discuss the joy and challenges of parenting, the power of faith and trust in God, and the healing from trauma. Their story highlights the importance of connection, vulnerability, and humility in parenting and building strong relationships. Giuseppe and Katie Ciccone share their health journey, specifically Giuseppe's diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) and their holistic approach to health.
They emphasize the importance of accountability and coaching, as well as the role of inflammation in autoimmune diseases. They also highlight the power of community and the need to surround oneself with the right people. Overall, their story is one of transformation and empowerment, and they are passionate about sharing their knowledge and experiences to help others on their own health journeys.
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Transcript


Trisha Walker: 0:00
This is the Seeds for your Marriage podcast, where we interview married couples who have overcome difficulties in their marriage and share their testimony of how they did it. We want these tips and tools to inspire and help you thrive in your marriage.

Thomas Walker: 0:15
We are Trisha and Thomas Walker relationship coaches. We teach couples proven strategies to connect deeply and achieve God's design for an amazing marriage.

Trisha Walker: 0:27
Today we're going to talk about going from the devastation of losing a child to becoming parents who do foster to adopt, and how to do that in a way that allows your marriage to still be a priority.

Thomas Walker: 0:40
Yeah, and in addition to the priority it's loving immensely, but not just your children. I know you have love for your communities that you're part of, that you serve, and just anyone and everyone that you come in to touch with. You just want to spread the love of Jesus, and so I'm talking about Giuseppe and Katie Chikone, who I get the honor of calling friends that I've come to be very fond of over the years. Giuseppe, katie, welcome to Seeds for your Marriage. Take a few minutes and you can use yourselves to our listeners. Thanks for having us.

Katie Ciccone: 1:16
Yeah, I'm Katie and Giuseppe. We met you guys in the Bay Area California and just two years ago we brooded our whole family and moved us all out to Tennessee.

Giuseppe Ciccone: 1:28
So we're living the dream out here in this small town Tennessee. Not sure if we fully fit in yet, but it definitely does.

Katie Ciccone: 1:35
No, we stand out like a sore ground here. Yeah, y'all are from around here, are you?

Trisha Walker: 1:43
We met back in 2019 because we were attending the same church, but you hired me as the children's pastor. Actually, Giuseppe, you were the worship pastor, and Katie you were just kind of everything. I guess I did a number of different things at the church, but one thing that I definitely was just stood out to me is just how you guys parented and just the love that you had and it just impacted others around you and so, yeah, we just wanted you to be on the show. So we just thank you for being here and just sharing your story with us.

Giuseppe Ciccone: 2:17
Thanks for having us.

Thomas Walker: 2:19
Yeah, and I'm going to fast forward a little bit. I mean, obviously I know the story, I know you have four amazing, beautiful children and I just know that you're going to release a ton of wisdom today, hope and encouragement for those who listen. So let's get started. I'm going to fast forward the dating scene and early years of marriage and I'm going to go right to Rocco and his arrival and what it's like to have that first child and just what was life like during that time when Rocco entered the scene and just how much of a joy that period of your life must have been.

Katie Ciccone: 2:59
I feel like we were babies. We were so young I think I was 21 when I got pregnant with him and we're about to hit 20 years of marriage now. So, yeah, we were babies and it was very exciting. We were living in a little shack out in Antioch. It was awful. Yeah, it was very exciting to find out we were pregnant with our first child. It was a big deal and bringing him in was a special moment.

Giuseppe Ciccone: 3:28
I remember we were living in our little shack, as you might have thought, and I was sitting in the front room on the chair and she came in to show me and to tell me and I just I don't know that I believed it at first, but it was just a very surreal moment. It's pretty exciting.

Trisha Walker: 3:43
Yeah, and that was the beginning of just your large family that you have now. But then, katie, when you found out you were pregnant a second time, I'm sure there was another moment of just excitement and expectation. How old were you during your second pregnancy? I guess 23. Okay, all right. And then when did you find out that there was something different about that, that frequency?

