If you think adoption is going to be a smooth process, you are completely wrong. For this couple, looking for a baby to adopt was a nightmare characterized by sleepless nights and tense days. Despite the challenges they faced, Tyler and Mandi Palmer kept going and now serve as role models for couples who want to adopt. They provide adoption help and information on adopting a baby to those who need it. When their day before court came, their toddler spoke up and said something that made everyone understand that he belongs with this couple. At that point, they were confident that no one else should be his parents. Bring out the tissues because this story will tug at your heartstrings.
An Important Day For The Palmer Family
For each and every family in the world, there are days that are more important than others. Some of these can make or break the future of all the family members. It is on these occasions that you will experience the highest highs and the lowest lows. The day finally arrived for the Palmer family, and it was unfolding in the courtroom as they waited for the decision. Whatever happens, it would change the course of their lives. Tyler and Mandi were understandably nervous about the whole thing. According to them, their hearts were pounding and their hands shaking.
Holding Their Breath
It was an emotional day for both Tyler and Mandi. After all, the young couple spent a whole year trying to prove that they were worthy parents who could expand their little family. There was a chance that everything they did had been in vain. At that moment, it felt like they had been waiting for years before the judge told them the final decision. The official kept looking at them, stacking the papers, and then coughing. Before anything else could happen, they received a sudden interruption. The silence was broken by a toddler with something to say.
Shipped Off To Afghanistan
A couple of years before that moment, Tyler Palmer signed up for the United States Army and then served in the 101st Airborne Division. As a soldier, he was broken down and then built up to ensure that he was ready for the adventure of a lifetime. Those days were bittersweet for him. He did not get enough time to process what was happening in his life before he was posted in Afghanistan, only twenty days after he completed basic training. It was always going to be a difficult experience, and he was no exception to the rule.
A Life-Changing Experience
Luckily for Tyler Palmer, he was able to complete his tour of Afghanistan and return home safe and sound. Despite this, the young man experienced close calls and witnessed things no one should ever see. Although he was glad he was back in the United States to be with the people he loved, his time in the field took an emotional toll on him. Unfortunately, this was not uncommon for soldiers. At the very least, there were good things in store for Tyler back then. He did not know it at the time, but he was about to meet the love of his life.
Some Good Luck At Last
Tyler was lucky enough to meet Mandi, with whom he got along from the very beginning. In a way, she was his saving grace. Mandi brought sunshine into his life again. This was when he knew that everything was going to be fine in the long run. Although Tyler was about to be deployed to the Middle East for the second time, he had a good feeling about his blossoming relationship with her. Although Mandi was experiencing health problems and worried about his deployment at the time, the pair felt optimistic about a shared future.
Popping The Question
His deployment was expected to last almost an entire year, so it was going to make things difficult for them. However, it did give him a different perspective on what matters in his life. He did not care about material things and learned that being with loved ones was the most important thing to him. Mandi knew this better than anyone and she recounted, “He was deployed for nine months, and one month after he got home, he proposed and we got married a few weeks later.” That was how Tyler left the Army to begin a new life with this wonderful woman.
The Challenges Of Conceiving
Tyler and Mandi knew from the very beginning that they wanted to create a family of their own. Both of them felt like they were made for each other. “We both knew we wanted our own family so greatly but didn’t know what God had planned for us,” she explained. Unfortunately, they had to consider Mandi’s heart problems as it made things difficult when it came to conceiving a baby. It looked like they had to resort to a different way of achieving their dreams of starting their own family.
More And More Challenging
The pair felt more and more frustrated as their weeks of effort became months and even years. They were happy together, although it must have been disappointing to find that they were not getting closer to their dreams. They only wanted a beautiful family together, but it didn’t look like it was going to happen anytime soon. “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 recounted. Although they had many challenges ahead of them, they did not lose hope easily.
Going For Adoption
Tyler and Mandi were determined to expand their family, so they knew it was time to look at their other options to make it a reality. They eventually decided that the best course of action was to go through adoption. It was simply the perfect solution to their problem. Did you think that all they would have to do is get in touch with the agency, fill out papers, and then wait for the baby to arrive? If so, you are incredibly wrong! The process is much more painstaking and time-consuming than that.
