LifeTimeline

Keaton Poulter

    • SEP 19

      Birth

    2008
    • NOV 10

      Waiting for his forever family

    2011
    • JUN 15

      Adoption

    • JUN 23

      Coming home

    • JUN 26

      First swim

    • JUL

      Build a Bear Workshop

    • JUL

      New home

    • JUL

      Taiwanese clothing

    • AUG

      First visit to the zoo

    • AUG 23

      Officially a Poulter!

    • SEP

      First met Nana and Granddad Poulter

    • SEP 19

      4 years old

    • OCT

      Pumpkins and trick-or-treating

    • DEC 24

      With Uncle Zachary

    • DEC 25

      Christmas 2012

    2012
    • MAR 31

      Easter 2013

    • MAY

      Black Hills

    • MAY

      Amazing his brothers and sisters

    • MAY 03

      Smiling Keaton

    • JUN 06

      United States Citizen

    • JUN 16

      Father's Day

    • JUL

      Summer 2013

    • JUL 04

      Fourth of July

    • AUG

      Peekaboo in the park

    • AUG 09

      Twin Cities trip

    • SEP 17

      Penguin hat

    • SEP 19

      5th birthday

    • SEP 23

      Uncle Austin's birthday

    • OCT 16

      Customized wheelchair

    • OCT 31

      Halloween 2013

    • OCT 31

      Fall 2013

    • DEC 25

      Christmas 2013

    • DEC 29

      Afternoon nap

    2013
    • JAN 18

      Bubbles with Chelsea

    • FEB

      Winter fun

    • FEB 20

      Toy bear

    • MAR 11

      Denzel toting Keaton

    • MAR 13

      Visit with Rock cousins

    • MAR 28

      Cruising in his walker

    • APR 10

      Ducklings

    • APR 22

      Batman

    • APR 25

      Taking the walker for a spin

    • JUL 04

      The Fourth of July

    • JUL 23

      Swinging in the park

    • AUG

      Summer vacation

    • SEP 19

      6th birthday

    • DEC 25

      Christmas 2014

    2014
    • APR 05

      Easter 2015

    • MAY 04

      Diagon Alley

    • MAY 05

      Universal Studios

    • MAY 07

      Visiting Disney World

    • MAY 10

      Mother's Day

    • MAY 26

      Water slide

    • JUN

      Minnehaha Park

    • JUN 10

      Karaoke with Chelsea

    • JUN 22

      Story time

    • JUL 27

      Playing Uno with Denzel

    • JUL 30

      Viking Lake with Grandpa

    • AUG 25

      Starting kindergarten

    • SEP 16

      Breathing treatment

    • SEP 17

      Snoozing on the couch

    • SEP 19

      7th birthday

    • OCT 10

      Fall festival

    • OCT 31

      Halloween

    • OCT 31

      Fall 2015

    • NOV 04

      Family photos

    • NOV 26

      Thanksgiving

    • DEC 25

      Christmas 2015

    • DEC 25

      Christmas 2015

    • DEC 31

      New Year's Eve

    2015
    • JAN

      Visiting grandparents

    • FEB 11

      Valentine's Day

    • FEB 13

      Lucy's Lay Ups

    • FEB 18

      A celebration of Keaton's life

    • OCT 01

      Keaton's headstone

    • OCT 03

      Memorial Run

    2016
  • Birth

    Taitung
    Taiwan
    Ke Chin, who later would become Keaton Poulter, was orphaned at birth and lived the first year of his life in a hospital in Taitung. He had heart surgery that first year to repair holes in his heart. When he was released he lived in a nursing home because his medical needs, including cerebral palsy, were so complex that no orphanages would take him.
    By Steve Buttry
  • 2

    Waiting for his forever family

    Taiwan
    Mandy and Matt Poulter worked with Morning Light Home Taiwan to adopt Keaton. While waiting to finish the adoption process, they posted photos from the international adoption agency on their refrigerator in Texas, praying and waiting for the day they would join them in person.
    Steve Buttry
    Here's another photo from that refrigerator.
  • 22

    Adoption

    Taiwan
    Mandy and Matt Poulter flew from their home in Texas to Taiwan to bring Keaton home. Mandy gave this account of the trip to Taiwan, arriving June 14:

    "When we flew into Taipei, Taiwan, we were supposed to catch a quick one hour flight to Taitung. There was a typhoon going on so all flights were canceled. I was panicking and thought we need to get to Keaton as soon as possible, so we bought train tickets to Taitung. While on the train there was a mudslide that went down the side of a mountain onto the tracks, due to the typhoon. The first two cars of our train were dangling off the side of a mountain. We were all immediately evacuated from the train and bussed to the next train stop to catch another train. Quite a whirlwind trip!"