Katie Ciccone: 4:08
We went in for our 20 week ultrasound to find out the sex of our babies With Rocco. We actually didn't find out, and so this was kind of a big deal that we decided to do this time. But it had just a very different atmosphere in that appointment and the ultrasound type just was very quiet. We said, okay, well, what you know, what's the sex? And he said I think it's a girl, you know, and so we went with that. Can we remember every story different?

Giuseppe Ciccone: 4:37
One little tweak and we fight a lot but we still kiss, so that's good. So just one little tweak was, whatever the timeline was, I remember her calling me. We didn't know the sex yet, but I remember her calling me. I was working at the C2A store and she told me that there was something going on, that there was some kind of complication, that Dr wanted to see us. So we went. I remember parking in the parking garage, but before we had left the assistant manager was trying to encourage me and said, hey, just blow on the pages of this Bible. And so I mean I'm gonna stop my finger on wherever I feel like the Holy Spirit tells me to stop the pages. And I was like, okay, I didn't know what to think of that. She did that got to the story of Solomon and it says that the Lord is gonna bless all of his people. All the people of the land will be blessed, or something like that. And the Lord told me you're to name him Solomon. And so I knew it was a boy and I knew we were supposed to name him Solomon. And so we went. We didn't know the sex yet, but I told her I don't know, well, maybe we knew the sex, but I remember saying regardless of what they say, the Lord told me it's a boy, and so that was kind of an interesting insert.

Katie Ciccone: 5:55
Yeah, we went into that appointment and they basically explained to us that our baby didn't have any amniotic fluid. Because he didn't. The baby one of us thought it was a girl, one of us was a boy and didn't have any amniotic fluid and didn't have kidneys or a bladder, and so basically they looked at us and said there's no survival rate. But this is sort of pregnancy, let's go ahead and get you scheduled for a termination. And we were like no, Whoa, that's presumptive. Yeah, that's presumptive, yeah exactly yeah, and so we, we firmly said no, we won't be doing that, and I think it just started our journey of being on our knees for the next amount of time.

Thomas Walker: 6:46
Yeah, and you know, katie, I was just reading because I believe Saul was birthday September 29th if. I'm if I'm correct and I was reading that you know he lived for three hours and 16 minutes and you wrote recently I'm so grateful for the imprint he made on our lives and the ripple effect he's had all around us. Can you just talk us through if you go back to that that moment you found out through his birth and then you know the loss a bit about that journey and how you went from I'm going to imagine I'm imagining a broken heart to a heart that's full of love and full of gratitude today.

Katie Ciccone: 7:31
Yeah, yeah, I mean. So I really take the next 20 weeks of that. Pregnancy is like the foundation for my face today, every day, like I said, on my knees Every day, crying out Because we were in this position. Of facts say this you know, the natural self says this, but we know and we believe with all our heart who God is and the healer that he is. And so, up until the last minute, we're gonna keep pressing in for this, up until we laid him in the ground. We pressed in for that Seriously. We laid hands as we laid him in the ground.

Giuseppe Ciccone: 8:18
On for his life. Remember how our friends even asked if we could lay over him and breathe over him and declare him to come back to life. I mean, we were going after it in every to the last second.

Katie Ciccone: 8:29
And I feel like I made a decision in my heart during that time that I would encourage anybody. If you're going through a hard thing, you need to make a decision. What you believe is true, Because I think a lot of times people wait for a hard moment before they determine. You know, they'll build their theology around what's happening in the moment instead of who God says he is cause. That never changes, you know.

Thomas Walker: 8:57
And so.

Katie Ciccone: 8:57
I said it like no matter what happens, I'm gonna worship you. If my son dies, I'm gonna worship you. If my son lives, I'm gonna worship you. I'm not ever gonna deviate from that and you're gonna be glorified, no matter what the outcome of this is. And so I think, because I made that sort of commitment in my heart early on, when the day came and I did, I ended up having a C-section and he came out and, like you said, he lived for three hours and 16 minutes, and I think that's a really special thing because the Lord lost his son. You know, he reminded us of that that he, his son, died and John 316 just reminds us of that.