Looking For Foster Parents
Tyler and Mandi were receptive to the concept of becoming foster parents. They even noticed the flyers asking for qualified foster parents in their neighborhood. This was how they started wondering if they would fit the bill and felt confident they would. Commercials and the like continued to catch their attention and they soon realized that many babies and kids are looking for a place to call home. They knew they had it in them to give a little one the love that every single child deserves.
A Sign From The Heavens
Tyler and Mandi Palmer interpreted these announcements and commercials to be signs that adoption was the way to go. The couple started talking about it, and they were both thrilled about the prospect of expanding their family. They knew they were prepared to take the step. Aside from this, they believed that adoption was a part of God’s plan for them. They soon signed up for the licensing program, which will pave the way to foster parenthood. This was a move that would mark the start of something special.
A Boy Called Hunter
They found the licensing program to be intense. It involved months of doing paperwork and going through all sorts of hoops to accomplish it. At long last, Tyler and Mandi got their licensure and received a call that there was a baby boy ready for them that same week. He was called Hunter, and the couple could not wait to meet the little one. They could feel that their dreams were finally coming true. They were aware that it was going to be a true test of the parents that they would be.
Looking For A Loving Home
When Mandi and Tyler received the call about the baby boy in need of a home, they were understandably thrilled. Hunter was only a week old back then and in need of a family to care and love him. Both of them were full of excitement about what was about to happen. Mandi and Tyler were ready and willing to be the parents that he needed. Sadly, there were more obstacles in store for them. As we all know, nothing good in life ever comes easy.
They then experienced what Mandi called a “whirlwind of emotions”. The pair went to a Target location and bought baby items they knew they would need for the new addition to the family. They got everything a baby would need, which includes diapers, creams, and food. “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,” recalled Mandi. “He was eight days old and absolutely perfect. We fell in love with him instantly.”
Sadly, there are many stressful things adoptive parents have to accomplish first. For starters, there is still the chance that the biological parents or other adoptive families would come out to threaten the people interested in fostering the child. That was what was about to happen to Mandi and Tyler, who soon learned that things were not yet official. It only took a quick call over the phone to turn their dream upside down. All of a sudden, their dreams and hopes were put on the line.
Nonetheless, the moment Mandi and Tyler laid their eyes on the baby boy, they knew he was going to be their little boy. That was not going to change no matter what challenges life throws at them. They were ready and determined to fight for the instantaneous love they felt for Hunter. As time passed by, they felt more and more prepared to do everything it would take to bring him home. As a former soldier, Tyler possessed all the determination it would take to do accomplish such a task.
The Day Has Been Set
Unfortunately for the couple, the roller coaster ride would take place over the course of the next sixteen months. There were meetings and hearings that they had to face as the paperwork was being finalized. They had to go before a judge as well. This was scheduled to happen on December 18, 2017, exactly a week before Christmas. They knew that the decision of the court regarding this matter would make or break their holiday. Tyler and Mandi would either have the best Christmas ever… if not the worst one.
Determined To See It Through
When it was time to appear before the court, the family had spent 17 months together. That might not seem like a long time to you, but parents know that it is practically an eternity. It would be hard to give up the child you have been in charge of for a year and a half. Tyler and Mandi could not stand the thought of losing him, so they were prepared to do everything it takes. There was one thing they had on their minds: they were going to walk out of that courtroom with hunter. They knew they were meant to be a family together forever.
The Greatest Medicine
Tyler was still struggling with various PTSD-related symptoms thanks to his time in the Middle East. Aside from that, there was also Mandi’s heart problems. These conditions were going to make it challenging. Despite this, they knew the little boy was the most effective “medicine” for them. Mandi said that Hunter was “both of our reasons to fight the health battles that we have been given.” We can see where they are coming from. After all, what greater motivator is there than love? More often than not, the love we feel for someone else will take us to the next level.
The family felt nervous when the big day rolled in, but they were mostly excited above all else. Everyone made the effort to clean up and look their best. However, little Hunter stole the show with his fancy getup. The three of them looked like they were headed for a family photo! Tyler and Mandi were more than prepared to leave everything behind to ensure that they would become official parents on that day. Together with their son, the parents waited with anticipation. It was going to be the start or the end of their dreams of becoming a family.
