Mandi Palmer has struggled with Crohn's disease since she was just 15 years old. She has undergone over a dozen surgeries to help manage her disease but, sadly, after so many surgeries she was left without a normally functioning stomach. The now 32-year-old continues to suffer every day with this disease.
Her husband, Tyler, is also familiar with struggles. He did two tours in Afghanistan and now has PTSD. He attends regular therapy sessions at the VA medical center.
The two people met and got married in Ohio. Once they were ready for kids, they quickly realized that they were unable to have any of their own. This was devastating news. Mandi wanted to be a mom. Tyler has always wanted to be a dad.
“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 told "Love What Matters." "We were heartbroken and quickly found ourselves seeking other ways to grow our family and become parents.”
Mandi was determined to be a mom. She wasn't going to let the inability to have children shatter her dreams. So, her and Tyler decided to become foster parents and then ultimately adopt.
Just one week after they were certified foster parents, they received a call. An 8-day-old baby boy needed a home.
“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 eight days old and absolutely perfect. We fell in love with him instantly.”
Mandi continued on saying that Hunter was more than just their first child, he was their "medicine," and their "why in life." They knew they wanted to adopt this young boy. Make him their child. Be his mom and dad. Give him their last name.
16 months later, Mandi and Tyler had a court date. They were going to make Hunter their son.
"Over the next 16 months, we went through the crazy roller coaster ride of fostering and found out that we would indeed get to adopt him," Mandi said. "Our prayers were finally being answered!"
After the judge announced Hunter's new last name, Hunter began to clap and smile. Then he turned to Tyler and said, "Dad!"
“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."
We may not know exactly what God has planned for us, but we can be rest assured that He does have one. The Palmers kept their faith and now have this beautiful blessing because of it.
Mandi said, "My husband said that there is no medication to help his PTSD quite like having his son take our last name.”
"Our hearts are forever changed because we now know a true and genuine love," Mandi explained. "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!”
What do you think about this adoption story? Let us know in the comment section below! In other news, a young boy is “angry” about a veterans cemetery. Find out why and how he fixes the problem here!
Photos by Finn Photography