    When they finally made it to the nursing home on June 15 and met Keaton, he was crying. He stopped as soon as Mandy picked him up.

    Mandy explains other photos from the trip to Taiwan: "Photo of Keaton and I with the nurses who cared for him in the NICU for the first year of his life. Photo of Keaton and I with Deana and Luke Pan and their 4 children at Taitung Baptist Church in Taitung, Taiwan. Luke is the pastor there. Deana is the missionary who helped us with all of Keaton’s paperwork in Taiwan and she pushed his paperwork through in record time. Photos of Matt and I sightseeing with Keaton. We went to Taipei 101, Botanical Gardens, and many other sights of Taiwan."
    By Steve Buttry
  • 8

    Coming home

    Kansas City, Missouri
    Keaton had two homecomings: First at the Kansas City airport, where grandparents, aunts and uncles greeted him, then when he reached his new home in Flower Mound, Texas.

    Note that his green card says Ko, not Ke. His mother, Mandy Poulter, explains: "It's actually a funny story, because when we got to Taiwan we were freaking out because the paperwork was done wrong and some of it was filled in as Ko Chin and some was Ke Chin. It ended up being OK, and we didn't have trouble getting through the airport, even though the passport said Ko Chin and the plane ticket said Ke Chin. There were a few panic moments though because of that mistake :-)

    "We actually went with the name Keaton because the KE at the front of the name was a similar sound to what he had grown up hearing."
    By Steve Buttry
  • 4

    First swim

    Flower Mound, Texas
    Mandy remembers: "We went swimming for Ethan’s birthday at the community pool. Then we came home and swam in our backyard pool. Keaton always loved the water. He thought it was so funny when we would help him splash his feet in the water."
    By Steve Buttry
  • 9

    Build a Bear Workshop

    Grapevine, Texas
    Mandy explains: "Nana and Granddad Poulter always give each child a gift card to build their own bear when they join the family. Our kids had a great time helping Keaton create his very own bear with a karate outfit and glasses."
    By Steve Buttry
  • 26

    New home

    Flower Mound, Texas
    Mandy recalls Keaton's first months in his new home: "He had many doctor visits and a surgery just a few weeks after he arrived to place a G-tube in his stomach. You can tell the before and after pics from if he has a tube taped to his face or not. He was so happy not to have that thing in his nose anymore. The kids loved getting to know their new little brother and loved helping out with him whenever they could. There is a picture that I love in here of Ethan holding Keaton during one of his feedings. Keaton’s brothers and sisters always had something fun planned to do with him and loved learning all they could about his medical needs. Keaton just fit perfectly into our family and enjoyed every second of being the little brother. You can tell from the giant smile on his face how very loved he is!"
    By Steve Buttry
  • 3

    Taiwanese clothing

    Flower Mound, Texas
    Keaton in traditional Taiwanese clothing. Brothers and sisters with their shirts from Taiwan.
    By Steve Buttry
  • 11

    First visit to the zoo

    Dallas, Texas
    Mandy remembers: "We took Keaton to the Dallas Zoo. The kids loved showing him all the animals. Keaton always loved animals and visiting the zoo was one of his favorite activities."
    By Steve Buttry
  • 4

    Officially a Poulter!

    Dallas, Texas
    Keaton's adoption becomes final. Mandy remembers: "This was such an exciting day for our family. Keaton officially became a Poulter!!! We are blessed beyond measure to be his parents, brothers and sisters. He was so excited to finally have a family of his very own."
    By Steve Buttry
  • 7

    First met Nana and Granddad Poulter

    Omaha, Nebraska
    Keaton met Nana and Granddad Poulter on a trip to Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo.
    By Steve Buttry
  • 15

    4 years old

    Flower Mound, Texas
    Mandy remembers: "Keaton loved celebrating his special day with his family. Keaton would get so VERY excited whenever we would sing the 'Happy Birthday' song. It was one of his favorites. He would smile so big his little eyes would disappear. We sang it to him so many times each year on his birthday."
    By Steve Buttry
  • 9

    Pumpkins and trick-or-treating

    Flower Mound, Texas
    At the pumpkin patch in Flower Mound and trick-or-treating as Mickey Mouse.
    By Steve Buttry
  • With Uncle Zachary

    Shenandoah, Iowa
    Keaton’s middle name is Zachary after his Uncle Zachary. Mandy remembers: "They always had a special bond and Zach just adored Keaton. I love this picture because they both have the same adorable smile on their face."
    By Steve Buttry
  • 33