Supporting The Couple
“It was very emotional, in a good way,” Mandi later explained. “We had all of our family and friends there. At the end of the court process, the judge announced Hunter’s new legal name.” We do not doubt that it was a very intense moment for both the aspiring parents. However, it became the greatest moment of their lives as well. They had no idea what Hunter was planning to do on that day. At that point, the entire room was beaming at the adorable little boy and everyone listened to what he had to say.
What Hunter Had To Say
Just as they were reading the adoption decree to make the arrangement official at long last, Hunter spoke up. The tiny tot looked at Tyler and yelled, “Dad!” The whole room, even the judge, was enveloped in silence for a moment. That was not all, however. Tyler started to clap and no one in the room had dry eyes. “It was so emotional,” Mandi recounted the special moment. It was a great and unexpected moment. Don’t you think it sounds like something out of a Hollywood movie?
What It Means
It was an incredibly special moment because that was when Mandi and Tyler came to the realization that they could now focus on becoming the best parents Hunter could ever ask for. No longer did they have to worry that someone was going to take him away from their arms ever again. It was a huge relief for the couple. They stayed there in disbelief as they processed their new reality in their minds. They finally got the victory they wanted for so long. They could now thrive together as a family.
A Rewarding Moment
When she was asked to describe her emotions at that moment, Mandi knew just what to say. “It’s definitely rewarding,” said the new mother. “It’s nice to look in his eyes now and not have to worry that he’s ever gonna have to leave us again.” Well, until he moves out and leaves for university in many years. When the decree had been read and things were official, the judge was certain he made the right choice. Everyone in attendance stood up and gave a round of applause. Justice sure tastes sweet.
The Miracle They Needed
Hunter did not only deserve loving parents and a stable home life, but his parents also needed him as much as he needed them. By then, Tyler and Mandi had grown accustomed to his presence and wanted to help him become an amazing human being. He was finally an official part of the family. He was the miracle Tyler and Mandi asked for. They truly learned that “there’s a rainbow at the end of every story,” as Mandi once said. She was grateful that they did not give up as things would have been different otherwise.
Why They Fight
Mandi and Tyler are proud of their son, Hunter. “He is our world and our reason to keep fighting these battles,” she has said. Both of them might have issues, although they barely seemed like a problem now that they have Hunter. She continued, “My husband said that there is no medication to help his PTSD quite like having his son take our last name.” They did not only change the life of this little boy because he also changed their lives. Let us hope that his presence will keep them strong and steadfast in the future.
Love And Safety For All
Adoption day will never not be special to the families involved. After all, both the parents and the children get to experience the permanence and stability that others often take for granted. There was also the matter of having the best holiday season with their new son. “He’ll always be safe and loved with us,” Mandi assured everyone. We are sure that they will forever remember what happened on December 18, 2017. This was the day the three of them officially became one family. We do not doubt this will be something they treasure forever.
Nothing More Important
“Our hearts are forever changed because we now know a true and genuine love,” Mandi gushed when asked about how she felt about Hunter. This is truly a story that deserves the happy ending it got. Although they had to face numerous hardships, they managed to come out stronger than ever. She added, “We know that he will forever be safe with us and most importantly will always know what love is. We have learned that family isn’t about DNA. It’s about love!” It is pretty odd that even though they do not share the same genes, Hunter looks just like his father in the photo below.
Absolutely Worth It
Ever since they became the official parents of Hunter, Mandi and Tyler have become advocates of adoption. They talk about the process every chance they get. It changed their life for the better, and they have made it their mission to spread their joy. They know just how rewarding and life-changing it is to take a child home. It is not always easy to be a foster parent, but it is always worth the effort.
Mandi has taken to Facebook to talk about her adoption experience during Foster Care Awareness Month. According to her, it is the best feeling in the world to know you can provide kids with “safety, validation, comfort, and love.” She did not do this to simply show off the good deed. She wanted others to consider adoption. She has also written how foster children deserve a loving home no matter what happens: “They are innocent and deserve all of us to help put their broken pieces back together.”