My journey to motherhood began long ago. My husband and I have been married eight and a half years, but our adoption story started when I was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma, at the age of 22 months old. I was a patient at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and received life-saving radiation and chemotherapy as a very small child. Thankfully, I have been cancer free for almost 30 years and have had no major complications. The amount of radiation I received as a child consequently caused my infertility.
After discussion and prayerful consideration, we strongly felt led to have a growing family through adoption. Ever since I can remember I have wanted to adopt. I can even remember being in middle school when my doctors told me I would not be able to conceive.
After months and months of waiting, we got the call. The call telling us to travel immediately to Phoenix because the expectant mother of our soon-to-be-daughter was in labor. We knew we needed to get on the next plane and didn't even hesitate on which airline to call.
We chose Southwest Airlines for their continued support and partnership with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Southwest helps countless families at St. Jude, and being a past patient there I wanted to support Southwest in return. In addition, Southwest makes it easy to book tickets and we needed flexibility with our daughter's expectant mother's due date. No other airline helps you change flights last minute like Southwest!
Our experience flying out to Arizona was exceptional—from the moment I called Customer Service and spoke with Nicole who helped get us on the last flight out to Phoenix to pre-boarding us so that we could be near the front exit and quickly go to the hospital!
The Flight Attendants even made a special announcement over the intercom as others cheered us on. Once we landed in Phoenix we were congratulated with a bottle of champagne from baggage claim. The Supervisor at baggage claim, Edith, arranged for our luggage to be delivered to the hospital. She was incredible and gave us her direct number to contact when booking our return flight to Florida. Everyone was so kind and happy for us.
We rushed to the hospital as suddenly time stood still when we saw our daughter, Evelyn, for the very first time. It was an amazing experience meeting her and nothing short of miraculous! We have enjoyed her so much and still cannot believe she is a part of our family! We have been home a couple of months and are just still dreaming and full of joy! We are forever grateful for the outpouring of love--it’s overwhelming!
We owe a huge thank you to the entire Southwest Airlines Team! Southwest made sure we had the absolute best flights both going and returning home with our daughter! You all went above and beyond the call of duty and our little family is so very thankful.