A Christian couple who refused to abort their unborn conjoined twins have thanked God for the birth of "two precious souls," Elijah and Isaac.
According to Fox19, Jason and Heather Kroeger, who have five children together, were initially told they were having one child, but a later ultrasound in his first trimester revealed there were two, and they were conjoined.
"It is no surprise that they have been advised several times throughout the pregnancy to abort these two little precious souls," reads a GoFundMe page set up for the family. "They rejected such a thought right out of hand."
"To us, it wasn't an option," said Jason. "These children are our children they were given to us for a purpose... to protect them. Abortion was never an option."
On September 5, the couple - who were high school sweethearts - welcomed the conjoined twins at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Jason said the twins' condition is better than expected but they still have some "speed bumps to overcome." According to reports, the boys are joined in a way they can not be safely separated.
The GoFundMe page, set up by friends of the Kroger family, is helping to raise money to care for the infants' special needs and medical care. So far, the page has raised over $12,000 for the family.
"Friends, we cannot see what God sees," reads the page. "Nor can we always understand the 'hows' and 'whys'. This family has inspired so many of us with their trust in God and love for these babies."
Because the cost of the family traveling from North Carolina to the hospital in Cincinnati alone was so expensive, the family-of-seven stayed at St. Xavier Church during their first few days in the city. The church reportedly covered all expenses for the family.
Currently, Heather remains at the hospital with the babies while her husband returns to North Carolina to work and be with their eldest high school aged sons.
"Please keep Heather, Jason and their family in your prayers," reads the GoFundMe page. "Also pray for the medical teams that will be with them... that they are kind, respectful, and share the deep respect for life that Jason and Heather so strongly embrace."
It adds, "Jason and Heather are very humble and private people. We asked them to allow us to ask others for help. They agreed. The need is urgent and immediate. Thank you!
Births of conjoined twins, whose skin and internal organs are fused together, are rare, occurring just once every 200,000 live births, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.