    Christmas 2012

    Shenandoah, Iowa
    Mandy remembers: "This was such a special Christmas for us because it was Keaton's first Christmas. We enjoyed making Christmas cookies, decorating the tree, and a lot of fun on Christmas morning! We always enjoy going to the Corral in Shenandoah to have a big family Christmas get together with the Buttry side of the family. Keaton had so much fun opening presents and playing games with his cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents."
    By Steve Buttry
  • 12

    Easter 2013

    Pella, Iowa
    Mandy remembers: "Easter morning is always a special time to remember Christ and His gift of eternal salvation that He offers each one of us. Keaton had fun hunting for Easter eggs and attending the Easter service with his family."
    By Steve Buttry
  • 26

    Black Hills

    Black Hills, South Dakota
    This was the first family vacation we went on with Keaton. We weren’t sure how he’d do and he did wonderful!!! He loved riding on our backs during hikes, playing at the waterpark at our hotel, and seeing the sights.
    By Steve Buttry
  • Amazing his brothers and sisters

    Pella, Iowa
    Keaton's brothers and sisters were amazed that, with his new stander and feeding tube, he could stand, sleep and eat at the same time.
    By Steve Buttry
  • Smiling Keaton

    Pella, Iowa
    Mandy, Keaton's mother: "Every day I look forward to seeing this big happy smile again someday in heaven."
    By Steve Buttry
  • 2

    United States Citizen

    Pella, Iowa
    Keaton became an official U.S. citizen. Mandy, looking at his citizenship certificate, noted, "his hair was looking a little crazy that day :-)"
    By Steve Buttry
  • Father's Day

    Pella, Iowa
    By Steve Buttry
  • 12

    Summer 2013

    Pella, Iowa
    Mandy remembers the summer fun: "With Great Grandma at a family reunion. Fun with brothers and sisters. Picture of Keaton with his new leg braces. Photo of Keaton in his new blue Special Tomato chair with his hand activated switches that would activate his toys."
    By Steve Buttry
  • 5

    Fourth of July

    Shenandoah, Iowa
    Mandy remembers: "We spent 4th of July in Shen with Granny and Grandpa Buttry, aunts, uncles, and cousins. We were in a parade in Shen and walked with the military in memory of Brandon. Keaton had fun at the pool with Granny."
    By Steve Buttry
  • Peekaboo in the park

    Pella, Iowa
    Sister Maya plays peekaboo with Keaton. "It's one of my favorites because I LOVE his laugh!" says mother Mandy of this video.
    By Steve Buttry
  • 2

    Twin Cities trip

    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    By Steve Buttry
  • Penguin hat

    Pella, Iowa
    By Steve Buttry
  • 10

    5th birthday

    Pella, Iowa
    Mandy remembers: "We celebrated in Pella and went to Lake Red Rock. Keaton always loved his special day and got spoiled by his family. He would get very excited to have is siblings help him open his presents."
    By Steve Buttry
  • 2

    Uncle Austin's birthday

    Des Moines, Iowa
    Keaton and his family visited Uncle Austin at the Iowa Department of the Blind for his birthday.
    By Steve Buttry
  • 3

    Customized wheelchair

    Pella, Iowa
    Mandy: "This is the day Keaton got his customized wheelchair. We went to Target afterwards and Denzel thought these glasses were super funny. This is Keaton's first ride in his very own wheelchair."
    By Steve Buttry
  • Halloween 2013

    Pella, Iowa
    This is Maya as Doc McStuffin, Chelsea as Lammy, from DocMcStuffin, and Keaton as Stuffy, from the Doc McStuffin cartoon.
    By Steve Buttry
  • 18

    Fall 2013

    Grinnell, Iowa
    Mandy remembers Keaton's fall fun: "We went to the pumpkin patch in Grinnell, Iowa. Keaton loved playing in the corn. He was Stuffy from Doc Mc Stuffin for Halloween. Maya was Doc and Chelsea was Lammy. He had fun trick or treating with all his cousins."
    By Steve Buttry
  • 20

    Christmas 2013

    Pella, Iowa
    Mandy remembers: "Christmas is one of our favorite holidays. So much family fun and activities. Keaton couldn't wait to see what Santa had left for him this year!"
    By Steve Buttry
  • Afternoon nap

    Pella, Iowa
    By Steve Buttry
  • Bubbles with Chelsea

    Pella, Iowa
    Keaton enjoys bubbles with his sister Chelsea.
    By Steve Buttry
  • 11

    Winter fun

    Pella, Iowa
    Fun at a hotel and ski lodge. Making Valentine boxes and celebrating Valentine’s Day with the family in Pella.
    By Steve Buttry
  • 3

