Couple Adopts Coveted Boy, Their Marriage Is on the Brink of Divorce Months Later

Ayesha Muhammad
Jun 30, 2022
01:00 A.M.

On her first date with her future husband, a woman expressed her desire for adoption. After the couple married, they eagerly awaited the arrival of their sweet child, not knowing at the time that their life would fall apart before coming back together again.


Adoption is a heartwarming phenomenon that can bring complete strangers together and foster lasting connections. Every child deserves a parent and a nurturing environment where they receive all the love, care, and protection they rightly deserve.

Some children might have to wait a long time to find a permanent home and loving parents who will forever cherish and hold them close to their hearts. But as they say, all good things take time, and the story we're sharing today revolves around a similar theme.



Ashley DeClue was only 18 when she realized her heart's one true calling. She said she was in the kids' section at a Target store when her mother called to say that the couple in their neighborhood had returned home with their daughter from China.

Her mom also mentioned that the little girl became unwell after coming to America. DeClue remembered thinking how perfect God's timing was and told her mom, "Wow. God literally gave her a second chance at life." That was all it took for her to want to adopt a child someday.

DeClue went on to date a man, Jesse, who later became her life partner. On their first date, she expressed her desire for adoption, and luckily, he agreed. The following year went by fast as the couple fell in love, got engaged, eloped, and eventually had their dream wedding.



After marriage, their thoughts turned to adoption. DeClue recalled that to adopt a girl from China, the waitlist was almost six years then, and she couldn't wait that long. For a decade, she thought God wanted her to adopt a little girl from China.

Gradually, DeClue said she and Jesse worked together to save their marriage and care for Fred, and things improved over time.

But that changed when she sat in church one day and saw a few children from an orphanage sponsored by the church. DeClue said she saw her son in that picture and knew he was meant to be a part of her life.



In April 2014, Jesse and DeClue contacted a couple who had adopted from the same orphanage. Soon, DeClue and her husband were put on the waiting list and received a call in January 2015, a few days after her birthday. The social worker asked them for their age limits. DeClue recalled:

"How could we tell God who our son was supposed to be based on biological age or health conditions? We agreed we would do the max-age Uganda would allow. The law there states the parents of the adoptee have to be at least 21 years older. Yes, we will take a boy up to the age of 8."

After signing the documents, the case worker told the couple about a boy who was seven at the time. Finally, during the spring break, DeClue drove to the church so she and Jesse could receive the happy news together.



DeClue recalled that the social worker gave her and her husband the little boy's profile, including his name, picture, and everything else they knew. She added:

"We wept with joy. We were matched. We cried together as our social worker shared the news. I was shaking. I was finally going to be a mother. We were going to be parents to a 7-year-old boy. It was finally happening."

On December 3, DeClue, then a Master's student, was in her class when the door swung open, and she discovered that Jesse had been calling her. She immediately called her husband and learned they had to catch a flight to Uganda in another 24 hours.



While DeClue and Jesse packed their bags, they discovered that their soon-to-be son had received the album they sent, with pictures of them, their house, his school, and everything else he needed to know about his new life and family. DeClue recounted:

"He finally knew about us, about me. We were sent a picture with the caption, 'I'm getting a mummy and daddy?' We just couldn't believe it. It was finally happening."

But getting to Uganda seemed challenging. After flying to Frankfurt and Dubai, DeClue and Jesse discovered they would have to pay $400 more for their luggage, which they couldn't afford because they didn't know how long they'd stay in Uganda.



A teary-eyed and exhausted DeClue sat on the airport floor, sorting out her luggage. She said she had to leave out several items that were gifts for her son. She also remembered:

"As I finished sorting through everything, I looked up and saw a homeless man walking by. We gave him everything we were leaving: tons of food, toiletries, and men’s clothing items. God's timing again was perfect."

The couple reached Entebbe and embarked on a three-hour drive to Masaka, where the orphanage was located. During the journey, DeClue prayed to God for something. "I had begged God to just let me spend his birthday with him. I had missed seven already; I didn't want to miss another," she said.



Fortunately, DeClue and Jesse arrived on the night of their son's eighth birthday. The couple walked into the orphanage, saw the little boy, and ran to hug him. DeClue said he hugged them back, and they shared an emotional moment. She revealed:

"Our son then ran down the hall and brought back the photo book, asking us to read it to him. I constantly was choking back tears as I read those words to him. The last page says, 'And you will live with us. We will be a family. We promise we will always love you, Fred. We promise.'"

After almost 2.5 weeks, Jesse had to return to the U.S., and DeClue stayed behind with Fred. She created a schedule of schooling for her son, and the two spent time doing English and Luganda lessons and watching TV.



DeClue also met Fred's grandmother at the American Embassy for his visa appointment and agreed to open adoption. Regarding their emotional meeting, DeClue expressed:

"While our conversation was difficult because of the language barrier, we both cried and hugged. Mother to mother, something special happened."

The duo flew to Denmark and eventually went to New York, where DeClue's family and friends greeted them. After returning home, DeClue enrolled Fred in school and started going back to work. It was then that she discovered that things were going fast, and she needed to press pause.



DeClue and Jesse learned that their son had sensory modulation disorder and a regulating disorder, which meant he found it difficult to calm down if he heard something exciting or even slight noises. Fred had been a sensory avoider in Uganda, but that changed when he came to America.

Soon afterward, DeClue said she had to leave her job to stay with him. She devised a new schedule for him that comprised homeschool, naptime, gardening, and games. She further expressed:

"But it took a toll on me, our family, and especially our marriage. Being in crisis mode 24/7 is exhausting and by the end of summer, our marriage was on the brink of divorce. As seasons change, sometimes hearts do, too."



Gradually, DeClue said she and Jesse worked together to save their marriage and care for Fred, and things improved over time. On September 26, 2016, Fred officially became a part of their family. That December, he asked his parents for a baby sister, and his wish was granted soon.

The couple went on to welcome a baby girl into their lives, and Fred became a proud big brother. When he held his baby sister for the first time, he said, "I am 100% happy, Mama. 100." DeClue and Jesse expanded their family again and became parents to a baby boy. Fred told his mom:

"Mommy. Why did I only want a sister? God knew I needed a brother, too. I would have totally missed out."


This beautiful family is going strong, and we hope they continue celebrating life and their lovely connection in the years to come. Undoubtedly, adoption is a beautiful phenomenon, but it can be challenging too. However, with patience and love, any challenge can be overcome.

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