March 10, 2014
I have thought about writing to you since we got Ashton. For many reasons. When we received your letter it made me want to write to you even more. But as I am sure it was hard for to know exactly what to say, I am in that same place. I guess I want to start with the beginning. How Ash came to be in our lives, was no chance. He was and still is our little miracle. I have known your parents since I can remember. So they knew me well. They met my husband when we were just dating, and have seen our marriage from the beginning. When we had been married for six months, we thought we would start trying to start a family. It didn’t happen right away like I thought it would, but I wasn’t too worried. A year had passed with no sign of a pregnancy. Ashton was born that same month. We went to many, many doctors, and found out that both my husband and I have issues, which makes it extremely hard to become pregnant. There is a chance we could but it’s only through IVF and that’s not even for sure. There were far too many nights I would cry myself to sleep thinking I would never be a mom and I would never know the joy a child could bring. It was the one thing I wanted most in my life.
I knew Mark and Les, had guardianship over Ashton, but I had never met him or known the situation. It wasn’t until New Years Eve of 2012 that we met Ashton. We had come over to your parent’s house and Ashton was still up. I remember thinking “he is the most adorable baby”! That night we drove home and my husband and I discussed how cool it would be to adopt a baby, let alone a baby like Ashton. At that time we had been trying almost two years to get pregnant and we were looking into saving money for either IVF or adoption. One night I got a text from Les, asking if we would come and watch Ashton while they went out to dinner. I was so excited to see him again. That night there was something in my head that told me that Ashton was special. When your parents came home I asked them if they had any plans to adopt Ashton, or put him up for adoption. They said they were thinking of a lot of ideas but it was tricky. When we drove home that night, I started crying. I had told my husband that for whatever reason I KNEW that Ashton was supposed to be apart of our lives but I didn’t know how or why. I was really frustrated because it seemed crazy. I never stopped thinking of Ashton after this day. We saw Ashton almost once a week at random places with your parents over the next couple weeks. And every time I would leave upset and feeling so strongly that Ashton was supposed to be in our life. I thought the closest way I could get to see Ash was to babysit. So I offered to watch him on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On February 10, 2013 your parents invited us over. That day forever changed our lives. They told us that they wanted us to be Ashton’s parents through adoption. I had so many emotions. I stood there and sobbed. We finally had some small hope of becoming parents. As you know, there were some rough moments over the next couple months. But I continued watching Ashton, just to be a part of his life even for that little bit.
On April 8, we went out to dinner with Mark, Leslee, and Ashton. I thought they would be going to court the next day, but to my surprise, they told us that we would be adopting Ashton. The next week and a half was a whirlwind, we were working with lawyers, and social workers, to get Ashton in our home as soon as possible. On my birthday April 25, Ashton was officially placed in our home. The next 6 months went by so fast and we celebrated his birthday, went on trips, did many things that were a first for him. Then on November 7, 2013 we appeared before a judge and he granted us full custody over Ashton. We were his parents and had never been happier. A week later we were sealed in the Provo Temple as a family. We believe in the Church of Jesus Christ and in a Heavenly Father. And I know without a doubt he had his hand in this entire adoption. Not only for us, but for you too.
The day we were told we were going to adopt Ashton, I instantly thought of you. I thought of how you were doing and how you had decided to sign over your rights. And then I became eternally grateful for you. I wish I could express through words how thankful I am for you. How much joy you have given us. I KNOW, that it was possibly the hardest thing you have ever had and will have to do. But if you knew just a smidgen of how happy he makes us, and how happy he is you would know it was not in vain. You have given us the gift of being parents. I’m a mom because of YOU! It’s my greatest joy in life and I know it’s my calling. And none of it would be, if not for you. You have given us light in our darkness. Hope in our sadness. Ashton is the greatest thing that has ever happened to us, and I wish I could tell you just how extremely thankful we will always be to you. I hope to someday meet you and give you the biggest hug!
We changed Ashton’s middle name to Mark, after your dad. He fits the name well! We still see your parents as much as we can. If that doesn’t work out, we send pictures on the daily. We all wanted the same for Ashton and that was to keep Mark and Leslee as grandparents, and to still be apart of their family and lives. Oh he is so loved! He now has 3 sets of grandparents to spoil him. Three families that love every thing he does and love to be in his life. Two parents, that watch in amazement everyday at how adorable, smart, and funny he is. He is oh so spoiled! He never goes a day without. People make fun of me and say everyday of his life is documented! He is such an amazing little boy.
He is almost two and just as smart as ever. He loves to read books, and play with any ball he can get his hands on. He loves to color and is always finding a pen, pencil or crayon to draw on ANYTHING! He can say; Momma, Dadda, Bubba (our dog who he is obsessed with), Papa, Shoe, One, Two, Ball, Please, Thank You. His favorite TV show is ‘Yo Gabba Gabba’, every morning we go down to eat breakfast, he will grab the remote and say “Gabba, Gabba” till I turn it on. He loves string cheese, fruit snacks, French fries, and eggs. He loves being outdoors and recently learned to go down the slide by himself. He has many cousins that he follows around and plays with. He has big beautiful brown eyes, and my favorite is when he smiles really big they go into slits! (That would be his Japanese shining through!) He is called Ash, Asher Basher, Ash Man, Bubbies, and The Boy. He is so smart, and is learning something new every day!
Our hope is that someday for us all to meet together. I know that time isn’t now, but someday when we are all ready, we would love for Ashton to meet you. I would love to keep in contact with you through letters. I want you to hear about his life and what he is up to. I would also love to send you pictures.
In your last letter, you said give him a hug and kiss from you, and I want you to know, we do…everyday. We really are so extremely grateful to you and we love you! I hope you can find peace and love in this letter!