After These Parents Fight To Adopt Their Son, One Word Brought The Whole Courtroom To Tears
Got a box of tissues handy? This one is a tear-jerker. It’s a story about a mom, dad, and adopted baby boy who had to fight to stay together as a family.
The Palmers had to strive uphill for a chance to open their family to a little bundle of joy—but little did they know that they would have to battle heartbreak, bureaucracy, and the courts—all for love.
Mandi And Tyler
Meet the Palmers. Despite the numerous challenges that Mandi and Tyler had faced in their lives, they remained strong and determined to overcome every obstacle that came their way. Mandi, who had been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at a young age, had been struggling to find a treatment that would relieve her chronic symptoms.
Meanwhile, Tyler, a U.S. Army veteran, had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress after returning from two tours in Afghanistan. Despite these challenges, they remained united and committed to supporting each other through thick and thin.
The Perfect Match
Despite the numerous challenges that Mandi and Tyler had faced in their lives, they found solace and strength in each other. But while their relationship was blossoming, Tyler was deployed to Afghanistan for a second time.
Although many couples might have struggled to maintain a connection while separated for so many months, Mandi and Tyler only grew closer. They remained united and committed to supporting each other through thick and thin, always finding ways to overcome any obstacle that came their way.
A New Start, Together
One month after Tyler had returned home from his final tour, he proposed to Mandi, who joyfully accepted his proposal. The couple then tied the knot in a beautiful and intimate ceremony, marking the beginning of their new life together.
To start this new chapter, Tyler decided to leave the army and build a future with his wife in Perrysburg, Ohio. Despite the challenges they had faced in the past, Mandi and Tyler were ready to embark on this new journey, filled with hope and determination for the years ahead.
Dreaming Of The Patter Of Little Feet
After finding a place to call home, Mandi and Tyler were eager to start their own family. However, Mandi began to worry that even if she could get pregnant, her body might not be able to handle the physical demands of both Crohn’s disease and pregnancy.
Despite this, the couple remained determined to find a way to have a family and started to explore an alternative: adoption. Despite their challenges, Mandi and Tyler remained determined to create a loving home filled with laughter, joy, and the patter of little feet.
The Perfect Nest
Other than the toll a pregnancy might take on Mandi’s body, the couple was in the perfect position to settle down to have children: they owned their own house, had a stable income, and had plenty of time to dedicate to a bundle of children.
Since they were in such a privileged position compared to many other couples of their age, they decided to go ahead with their dream of becoming parents. They began talking about adoption. It wouldn’t be a straightforward process, but it seemed like a viable solution.
Never Giving Up
In an article for Love What Matters, Mandi shared their journey towards becoming parents, writing, “We were heartbroken and quickly found ourselves seeking other ways to grow our family and become parents. We began to explore other ways to grow our family.”
She also added, “We have never been the type of people to just ‘throw in the towel.’” The two remained steadfast and, eventually, were blessed with the opportunity to adopt a child and become the loving parents they had always wanted to be.
What Adoption Would Mean
While Mandi and Tyler had to come to terms with the fact that they would never be able to produce their own children, they were warmed by the idea that they would not only be able to share their love with a child of their own but they would be saving one from orphanhood.
Adoption is beautiful, but the process comes with challenges. There are many criteria to meet before being allowed to welcome a child. Where would the couple start? They needed a sign.
A Sign At Last
It was during this time that Mandi and Tyler learned that their local community needed foster parents. Despite their initial fears, they both felt that this was a sign from God and that fostering a child was something that they were meant to do.
As Mandi explained, “We were scared, but we knew that God was pulling at our heartstrings.” Sometimes, even when making as big a decision as adoption, trusting your intuition and what your heart tells you is the best way to go.
Putting In The Work
Determined to make their dream of becoming parents a reality, Mandi and Tyler spent the following months working tirelessly to become foster-to-adopt parents. They filled out countless forms, completed the required training at parenting centers, and underwent inspections to ensure they were as prepared as could be to provide a loving and supportive home for a child in need.
Their hard work paid off, as just days after they received their license, they received a call about a little baby boy named Hunter.
