For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)
Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. (Psalm 63:3-4 NIV)
Remember that song… “Getting to know you, getting to know all about you. Getting to like you, getting to hope you like me”? Well that is my fun task: helping you get to know Adam and Jo Kimble. I met them about four years ago when I got involved with Life Group. Since then, God has gifted us with a bond and friendship.
First, a little about their backgrounds. Jo grew up until age ten in Aspen, Colorado with her two sisters. Her family moved to Kirkland, where she attended Lake Washington schools until she entered the special needs program at Interlake High School in Bellevue. Jo graduated from high school in 1999. At birth, Jo contracted cerebral palsy. It affects her entire left side, including her speech. Jo takes medications to help control spasticity in her muscles, especially her left arm and hand, so if you see her stretching her arm, that’s the dilemma.
This lady is super friendly and a talker! It’s not hard to get to know her! Sadly, both of Jo’s parents have “passed and live in heaven now.” Her mom died suddenly of a heart attack two years ago while hiking in Colorado. Her dad died in his sleep, also of a heart attack, just last year. Jo is close to an aunt and her two sisters—one in Seattle and one in Rome! Jo says, “In tragedy, and every day, Adam and I are together as best friends.”
Adam and his brother were born and raised in Issaquah. Adam attended all his school years in the Issaquah District, graduating from Issaquah High School in 1997. At fifteen months old, Adam developed severe hydro encephalitis, leaving him unable to walk. Amazingly, “I came back from that,” he says. The residual effects on Adam are classified as generalized cerebral palsy. Adam’s vision and depth perception are also impacted.
He’s quiet and soft-spoken, but trust me, the depth and thoughtfulness of this young man are the reward for interacting and getting to know him. Adam’s parents now live in Silverlake, near Mount St. Helens. He sees them about every two weeks, when they come to help his brother, Ryan, who has Down syndrome and lives in the same apartment complex as Jo and Adam.
When I asked Jo and Adam how they deal with their “disabilities” or “special needs limitations,” it was Adam who responded. “Just what are limitations? They’re only what you allow,” he said. “What really are special needs? I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t have a need that is special to them.”
And now for some fun stuff! These two met several years ago while briefly working at the same daycare. Then, as it turns out, they both moved into the new Overlake Station apartments where they “ran into each other” at the Metro stop. Jo, being her friendly self, greeted Adam and started a conversation. Adam admits he didn’t even remember her name, but smart man that he is, he listened around the conversations at the complex for that important info, and a true friendship began.
“We just clicked in conversation whenever we saw each other,” he says. They began dating and about a year later they were in the midst of unpacking Jo’s bags of groceries, when she made a surprise discovery. Adam had hidden a ring, in a box, deep in one of the grocery bags. “Is this what I think it is??!” she asked. It was, and six years ago, on October 8, Jo and Adam married at Sacred Heart Church.
When I asked what they cherish the most about each other, they said almost in unison, “Just being together. We are each other’s best friend.” And they are always on the go! They take Metro everywhere on one adventure after another. The Great Wheel? Yep… Hot air balloon? Yep… Bite of Seattle? Yep… Mariner games? Yep… Kayaking? Yep… Seahawks game? Yep! Ask them and they will tell you much, much more. Plus, Jo skis for the Skihawks Special Olympics team, while Adam enjoys cross-country skiing and snowshoeing more. They swim two or three times a week and love to walk and hike. Oh, and by the way, they both have jobs, Adam at Microsoft in dining services, and Jo as an office assistant for the City of Seattle. I dare you to try to keep up with them! They love each other, they love being together, and they love being adventuresome.
And now for what truly counts. Adam and Jo are people of deep faith. Jo has terrific and life-changing memories of Young Life and coming to her personal faith in Jesus and commitment to God in her life through that ministry. She loves the Psalms, and Psalm 63:3-4, above, suits her well. Adam grew up in a home where Godly values and truths were taught and gave his life to Jesus at Sambica Bible Camp in middle school. His life verse is John 3:16. In addition to Life Group, Jo and Adam have served on Welcome Team, attended a small group Bible study this Fall, and were “honored” to be asked to serve communion recently.
Life Group brought them to Creekside, and we are much richer for it. I am privileged to call Adam and Jo my friends, and I hope this has helped you to join in that song with Adam and Jo… “Getting to know you, getting to know all about you. Getting to like you, getting to hope you like me.”
Love and Joy! Char
Char can be reached via email here.