SAN ANTONIO — The journey of trying to have children can be a wonderful one, but it can also be emotional and stressful.
And, sometimes, having that moment of realization, of changing the heart, can make all the difference in the world. For the Hutchings family, it wasn't always that way.
"Doctors have never found anything wrong. They have no reason why we can't get pregnant," said adoptive mother Amber Lynn Hutchings.
After nearly 15 years of trying to birth a baby, the couple made the life decision to foster and adopt.
"(It's) almost like giving up on one dream, kind of like shifting dreams," Hutchings said. "It was a little hard. We wanted to adopt these two kids that were in foster care already. So we had a timeline, and we did everything we could to make it as fast as possible.
"And then it didn't work out because that is how foster care goes."
Her husband, Jeremy, said it felt like losing a child.
"Choose to handle it...it wasn't necessarily an option. We just had to handle it," he said.
But the day was just beginning. Later on, good news would come.
"My wife found out that there was another child coming (and) available in the care system," Jeremy said.
The family wound up with Alazae that very day.
"If we wouldn't have pushed, she would have wound up with another family," Amber said. "So I'm really grateful that we did. So from the stress of foster unknowns to now having adopted two baby girls, Alazae and Elviana, both adopted the same day...my life has changed.
The couple says simple things like planning for the future – for trips and summer vacations and Christmases – will now be much more meaningful.
"Now everything matters because they're with us forever," Amber said. "I was lying with Alazae in bed, she woke up a little earlier and she wanted to snuggle. So I went in her room and just snuggled. She looked at me and said, 'Mommy, shall we be happy?' And I said, 'Yes, let's be happy.' And then she said, 'Shall we laugh?' So we both laid there and laughed, and then Elvi chirped in, 'Mommy, I'm awake.'"
"I just feel so blessed that my wife and I were in a position to be able to first, and then we were willing," Jeremy added.
Amber said she loved them as if they were their own biological children.
"They are my own," she said. "They just came through wonderful birth parents that were able to give us that gift."