Foster parents Mandi and Tyler Palmer of Perrysburg, Ohio knew in their hearts that they would some day adopt the little foster child Hunter they took in when he was just eight days old. It wasn’t an easy journey to the little boy’s adoption, but once they were in the room for the hearing, Hunter yelled out just one word that solidified their family bond.
It was an emotional moment, to say the least.
It took the couple nearly two years from the time they got Hunter to get to this place of being a family forever.
Mandi told People magazine: “Once we got licensed as foster-to-adopt parents, that week, we got the phone call for Hunter. He was 8 days old.”
She continued: “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.”
They weren’t sure if they would be able to keep Hunter, as they faced setbacks and the possibility of the boy going to another family, but they finally learned they could adopt him.
In December of 2017, the family headed to the courthouse to sign the official paperwork to adopt the then 17 month old boy.
Mandi explained, “It was very emotional, in a good way. We had all of our family and friends there. At the end of the court process, the judge announced [Hunter’s] new legal name.”
Then the most amazing thing happened, as Mandi recounted this adorable moment, sharing, “and they read the adoption decree and that’s when Hunter looked at my husband and he said, ‘Dad!’”
There wasn’t a dry eye in the place, Mandi noted, saying, “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.”
Mandi and Tyler were married in 2014 and hoped for a family, but since Mandi suffered complications from Crohn’s disease, she couldn’t conceive.
She told People: “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.”
Mandi continued: “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.”
The couple knew that Hunter was their son from the moment they met, but of course, their adoption day, and Hunter yelling out ‘Dad’ made for a sweet happy ending.
Mandi noted, “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: “Life just happens. We’ve loved him since we’ve gotten him. We’ve cared for him as if he was gonna be with us forever, because every child deserves that.”
Every time you share an AWM story, you help build a home for a disabled veteran.