Yesterday was a difficult day. It was one of those days where everything is hard, and nothing goes as planned both at work and at home. My husband was traveling, my son had multiple places to be, I had a ton of stuff going on at work and to top it off someone I love was hurting.
Late in the afternoon my cell rang. It was number I didn’t recognize. I usually don’t answer those, but I did because all my family was out of pocket and I just didn’t know if someone I loved needed me.
As I answered the phone, I heard a sweet and kind voice ask if I was Jennifer Lanter. I replied yes expecting bad news (it had been that kind of day). But, instead I received a little miracle. I heard a kind voice reply, “My name is Ashely and you were with me the day my daughter was born in 2000 and when I placed her for adoption two days later. I have been trying to find you and to tell you thank you for being with me that day and you had a big impact on me.” She went on to tell me about her happy life. She was married, she and her husband had son and they were also foster parents. The daughter she placed for adoption is now 19 and they have connected and will someday most likely meet face to face. She wanted me to know she was happy and that placing her daughter for adoption was a good thing for both of them. She was proud and happy with her adoption plan.
Ashely later sent me a text message with photos of her family including her beautiful daughter and handsome son along with this sweet message, “You meant more to me than you’ll ever know. Bless you!”
I was so emotional and surprised by Ashely’s call and that surprise and emotion made it difficult for me to express myself to Ashley. I want her to know what a big impact she had on me. In 2000 I was a new employee working for a mission I adored. My job was outreach and PR so I had little direct contact with clients. We became close very soon because Ashley was working with me on an adoption story for MSNBC. She was honest, vulnerable and so brave. She really stole my heart. I have been with Gladney for 20 years now and I often think of Ashely.
When I first met Ashely, it was before my husband and I new we were infertile. While we were catching up, I loved telling her I was an adoptive parent and that when we were going through the process of adopting our son, I often thought of her and how brave and strong she was.
We are now connected via social media and text messages. I know we will talk again, and I can’t wait to tell her how amazing she is and how happy I am for her life. I also hope to meet her family one day- all of them!