Giuseppe Ciccone: 9:41
I remember when we pulled up to that leadership meeting for the church we were serving at the time and we had decided to establish core values, Was that before the C-section? I think Before we knew it was gonna?

Katie Ciccone: 9:54
happen. It was the day we found out what was wrong.

Giuseppe Ciccone: 9:57
We just went to a scripture and I actually have the scripture I'll share briefly. But we went to a scripture and we just knew that God was speaking to us through it. But it was Acts 2, 25 to 28. King David said this about him I see that the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he's right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad and my tongue shouts and prays. My body rests simple, for you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave. You have shown me the way of life and you fill me with the joy of your salvation. So that really encouraged us, because that's where we made core values about how we were gonna live, moving forward no matter what happened. We were not gonna be shaken, regardless of what happened, and we were always going to rely on and trust fully and be more.

Trisha Walker: 10:43
That's really good. Yeah, that's amazing. I mean I'm hearing just, I mean you were both very young and but because of the foundation that you built with the Lord, even before that pregnancy even came about, right, just that foundation in Him up to that point just helped you even become even stronger through that devastating period of time, right.

Katie Ciccone: 11:08
And I think that probably has to do with about, maybe about six or eight months before that, giuseppe was diagnosed with MS, and that's what really started our journey on who does God say he is? What is the Lord say about healing and what is that? And we had, through that experience, had some negative words spoken over us. Maybe God wants to heal you through death, and that just was wrong. That's messed up theology. Yeah yeah, I think that started us down a really beautiful path of really finding out who God is, and we had to say goodbye to our old belief system some friends who didn't support where we were at in our faith journey, and I think that was a stepping stone for what was to come with Solomon too.

Giuseppe Ciccone: 12:07
Right, right we honor those stepping stones that came during huge, huge foundation in scripture and lots of really good stuff that we didn't leave. But there was some mindsets and Incorrect beliefs. We believe that that kind of tainted what God was trying to do in our lives. So we we honored the things that really were the foundation, the scripture. Pressing into God and trusting him despite no matter what and then believing for honestly the supernatural is really what we started going after. That's when it's right, I think, for us.

Trisha Walker: 12:42
Yeah, that's really interesting. So, in those moments where you know he was born, you had the C section and I'd imagine he you were allowing, he allowed you to hold him right. In those three hours and 16 minutes, you know, was there anything that you were, you were feeling in the room or anything that you Like? What were the thoughts and the experiences you're going through in the in that time right, you know he was born.

Katie Ciccone: 13:08
Well, for me I was. I was not Fully there just because I had just had surgery and yeah, wasn't doing great. But just have you got to hold him that whole?

Giuseppe Ciccone: 13:18
Yeah, I remember Feeling lots of feelings, trisha, just when the baby came out and it was a boy. I mean, that was the first crazy feeling like oh my gosh, once again Jesus is right. And it's like the doctor for wrong. And Jesus was right. And I looked at her and she said, so, we're gonna name him Solomon. I said yeah, and then his heart wouldn't start start and there was just alarms going off and I'm not sure if you were coherent during that time, but it was just really Scary. All the doctors flooded in there and lots of noises and my pastor Said let's just, let's just reach our hands towards the baby and declare his heart to start. So we did and his heart started and it was just crazy just to see Little miracle after little miracle happening and his heart started and doctors were excited about you know, happy that that had happened, and they moved us into the NICU area and they start trying to revive his lungs, because his lungs were not strengthened. He was supposed to come out completely Deformed and that was another miracle he looked beautiful. We have a Facebook that we created for him just to honor that season our life and you can go and look at any times. Baby Solomon Chaconi. I think it's cool, but anyways, there's a beautiful picture of him and even a video of that last day where we where I get to put my hand on His chest and just pray for him, and so I was feeling great feelings and then they handed, they said you know, if we don't take him to see Katie, he won't, he won't get them, they won't get to meet. So you have to make a decision if we are gonna keep trying to revive him or if you need to take him to Katie. And I prayed and that was the hardest prayer and I just knew the Lord gave me peace, that I could take him to see her. And so they unhooked him and now I'm holding my baby who has no, nothing natural, you know helping him, and took over to Katie and she was in and out and like literally just Awaken, asleep and awake and asleep. It was just, and I was waiting for the moments where she was awake, trying to put him in her face and trying to get them to connect, and it was. You guys had a couple moments and then it was just scary because all the alarms go off again and and they're like she's bleeding, who's bleeding, what's happening. And then there's, it's just I don't want to get into the details because it was just a really scary visual moment and they will her off and I'm holding my baby. The room is disarray, I'm losing my son in my arms and it sounds like I'm losing my wife. It was scary.

