The Yoder household dynamic will change very soon. Kansas Rep. Kevin Yoder and his wife, Brooke, who have no pets or children, are expecting a baby girl in early November.
"I'm 37, Brooke is 38, and we've had the opportunity to do some great things, and this is one of the things we were missing from our lives, so we're very, very excited about opening this new chapter," Yoder told HOH. "It's just such a joyous moment, and to be a father to a baby girl is just really, really cool."
Yoder said he is excited to be a father and has consulted with members and friends about the challenges and blessings to expect.
"It's something we always wanted to do, and something we've always wanted to be able to do, but the timing never worked out, and we were waiting for the Lord's blessing to give us this chance," Yoder said. "I talk to people every day who tell me that it is one of the hardest things you'll ever do in your life, but it is also the greatest thing you'll ever do in your life, and it changes what it means to be happy and what you enjoy. Some members have three, four, five kids, or more, and so I've certainly spoken with my colleagues about the value of making sure you leave time, you make sure that you put family first and ensure that you carve out time in your schedule."
In addition to painting and preparing the baby's room, Yoder said Brooke's mom will help out once the baby is born. Despite these preparations, the Yoders are still deciding on a name.
"We do not have a name picked out," Yoder said. "We've been tossing around some family names and we have a book here that's got 60,000 names in it. The name you pick has a big impact on the identity the child takes on, and so we've been really kind of debating it, and I guess ultimately Brooke's vote carries the most weight around here."
Fellow Republican Rep. Brad Wenstrup of Ohio is also expecting his first child in November, and Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., welcomed a child in April. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., had her first child in July and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington's third child is due in December.
Yoder said nothing compares to the joy of a newborn.
"Politically I've had a chance to serve in one of the greatest deliberative bodies in the history of the world. I get a chance to represent a wonderful community, I've had great health, a wonderful life, but I don't think anything compares to the joy of bringing your first baby into the world," Yoder said. "I think it will make even more tangible the importance of some of the tough decision we're having in Washington."