Wes and Leanna’s hearts have always been open to adoption, but they never knew the journey would test their faith.

When the couple met in 2007, it was love at first sight, and within three months, they were happily married. But it wasn’t until nearly 10 years later that their son, Ellis came into their lives.

The journey between “I do” and their new forever family was one filled with disappointment, heartbreak and eventually unbelievable joy.

After their wedding day, Wes and Leanna knew they wanted to start a family right away, but as a newlywed, middle-class couple with careers in construction and social services, they feared the high costs of many adoption agencies. So, they decided to try to conceive a child first, with adoption still in their hearts. The task proved more difficult than anyone imagined.

The next decade was filled with disappointment – unexplained infertility and three failed attempts to adopt privately. Heartbroken, they turned to Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana’s Adoption and Maternity program and continued to pray for the child they so desperately wanted to love.

Those prayers were answered in March of 2017 when Ellis was lovingly welcomed into the world and their Northshore home. It was worth the wait, Leanna said.

“Since the day Ellis was born, our lives have never been the same,” she said. “He is a joyful, happy little baby and makes our hearts feel whole. Playing with him, watching him grow, cheering as he meets new milestones, snuggling him when he doesn’t feel good and every moment in between – these are the days we longed for!”

Without Volunteer of America’s Adoption and Maternity program, their dream of having a family might not have come true. And because the services they received came from a nonprofit, Wes and Leanna were able to make their family whole while still saving money for the future – which now features Ellis.


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