Thomas Walker: 15:54
I can't place myself in your shoes because you're the one who walked through that, I think in that moment. I guess my question is Even in the midst of the chaos, you were unwavering in your choice and your belief that God is good.

Katie Ciccone: 16:12
Oh, yeah, he, this is the story I hear. But because I was in surgery but Solomon ended up passing and I was still in surgery and by then the word had gotten out to all our friends and families. So there were 50 people in the waiting room at walnut Creek Kaiser and she's happy just start sharing the gospel in the waiting room while I'm in surgery and he brought a few people to the Lord that day. Well, the Lord, the Lord, brought those people to him through. Just have been being faithful in that moment. It was powerful, and my aunt, who is now past. So that's, that's part of that ripple effect, like from that moment, yeah, honor tombstone, we chose to write our beloved usher's in the Bible. Yeah, and so Just in that moment of being able to say you know what? This isn't about me? Yeah, I'm gonna bring glory to him, no matter what.

Thomas Walker: 17:19
Yeah, so there are some, I guess a couple things. I just want to trap, because you talked about core values, giuseppe, and that's something. When we Work with couples a lot, we we ask them what are they standing?

Giuseppe Ciccone: 17:32
on.

Thomas Walker: 17:33
Right? What are their beliefs? What are they declaring Over their family and over their marriage? So I just want to just highlight that for the listeners, about the importance of Having those values, having those principles and taking a stand for ask for me, in my house we will serve the Lord, and what that means, and and how we're gonna carry that out on a day-to-day basis. The second thing I just want to just highlight is choice and the difference between facts versus truth, because the facts can always say there's nothing but desperation, destruction, devastation, but the truth and I'm just gonna leave that open-ended for for you to complete that the truth says and I'll let you take it from there.

Katie Ciccone: 18:23
Well, I mean that the thing that comes to mind immediately is the truth is that God's always good, and that's that's something that we have to continually remind ourselves of in every situation, really like as Life has gone on. You know what's true about God he's always good. So when something happens and people want to build stories around, you know, well, maybe God allowed this to happen for this, this A, b and C, and it's like no, god's always good.

Giuseppe Ciccone: 18:55
Yeah, we just don't have room in our brains for those, those comments and those thoughts and those perspectives. We just we just don't even make room for it, because one of the core values is that we won't be shaken from his presence. We just won't be shaken from his presence like you think of a tree that gets shaking, like all of trying to To get them to come down. We just won't be shaken from this present. We're so attached to the vine Well, at least we, that's what we strive to be we just refuse and it really has nothing to do with us. We just know the truth that we're so attached to them, like it is just true, even on my worst day of Not being the person I want to be, I'm still completely intertwined and attached to the vine that I can't be shaken from his Presence. And when I have that recognition of that truth that's the truth when I recognize that truth, everything in the natural begins to line up with that truth even more. Yeah, right.

