Mandi and Tyler Palmer have spent the last sixteen months maneuvering the mountains of paperwork and bureaucratic red tape so that they could finally bring young Hunter into their family. Finally, on December 17th, the toddler became their legal son – and they were all thrilled.
In a blog submission to Love What Matters, Mandi explains how she has been struggling with Crohn’s disease since she was 15 years old. The Perrysburg, Ohio resident has undergone dozens of surgeries to manage the disease, several of which left her without a normally functioning stomach.
The 32-year-old still suffers from malnutrition and continues to endure different surgeries and infusions to keep her condition in check.
Tyler, on the other hand, suffers from PTSD after undergoing two tours in Afghanistan. He currently attends regular therapy sessions at the VA Medical Center.
After the loving couple got married and moved to Ohio, they decided it was time to start a family – but they ran into a few problems.
Mandi told Love What Matters: “We tried for years to get pregnant but soon came to realize that it wasn’t going to happen, nor would it be safe for my body to sustain the miracle of pregnancy due to my illness. We were heartbroken and quickly found ourselves seeking other ways to grow our family and become parents.”
“Because of the health battles we’ve been given, we weren’t the type of people to just ‘throw in the towel’ and let our dreams of becoming parents get shattered,” she added.
Tyler and Mandi then became foster parents so they could try adoption. A week after becoming certified, they got a call about a newborn baby who needed some loving parents to take care of him.
“We arrived at children’s services and there was Hunter, all bundled up in a receiving blanket, and he was being held by our caseworker,” said Mandi. “He was 8 days old and absolutely perfect. We fell in love with him instantly.”
“It became obvious that Hunter was more than just our first baby. He was our ‘medicine’ and both of our reasons to fight the health battles that we have been given. He truly became our ‘why’ in life.”
Then back in December, Mandi and Tyler were able to sign the official adoption papers to make Hunter their son. When the judge announced the boy’s new name, Hunter clapped with joy, turned to Tyler, and yelled “Dad!”
“We’ve learned that there’s a rainbow at the end of every storm and we’re so thankful we kept the fight. He is our world and our reason to keep fighting these battles. My husband said that there is no medication to help his PTSD quite like having his son take our last name.”
“We have learned that family isn’t about DNA. It’s about love!”
Multiply The Good News: Click To Share – Photos by Anne-Marie Finn / Finn Photography