    Toy bear

    Shenandoah, Iowa
    Mandy: "Keaton with the special bear he got from First Baptist Church of Shenandoah, Granny and Grandpa's church, for his upcoming eye surgery."
    By Steve Buttry
  • Denzel toting Keaton

    Pella, Iowa
    Mandy: "The heavier Keaton got, the more creative Denzel got in ways to carry his little brother around the house. :)"
    By Steve Buttry
  • 2

    Visit with Rock cousins

    Bloomington, Minnesota
    A visit with Keatons Rock cousins in Minnesota included sledding and a trip to the Mall of America.
    By Steve Buttry
  • 2

    Cruising in his walker

    Pella, Iowa
    By Steve Buttry
  • Ducklings

    Pella, Iowa
    Mandy: "Keaton loved watching the new baby ducklings. He thought they were SO VERY funny!!!"
    By Steve Buttry
  • Taking the walker for a spin

    Pella, Iowa
    By Steve Buttry
  • 8

    The Fourth of July

    Pella, Iowa
    By Steve Buttry
  • Swinging in the park

    Pella, Iowa
    Keaton swings in the park.
    By Steve Buttry
  • 13

    Summer vacation

    Wheaton, Illinois
    Mandy remembers: "Keaton had fun at the waterpark at King’s Island in Ohio. He wasn’t too sure about the dinosaur skeletons at the Creation Museum in Kentucky but loved the botanical gardens. It was also Keaton’s first time on a boat, when we took a ferry ride. We also stopped by Wheaton College on the way home. It was nice to see the place where Grandma and Grandpa Buttry first met." Mandy's referring to her own Grandma and Grandpa Buttry, not Keaton's. The story of their meeting as college students is told in Luke Buttry's LifeTimeline: https://www.lifeposts.com/p/milestone/24/.../l/lifetimeline/
    By Steve Buttry
  • 13

    6th birthday

    Pella, Iowa
    Mandy remembers: "Keaton was overly excited about his birthday this year. He really understood what birthdays were about and couldn’t wait for his special day. I love the picture of him in his walker with his birthday hat. The smile on his face says it all! He loved this day so much and was so happy about each and every gift he opened."
    By Steve Buttry
  • 20

    Christmas 2014

    Pella, Iowa
    Mandy remembers: "Another special Christmas morning to remember the birth of Christ. A lot of smiles from Keaton while he was making cookies, decorating the tree, and enjoying time with his family."
    By Steve Buttry
  • 8

    Easter 2015

    Pella, Iowa
    Mandy remembers: "A beautiful spring day that was filled with Easter fun searching for eggs and celebrating our risen Lord!"
    By Steve Buttry
  • Diagon Alley

    Orlando, Florida
    By Steve Buttry
  • 9

    Universal Studios

    Orlando, Florida
    Keaton’s favorite part was meeting the characters. He thought sitting on the Star Wars flyer with Whitley was fun. Keaton always liked watching Star Wars with his brothers and they gave him the nickname “Chewy” because he could make a sound that was exactly like Chewbacca’s wookie call.:)
    By Steve Buttry
  • 20

    Visiting Disney World

    Orlando, Florida
    Mandy remembers: "Keaton’s favorite parts were the Dumbo Ride, It’s a Small World and meeting the characters. He would get the biggest smile and sometimes get embarrassed when the characters would come up and talk to him."
    By Steve Buttry
  • 6

    Mother's Day

    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Keaton and his mother and siblings send Mother's Day video greetings from Florida to his grandmother, Pam Buttry. Mandy remembers: "Keaton had fun splashing in the waves and watching the seagulls. He also enjoyed playing in the sand with his brothers and sisters."
    By Steve Buttry
  • Water slide

    Orlando, Florida
    Sister Whitley takes Keaton down the water slide.
    By Steve Buttry
  • Minnehaha Park

    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    By Steve Buttry
  • Karaoke with Chelsea

    Pella, Iowa
    By Steve Buttry
  • Story time

    Pella, Iowa
    Mandy: "Keaton LOVED it when we read stories to him. This is one of the things we all miss the most."
    By Steve Buttry
  • Playing Uno with Denzel

    Pella, Iowa
    By Steve Buttry
  • Viking Lake with Grandpa

    Stanton, Iowa
    By Steve Buttry
  • 4

    Starting kindergarten

    Pella, Iowa
    On Keaton's first day of kindergarten, he is pictured at his desk, with his teaching associate, Pam Hartman, with a friend and with the class.
    By Steve Buttry
  • Breathing treatment

