She told her future spouse she wanted to adopt a child on their first date. The newlyweds eagerly anticipated the birth of their adorable child after being married, not realizing at the time that their lives would eventually split apart before coming back together.
Adoption is a touching phenomena that may forge enduring relationships between total strangers. Every child deserves a parent and a loving home where they may get the care, attention, and security they are due.
Some kids might have to wait a very long time to find a home that will be theirs permanently and parents who will love and appreciate them. But as the saying goes, “all good things come to those who wait,” and this is the premise of the tale we’re telling today.
Ashley DeClue only understood her one true calling at the age of 18. She claimed that she was in a Target store’s children’s department when her mother called to inform her that a couple in their neighborhood had just brought their daughter back from China.
The young girl grew ill after moving to America, according to her mother. DeClue recalled thinking that God’s timing was impeccable and telling her mother, “Wow. She had a second chance at life, literally.” That was all it needed to make her desire to someday adopt a child.
DeClue continued to date Jesse, who she eventually married. She mentioned wanting to adopt on their first date, and fortunately, he consented. The couple fell in love, got engaged, eloped, and eventually enjoyed their ideal wedding in the course of the following year, which passed quickly.
After getting married, they began to consider adoption. DeClue remembered that at the time, the line for adopting a girl from China was almost six years lengthy, and she was unable to wait that long. She believed for ten years that God wanted her to adopt a young Chinese girl.
DeClue claimed that things gradually got better as she and Jesse cooperated to maintain their marriage and take care of Fred.
But things changed after she observed a few orphanage children while attending church one day. DeClue claimed she recognized her son in the image and instantly knew he belonged in her life.
Jesse and DeClue got in touch with a couple who had adopted from the same orphanage in April 2014. Soon after being added to the waiting list, DeClue and her husband got a call in January 2015, just a few days after her birthday. The social worker inquired about their upper age restriction. DeClue remembered:
“How could we make assumptions about our son’s identity based on his age or physical condition? We decided that we would follow Uganda’s maximum age restriction. According to local legislation, the adoptee’s parents must be at least 21 years older. Yes, up until the age of 8, we will accept a male.”
The caseworker informed the couple about a youngster who was seven years old after they had signed the paperwork. DeClue finally drove to the church during spring break so she and Jesse could share the good news.
The social worker sent DeClue and her husband the little boy’s profile, which included his name, picture, and all the information they knew about him. Added her:
“We sobbed joyfully. We had a good fit. As our social worker broke the news, we sobbed together. I was trembling. I was about to become a mother at last. We were supposed to have a 7-year-old boy as a child. It was finally taking place.”
DeClue, a Master’s student at the time, was in her class on December 3 when the door flung open, revealing that Jesse had been calling her. They needed to board a trip to Uganda in less than 24 hours, she found when she instantly called her husband.
DeClue and Jesse learned that their future kid had received the photo book they sent, which included images of them, their home, his school, and other information he needed to know about his new life and family, as they were preparing to leave. Recounted by DeClue:
“He at last learned about us and myself. A photo with the message “I’m getting a mummy and daddy?” was shared to us. Simply put, we didn’t believe it. It was finally taking place.”
But getting there looked difficult. DeClue and Jesse found they would have to pay $400 more for their bags after travelling to Frankfurt and Dubai, which they couldn’t afford because they weren’t sure how long they would stay in Uganda.
DeClue sorted through her luggage as she sat on the airport floor, teary-eyed and worn out. She claimed that she had to leave out a number of gifts for her kid. She also recalled that
“I finished organizing everything when I noticed a homeless man passing by as I looked up. He received an abundance of food, toiletries, and men’s clothing before we left. Again, God’s timing was impeccable.”
After arriving in Entebbe, the couple began the three-hour drive to Masaka, where the orphanage was situated. DeClue prayed to God for something while traveling. “I had pleaded with God to simply let me be with him on his birthday. I had already missed seven and didn’t want to miss any more”, she spoke.
Thankfully, DeClue and Jesse showed up the evening before their son’s seventh birthday. The moment the couple entered the orphanage, they went to hug the young kid upon seeing him. DeClue claimed that he gave them a hug in return, and they had a touching exchange. She disclosed:
“The photo book was then brought back by our kid after he rushed down the corridor and asked us to read it to him. As I read those lines to him, I had to fight back tears on a regular basis. And you will live with us,” the final page states. We’ll live as a unit. We swear to adore you, Fred, forever. We assure you.”
Jesse had to go back to the US after over 2.5 weeks, but DeClue stayed behind with Fred. She set up a schedule for her son’s education, and they both watched TV while engaging in English and Luganda classes.
At his visa interview at the American Embassy, DeClue also met Fred’s grandmother and consented to an open adoption. DeClue stated about their intense encounter:
“We both sobbed and hugged even though the language barrier made it difficult for us to communicate. From mother to mother, something extraordinary occurred.”
The two took a plane to Denmark before traveling on to New York, where they were met by DeClue’s relatives and friends. DeClue began enrolling Fred in school and returning to work after arriving home. She then realized that she needed to use the pause button since things were moving too quickly.
DeClue and Jesse discovered that their son struggled to settle down whenever he heard something interesting or even small noises since he had sensory modulation disorder and a regulating condition. In Uganda, Fred was a sensory avoider, but after moving to America, that changed.
DeClue said shortly after that she would have to quit her work to stay with him. For him, she created a new schedule that included homeschooling, naps, gardening, and games. Furthermore, she said:
“However, it had an impact on myself, our family, and particularly our marriage. Being in crisis mode constantly is draining, and by the end of the summer, our marriage was about to end. Sometimes hearts change with the seasons.”
DeClue claimed that things gradually got better as she and Jesse cooperated to maintain their marriage and take care of Fred. Fred joined their family formally on September 26, 2016. He requested a baby sister from his parents that December, and his request was quickly fulfilled.
Fred later became a proud big brother after the couple welcomed a baby daughter into their lives. When he first held his infant sister, he exclaimed, “Mama, I’m really delighted. 100.” DeClue and Jesse once more grew their family by welcoming a son into the world. Mom was told by Fred:
“Mommy. Why did I desire a sister exclusively? God was aware of my yearning for a brother. I would have missed everything.”