Node Email Auth Flow help

I have a node app that communicates with a php api via fetch or axios.
Currently, the api uses a php-jwt to authorize users . (GitHub - firebase/php-jwt: PHP package for JWT)
If the email/pass login creds are valid a token is passed an the node user stores a header Authorization token in a cookie.
Im trying to figure out the easiest way to transfer the registration flow/auth to Okta ending up with api authorization token that the api can parse using the php-jwt library.
Currently, I am utilizing the okta-sdk-nodejs (GitHub - okta/okta-sdk-nodejs: Node.js API Client for the Okta Platform API) to initially create the User on Okta. The user is then sent an email to verify. Once they verify the email it redirects to an Okta User Dashboard of some kind.
I have implemented a Sign-In Widget similiar to the example here: GitHub - okta-samples/okta-express-sample: Node.js Express + Okta. This seems to work as intended. The newly created user that just email verified can successfully auth.
Theoretically, once the user clicks the “Verify Email” button an Event is triggered and the api is sent details to create the user on the api and setup the account. Even though I have not tested it live, I think I have this webhook under control.
Maybe I am doing all this wrong and there is an easier way tie everything together?
Trying to figure out when the user clicks the email activation button, it should just redirect the nodeapp login page…which should recognize the user is already authorized. Instead of go to an Okta user account page. Then somehow I need to figure out how to connect an authd Okta user to the api.