In January of 2012, Ashley moved to a new town to take classes at a local college. Single and carefree, she began attending a church singles group nearby. It was there that she developed a friendship with a young man who had moved around the block from her that same month, unbeknownst to her. They began “hanging out” in September of 2012 and officially started dating in April of 2013. They were engaged by May, married by August, and are still very much in love.
Both Alo and Ashley wanted a family desperately, but they struggled with infertility. They began treatments a year into their marriage, but Ashley couldn’t shake the conviction that she should adopt first. About a week after the couple became convinced that they were called to adopt, they were phoned by Alo’s brother, who worked for a foster placement agency. Ashley talked to Adoption.com about her experience:
“He told us there was a family of three that needed a family,” she remembers. “Alo and I began to talk about the opportunity, feeling led to consider adopting through foster care.”
While Alo and Ashley were still praying and deliberating, Alo’s brother called them back. What he told them took their breath away: “Hey, bro, there are actually six kids in the family that are available for adoption. They are going to split them up if someone doesn’t take all of them.”
There was no question in Ashley’s mind that she should parent either all or none of the six siblings who were attached to one another. “I grew up in a blended family of thirteen children,” she explains, “and it was a ‘yours, mine, and ours family.’ I knew what it meant to have someone who wasn’t your flesh and blood love you as though you were.” After much thought and prayer, Alo and Ashley decided to parent a family of six—ages 17, 16, 15, 13, 4, and 6 months. Their adoption became official in 2018.
In the Moli home, kids are given some independence even though some have special needs. They pick out their own clothes, do chores, help with dinner, do homework, and take showers. Ashley admits that her kids have made a 180-degree change since they came to live with her. A daughter who was originally non-verbal will now talk to anyone and can spell very well. A son who was angry and disrespectful is now sweet, helpful, and funny. The baby, who used to scream constantly, is now a joy to be around and loves to help cook and clean.
Ashley is complimented on her kids all the time. While they used to be aggressive, they are now respectful and warm. She encourages families considering foster care not to be afraid of it. “Some kids come from traumatic situations,” she says, “and you look at it as accepting someone else into your family. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions and ask about your child’s likes and dislikes. You can then blend your life and values into those things. It is a blessing to be able to show a child what a real family looks like, even if you only get them for a short period of time.”
Ashley’s kids are currently in school and working as happy, productive members of their community.
Visit Adoption.com’s photolisting site for children who are ready and available for adoption.
*Photos by Sadie Vaenuku