I want to introduce you to a young woman who has such a significant part in our story and our family. Our angel, Chelsey.
I wish I could have met her when she was on this side of heaven.
I wish I could hug her and thank her for watching over us and helping God cross our paths at the most needed time.
Unfortunately, God needed her more.
Chelsey was 23 when she lost her battle to uterine and ovarian cancer last fall. A battle that takes more strength, courage, and bravery than I could imagine and one no one should ever have to face. My heart breaks knowing I will never get the chance to meet Chelsey. But I know she lives on because she’s still touching and blessing lives, including ours.
I’ve never witnessed the works of an angel until 2 weeks ago…
Chelsey had a strong passion for adoption, knowing she could never have a child biologically, she had a dream to help families adopt. A selfless dream that is now called Chelsey’s Dream Foundation.
When Chelsey passed last year, we were just starting our home study process. Adoption isn’t in the news much nor do you hear many stories in this area of adoption so being hyper-aware of adoption related things, I heard about Chelsey’s dream, her story, and her passing. My heart broke for her parents and loved ones. Soon after, Chelsey was still moving mountains as her family and the Chelsey’s Dream Foundation helped a family financially be able to adopt the son of their dreams.
At the same time, David’s nephew’s fiancé, Mandy, was talking to her good friend, Michelle, who is Chelsey’s cousin and best friend about our process to adopt. After Mandy told me more about Chelsey, I decided to write Chelsey’s parents, Chuck and Carol, a letter about how much their daughter already touched our lives by spreading awareness and advocating for families hoping to adopt. Her dream of adoption was close to my heart as we ventured through our process and I felt a strong need to reach out to Chelsey’s parents who were in a very deep process of grieving. The letter took me weeks to write, much as this post has, because it’s really hard to put into words the kind of sympathy I feel for Chelsey’s parents with their loss and the kind of inspiration that Chelsey was to me, even without knowing her.
I sent the letter sometime in March. At the same time, Michelle, had added our names to the list of families the foundation was hoping to help someday.
April 2nd, hours after receiving the call of our dreams, as my mom, sister, and I shopped frantically for baby necessities, Mandy texted me and asked if it was ok to share our news with Michelle. Michelle then shared the news with Chuck.
A few days later, Chuck reached out to me that him and Carol wanted to meet me, David, and the twins sooner rather than later. All in the name of love, adoption, and one beautiful angel.
That Sunday is another one of those moments in my life that I will never forget. A moment that is so treasured that I can’t retell it without crying.
The day I witnessed an angel’s perfectly orchestrated work as she watched over her parents and our family, a stranger to her and them, and crossed our paths.
Chuck, Carol, Michelle and her husband, Cody, pulled up in front of our house, carrying a large box of diapers for the twins; and like we’ve known each other forever, we talked about our lives, families, the twins’ adoption, and Chelsey. At that moment, I knew how Chelsey grew up to be the woman that she was because her parents are two of the nicest, kindhearted people we’ve ever met and the strength Chelsey had was a result of her two amazing parents.
I’ll forever hold onto the look on David’s face as we sat in our living room later that evening, Chuck and Carol loving on the twins, when Chuck began talking about Chelsey and her dream to help families as he gave David a card to open. Tears filled David’s eyes as I watched the heavy weight lifted from his shoulders as a check fell out of the heartfelt card (a card that is now in our son & daughter’s baby book, I can’t wait to tell them their whole story someday; about all of the love that brought us together as a family).
One thing I haven’t touched on much is that after I went to the hospital to meet the babies’ birth mom and the twins, I texted our social worker about how placement day fees would work out so I could have everything ready for the next day. She said she had some bad news and that unfortunately the costs would be much more, double, what we had anticipated. A cost that was already above our heads. We had done amazing at saving and fundraising – my Pampered Chef party, my freelancing, David’s officiating, the beautiful gifts mailed to us of generous donations, and my necklaces – but we weren’t close to what we needed for double the fees. Unfortunately, this weighed heavily on our hearts and minds during what was supposed to be such an amazing time of celebration. We were already in love with the twins and there was no turning back, as our families searched for ways to help us and we talked about loans, borrowing money, retirement savings, all while trying to prepare for twins in less than 24 hours…David was pale as a ghost when I met him at the hospital that day (and the days to follow) and a lot of that was because of his worry for how we were going to do this, practically and realistically.
That weight that was a very heavy burden on both of our shoulders, was lifted immediately when David opened that card. God and Chelsey were watching over us. There were so, so many tears, hugs, and a burning in my heart that I can’t put words to. Chelsey, Chuck, Carol, and Chelsey’s Dream Foundation were angels that came in and saved us from our worries – they changed our lives and became a part of our family the moment they walked through our front door.
Chuck and Carol: I wish there was another phrase, rather than thank you, that would encompass the fullness in my heart I have for you both, Chelsey, and the Chelsey’s Dream Foundation. Thank you seems so overused and casual, what I want to express to you is far, far beyond those words. I think the world of your daughter for the battle she fought and the life she lived. She will always be an inspiration of strength, courage, and bravery in our family. Our twins will know her, always, as their angel.