Tyler Palmer and his wife Mandi Palmer of Perrysburg, Ohio, have been through a lot in their respective lives. Tyler had served in the U.S. Army for a stint in Afghanistan, while Mandi had a string of health-related issues due to her Crohn’s disease.
Both have scars from their experiences: Tyler suffers from severe PTSD and Mandi had large portions of her intestines removed.
But one of the worst things they discovered was that they couldn’t have kids.
“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,” Mandi explained in an article she submitted to LoveWhatMatters.com.
“We were heartbroken and quickly found ourselves seeking other ways to grow our family and become parents.”
Having been through so many hardships in their life, the couple refused to see this as a deterrent.
“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,” Mandi said.
“We knew we wanted to pursue adoption in some form and it was then that we kept hearing our local counties cry for help with foster care.”
Taking the necessary tests and fulfilling all of the requirements, the two became licensed foster parents.
Their efforts to become foster parents were quickly rewarded.
“The same week that we were licensed, we also received our first phone call to pick up our baby boy, Hunter,” Mandi explained. “Talk about a whirlwind of emotions! We quickly ran to Target and purchased the necessities (car seat, clothes, baby blankets, diapers, food, etc.) we needed to bring our baby home.”
Taking the infant home with them, who was only 8 days old at the time, Tyler and Mandi quickly became emotionally attached.
“It became obvious that Hunter was more than just our first baby,” Mandi said. “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.”
Soooo proud of this little guy!!!! He started potty training and is doing so darn good. Such a big boy!!!!
Hunter made the family feel complete. As time began to pass, they knew they wanted to pursue adoption.
“Our adoption worker worked so hard to get paperwork finalized so that Christmas of 2017 would be our best yet,” Mandi explained. “And goodness, it surely was the best ever! December 18, 2017, was the day Hunter officially became a Palmer.”
But it’s what happened in court when the adoption decree was read that brought the new family’s story to the next chapter.
“After the judge read the adoption decree and presented his new legal last name, [16-month-old Hunter] looked at my husband and said, ‘Dad!’, and then clapped,” Mandi said.
They were now officially a family.
“We’ve learned that there’s a rainbow at the end of every storm and we’re so thankful we kept the fight,” Mandi said.
“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.”