Everyone deals with the diagnosis of infertility differently, and while some are open to a child-free life, others explore alternatives. Regardless of what the outcome may be though, everyone’s fertility story is different, as shown by an Arizona couple in the following story.
After falling in love and getting married, they began to plan their future together. When they were hit with the bombshell that they couldn’t conceive, the heartbreaking news shattered their lives and tore apart their friendships. But they were able to turn the painful experience into a positive one when they decided to adopt.
Met in College
Alo Moli was a football player at Mesa Community College in Arizona when he met the love of his life, Ashley Watson. She was attending Arizona State University in 2012, and after a year of dating, the couple decided they wanted to get married.
The ceremony was in Utah, and Moli remembers the day like it was yesterday. “My heart was so full and there was nothing more beautiful than seeing my wife in her wedding dress,” he recalled. After the pair married, they began sharing their dreams for the future, including having and raising children, but they didn’t anticipate the trials they would face.
Her Health was in Jeopardy
Their dreams of becoming a family were overshadowed by hospital visits. Moli even had to end his football career to take care of his wife. “My wife suffers from endometriosis and had severe pelvic pain and ruptured cysts. She was also hospitalized for pneumonia,” Moli told Yahoo Lifestyle.
Conceiving was Difficult
He continued, “Due to the issues with my wife’s health and in regards to her reproductive system, we had tried to conceive for years, and it just wasn’t working out for us.” Moli admitted that it was a very dark time for him and his wife — they felt utterly defeated.
The most difficult part for Moli was seeing his wife distraught because she couldn’t have children. No matter what, she would always apologize to him saying, “Alo … I’m so sorry I can’t have kids. I’m sorry that I can’t give you what we wanted. I’m just sorry for everything.” Sadly, there was nothing Moli could do or say to convince his wife that he didn’t blame her.
A Toll on Their Relationships
Over time, not having children took a toll on their marriage and the couple’s friendships also began to suffer. Friends of theirs that were expecting knew how hard it was for them to see others who were pregnant, so they sort of backed away. Moli explained, “It got to the point that [friends] were afraid to announce their pregnancies around us because of our current situation and did not want to be insensitive.”
Jealous of Their Friends’ Happiness
“We felt horrible for not being able to express how happy we were for them,” Moli continued, “but they knew deep down that we were hurting.” However, before giving up hope of having a family of their own, the couple vowed to explore being foster parents.
The Next Best Thing
Doing so wouldn’t require them to commit to adopting a child, so it was the next best thing to having their own biological child to take care of. However, Moli confessed that the thought of loving someone else’s child as their own seemed hard to process at first.
Becoming Foster Parents
But they knew it was what they ultimately wanted, so at the beginning of 2015, they decided to become foster parents. Moli received a call from his brother saying that he had good news to share. “We have a family of three who was just placed in the state’s custody that is needing a home and you were the first ones I wanted to talk with.”
A Multitude of Emotions
Moli called his wife with the news and he felt both nervous and anxious that this might actually be happening. “We had spoken for what seemed like an eternity and came to the decision that we were going to take them in.” After calling his brother with the good news, Moli learned that the family of three was actually part of a family of six.
Taking in All Six Siblings
While this would seem like a bit of a reach for any family, Moli felt that if anyone could do it, he and his wife could. After speaking with his wife, they agreed they could never separate siblings, so they planned to take all six children in. The siblings included four boys (now ages 4, 7, 18, and 21) and two girls (now ages 16 and 19).
Thrown a Curveball
Moli shared a photo of the family on his Twitter explaining, “We took in this family of 6 and they looked like they were just as defeated as we were … and we were okay with that. All we wanted to give them was the love we’ve been yearning to give to our unborn children.” But as the months went by, they learned the children had more needs than they anticipated.
Raising Children with Special Needs
Four of the six children had special needs, and despite this, Moli and Watson loved them just the same. However, they admitted it was difficult at first. “It was pretty hard to understand their ways of thinking and how to raise their delicate lives. We read and experimented different ways, but [what] I loved most: My wife was getting her light back,” Moli explained.
The couple had to implement a lifestyle that was not only conducive to their children, but also to them as parents. They explained that having children with special needs meant there will be “spontaneous moments that keep us on our toes.” While taking care of six children can be chaotic at times …
Making it Work
… the Molis do their best to schedule times for naps, appointments, and their daily routines. Over time, they developed a set schedule that works for them. After three years passed, they decided to make it official and adopt all six children. On April 3, 2018, the kids took on Moli’s last name and even changed their first names, incorporating names from Watson’s side of the family.
To Those Struggling with Infertility
They decided to share their journey on social media to show anyone struggling with infertility that there is light at the end of the tunnel. “If you or anyone is struggling with infertility, I’m here for you. I understand that at times it feels like a lonely road, but I’m here to lend an ear,” Moli wrote on his Twitter account.
Sharing Their Journey
He also tweeted a photo montage of the couple’s journey since they met, got married, took in the foster children, and then became an official family. Included with each photo is a positive message, including the emotional process they went through every step of the way.
It All Comes Down to Love
“Our journey to get to this point was worth every ounce of what is left today: Love. Loving them regardless of their situation and history of where they came from.” Moli even shared advice for parents considering taking in foster children.
Advice for Parents
He told Yahoo Lifestyle, “Sometimes the word ‘foster’ has a lot of negative connotations when in all reality it can be the biggest blessing to you in time of need. Although having a biological child of our own is a huge goal, you can always look at other options. Do your research.”
What Family Means
Since adopting the children, the couple has been able to provide them with a new life and stability after coming from a terrible experience. They have also shown them what unconditional love is and what being part of a family should feel like.