    Pella, Iowa
    Keaton's brothers and sisters loved to help him. Here Chelsea helps with a breathing treatment.
    By Steve Buttry
  • Snoozing on the couch

    Pella, Iowa
    By Steve Buttry
  • 5

    7th birthday

    Pella, Iowa
    These photos and video are from Keaton's last birthday. The More Bears! book, a gift from his Aunt Missy and Uncle Andrew, was a custom book with his name and photo in it.
    By Steve Buttry
  • 11

    Fall festival

    Pella, Iowa
    By Steve Buttry
  • 2

    Halloween

    Shenandoah, Iowa
    By Steve Buttry
  • 8

    Fall 2015

    Pella, Iowa
    Mandy remembers: "Fun at the pumpkin patch, carving pumpkins. Keaton was Olaf for Halloween, Maya was Elsa and Chelsea was Anna from Frozen."
    By Steve Buttry
  • 6

    Family photos

    Pella, Iowa
    Family photos were taken by the Poulters' friend Sarah Turnbull.
    By Steve Buttry
  • 2

    Thanksgiving

    Pella, Iowa
    By Steve Buttry
  • 9

    Christmas 2015

    Pella, Iowa
    Pictures from Keaton's last Christmas.
    By Steve Buttry
  • 18

    Christmas 2015

    Pella, Iowa
    Mandy remembers: "Christmas dinners are always celebrated with traditional English Christmas crackers. Keaton always loved wearing his paper crown and seeing what special prize he got in his Christmas cracker."
    By Steve Buttry
  • New Year's Eve

    Pella, Iowa
    By Steve Buttry
  • 2

    Visiting grandparents

    Pella, Iowa
    Fun playing with Granddad Poulter and celebrating Nana Poulter’s birthday.
    Alan Poulter
    Being able to spend time with our grandchildren was a wonderful addition to our life experience. A picture of Keaton smiling is at my workstation and I cannot help but smile back everyday.
  • Valentine's Day

    Pella, Iowa
    Preparing for Valentine's Day with Maya. This was one of the last photos of Keaton.
    By Steve Buttry
  • 15

    Lucy's Lay Ups

    Pella, Iowa
    These are the last video and photos of Keaton. His mother, Mandy, explained:

    "It was on a Saturday and The following Thursday he went to be with Jesus. It is a little basketball program for special needs children in our community. The little girl, Lucy, that it's name for, is adopted from Africa. She has multiple special needs and her dad runs the basketball programs in town. ... It was just a very special day because it was the last photos and videos we have of him. It's a fun very special event for special needs children that him and Chelsea have participated in the past two years."

    The lead photo in the album is the last picture taken of Keaton.
    By Steve Buttry
  • 2

    A celebration of Keaton's life

    Pella, Iowa
    Keaton passed away because of complications from the flu on Feb. 18, 2016. His grief-stricken family shared this celebration of life at his service Feb. 22 at Liberty Evangelical Free Church.
    By Steve Buttry
  • 6

    Keaton's headstone

    Pella, Iowa
    Mandy explains the images and words on Keaton's grave marker:

    "The teddy bear that is on the front is a picture of the bear we gave him when we first met him in Taiwan. I actually carry that bear around in my purse with me every day. We had the bear holding six balloons for our six children who are still with us, and the seventh balloon going up to heaven to represent Keaton.

    "The kids helped us choose what to put around the top of the base. Some of our favorite memories of Keaton. I tried to take it in four different pictures, it wraps around the top of the base. It says, 'We are forever blessed to be your family. Will always remember your unspeakable joy, big smile, giggles, reading books, Chewy, bright eyes, our biggest fan, so ticklish, your unconditional love, our baby boy.'"
    By Steve Buttry
  • Memorial Run

    Pella, Iowa
    Keaton will be remembered with a memorial run a couple weeks after his birthday. The race will be a fund-raiser to continue to help orphans around the world. Mandy explains plans for the run:

    "We will be having a free will donation to help build an orphanage in India that our church is working on.

    "Keaton's life will continue to impact us and many others in such amazing ways. The love he brought to our family will continue to grow as we find ways to honor our Keaton, while helping others and orphans in need."

    Keaton's family will remember him as described in this quote by Dr. John Rice:

    "For the Christian, death is not a tragedy but a glorious promotion, not the sad end, but the glorious beginning. Sometimes we hear people say how sad it is that one should die so young. Many of the fairest buds that ever grew on earth have blossomed in heaven."
    Sandra Kuntzweiler
    Happy Heavenly Birthday to my best little buddy! The pictures were wonderful. Will always remember his big smile whenever I talked to him. Love you lots sweet boy!!