Trisha Walker: 19:53
I just keep thinking about how, even when, giuseppe, you were diagnosed with MS and you guys really started pressing into the truth and what is the truth of the kingdom? What does he want? What does he say about you, your identity, what does he say about your life? What does he say about you know, your healing and so you guys' ability to be able to start pressing into that, and that you knew the goodness of God through no matter what situation you're going through, when it's you know, with Solomon, when Katie was, you know, willed off to the emergency room, and so that's what you've had to hold on to, that is his goodness, what does he say? His truth. You know what is the fullness of the kingdom in this situation. What does he want? You know so, and the healing that came through that, the healing like that, the healing that came through Katie, the healing that came through your ability to be able to minister to those people and bring salvation to people, even in your, even with all of the loss that you are going through, I mean, it's just, it's powerful, you know, and and your ability to be able to grasp onto that, like when the doctors said, oh, you know we need to schedule this, this, you know abortion, basically, and you're like, no, like. I believe in his truth, I believe in healing. I believe, you know, no matter what, no matter what the enemy is trying to do, god takes what the enemy is trying to do and and turns it around for good. And so what is his goodness in the situation and how is that going to? You know, play out, and I believe in his truth, I believe in his healing.

Giuseppe Ciccone: 21:39
We can't presume to know all the steps. So if we take what we know to be true and we set that aside because it makes more sense to us or makes us feel more comfortable, rather than just leaning into the truth even though it seems impossible, I feel like that's a lot of pride. So, like, how dare us try to presume that we know what's going to happen and step in you and I bless those who have had abortions. You know I do not judge you or anybody else. There's so much healing and so much peace. And as for where I'm at and we were at that day, I was so proud of Katie for standing on what she knew to be true. She's going to give this baby every opportunity to survive, because she felt like the Lord was speaking life, no matter what, regardless of the outcome, and she was going to put her body in. And it's just interesting because I just sat there and just watched her make these decisions that you know we're signing away. I remember that day where they were signing away on the contract. This could happen and probably will happen. All these things, and a lot of them, were really bad and she's just like, okay, okay, and she's signing away. Having a C-section for what the world was saying would be a bad experience. She was saying I'm going to take that sacrifice. I'm going to take that on because I'm giving this baby the best possible chance to survive, regardless of myself. It was a picture of a mom, you know, of a mother. I'm putting myself last right now because I want this baby to have a chance, and it's just that she lives that every day.

Trisha Walker: 23:20
And that's essentially what Jesus did for us, right, like he put his life on the line for us, and even God allowing his son that, sacrificing his son, you know, for us.

Thomas Walker: 23:33
I'm just thinking, like I just kept getting the word walk by walking by faith and not by sight, and I just I see that so much in the two of you, there's so much more of your journey that we're not going to be able to share, but that walking by faith and not by sight really is a difference between walking in truth versus being distracted by the facts. And we're going to come to an opportunity to share words of wisdom. I think Trisha has another question. And then don't forget that at the end, there are a lot of people going through pretty difficult situations and so, as we come back, I'd love for you to wrap and just offer some not just words of encouragement, but practical things that you do and that you've done to really submit your, your faith and your conviction and your values and really walk them out. So I want to get to the practical, but we'll come back to that at the at the end, if you don't mind.

Trisha Walker: 24:29
Yeah, let's fast forward a little bit. So now you have four children and we'll five, including Solomon, who's in heaven, but you have four children here on earth and three are adopted. They went through the foster to adopt system or process. Can you tell us a little bit about that journey and how you came to deciding? On the next episode of seeds for your marriage.

Katie Ciccone: 24:52
Somebody early on said, no, you guys should just do foster care. And I was hard against it because you know I was still really grieving the loss of my, my baby, you know. But over time we warmed up to the idea, went through foster care classes, all that.

Giuseppe Ciccone: 25:09
The answer is always connection, and so that's my biggest thing. That sticks with me is am I connecting right now, or am I trying to be more convenient for myself, or am.

Trisha Walker: 25:22
I Thank you for listening to seeds for your marriage with hosts Frisha and Thomas Walker. We pray this episode has given you tips and tools on how to thrive in your marriage. Be sure to subscribe to this podcast and follow us on Facebook and Instagram at Frisha and Thomas we want to hear from you.

Thomas Walker: 25:42
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