A couple in Ohio were feeling anxious as they sat in the courtroom waiting for the judge to read the adoption decree for their foster child. But they were soon alleviated of their anxiety when the boy was finally pronounced theirs. Everyone became emotional when the little fella excitedly yelled out one word and started clapping in excitement.
Mandi and Tyler Palmer, of Perrysburg, had always wanted to be parents since they wed in 2014. But Mandi was unable to conceive because of Crohn’s disease. “That’s when we started looking into other options and we were talking about adoption and we kept hearing our county’s commercial for the need of foster parents in our area,” she told PEOPLE.
“We were scared. We kind of danced around the idea for a little bit. Then we prayed on it, and we just felt like God pushed us to do it.”
A surprise was waiting for them on the very week they became licensed as foster parents.
“Once we got licensed as foster-to-adopt parents, that week, we got the phone call for Hunter. He was 8 days old,” Mandi said. “We went and picked him up at Children’s Services. We brought him home and we went through the roller coaster ride of foster care for that entire year.”
After 16 months of fostering, the couple learned that they could adopt young Hunter.
On Dec. 18, 2017, the couple went to a local courthouse to sign the adoption paperwork.
“It was very emotional, in a good way,” Mandi said. “We had all of our family and friends there. At the end of the court process, the judge announced [Hunter’s] new legal name. And they read the adoption decree and that’s when Hunter looked at my husband and he shouted out, ‘Dad!’
“He just started clapping and everybody just started crying. It was so emotional. It’s definitely rewarding. It’s nice to look in his eyes now and not have to worry that he’s ever gonna have to leave us again.”
“On adoption day, it’s almost like a ton of bricks just came off our chest. We now know that he’s never leaving us. He’ll always be safe and loved with us. So that in itself is rewarding,” she added.
Through fostering and adopting Hunter, the couple said that they have learned something.
“We have learned that family isn’t about DNA. It’s about love!” Mandi wrote in a story to Love What Matters.
Congratulations to this couple for finally fulfilling their dream! Looks like Hunter has found himself a wonderful new home.