When Mandi and Tyler received the call about Hunter, they knew they wanted to welcome him into their home and provide him with all the love and care he needed. At just over a week old, Hunter needed a loving and supportive family, and Mandi and Tyler were more than happy to take him in.
All of a sudden, they had become a little family unit. Mandi and Tyler were grateful for the opportunity to become parents and give Hunter the best possible start in life.
A New Mission
Everything had happened so quickly that Mandi and Tyler barely had time to adjust to the idea of becoming foster parents. One minute they were just a couple, and the next, they were responsible for a baby who needed their care and attention.
Despite the sudden change, the couple was ready—but it was quite a ride. “We needed to bring our baby home. We quickly ran to Target and purchased the necessities: a car seat, clothes, baby blankets, diapers, food, and so on,” Mandi said in People Magazine.
As soon as they saw Hunter, it didn’t take long for Mandi and Tyler to fall into their new roles as mom and dad. According to Mandi’s writing on Love What Matters, “He was eight days old and absolutely perfect. We fell in love with him instantly.”
Mandi and Tyler were utterly smitten with their new son. Who wouldn’t be? Just look at his adorable little face! We can imagine the couple doting on him all day long. The couple also found their new roles came naturally.
“Eight days old and perfect,” Mandi wrote in Love What Matters. As Mandi and Tyler learned to adapt to their new role as parents, Hunter seemed warm and cozy with his new mom and dad. They fitted together like peas in a pod.
It seemed that the Palmers had finally attained their dream of starting their family. It sounds like the perfect happy ending. But despite this perfect match, the family was about to receive an unexpected hurdle—and it would be a big one.
A Big Shock To The Family
Just a few months after welcoming Hunter into their home, Mandi and Tyler faced the devastating prospect of losing him to another adoptive family. Another family was looking to adopt, and they had Hunter at the top of their list, which caused the couple to panic.
This brought dark clouds of uncertainty into their lives. However, Mandi and Tyler were not about to give up on their new son without a fight. They were able to issue a challenge in order to keep Hunter—and challenge the issue they did.
Meeting The Challenge
Hunter was more than just their first child—they were their reason, their glue, the very thing holding them together. As Mandi said, Hunter was their “why in life.” And so, the Palmers prepared themselves for court. They rounded up all the resources they needed to adopt Hunter as their legal son.
It was a difficult and emotional process, but they would go to whatever lengths were necessary to keep their new family together. Hunter meant everything—and if they had to prove that to a judge, they would.
A Ray Of Hope
After 16 months of uncertainty and severe stress, Mandi and Tyler received the news they had been hoping for—they would be able to officially—and legally—adopt Hunter and make him a permanent member of their family.
The legal adoption process was concluded in December 2017 in an Ohio courthouse. Even though Hunter was only 17 months old at the time, he seemed to appreciate the gravity of the decision. How? With one simple word—one that surely touched everyone sitting in the courtroom.
One Little Word
While the official adoption papers were an important milestone for Mandi and Tyler, a small word from Hunter demonstrated to them that they had always been his parents. Hunter spoke up just as the judge announced his new legal name: Hunter Palmer.
Hunter looked around the court and saw Tyler. With a look of love and pure joy, Hunter cried, “Dad!” Many eyes in the courtroom welled with tears as the toddler clapped his hands and giggled. His parents knew he would never have to worry about being alone again.
What Family Is For
It’s nice to hear that there are happy endings out there, and this one is hard to beat. With the paperwork rubber-stamped, Tyler, Mandi, and Hunter could get back to their lives—growing, learning, and loving. They would be there for each other.
Sometimes the bonds of love can grow stronger through adversity, and after Mandi and Tyler’s ordeals, it might be fair to say that their bond with their son is unbreakable. As Mandi said to Love What Matters, “family isn’t about DNA. It’s about love.”
Looking Ahead, Together
The Palmers now have a lifetime of memories to make. That’s not to say that life won’t throw them new challenges—life is tricky that way—but at least little Hunter has loving parents to help him through the bad times and celebrate with him the good.
Hunter’s touching words in the courtroom will doubtlessly be repeated back to him at family gatherings—at least until he’ll be too old and embarrassed to stand hearing the story repeated! But with such a story, it would be hard for Mandi or Tyler to resist.