Blessed Baby Boom

Trotters Welcome Newly-Adopted Children to Family in Time for Holiday

“Everything happens for a reason.”

This is the phrase that kept AVID Coordinator Neely Trotter and Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Shane Trotter going through rough patches during their multiple attempts at adoption. Through a great deal of struggle, this husband and wife duo have, finally, successfully completed this process and are now the proud parents of two beautiful children: Ace and Brix Trotter.

It was a cool September day when the phone call came. By 4 p.m., Neely was home from her day at work, but Shane would not be home for another hour. They were a ‘ball of nerves’ leading up to this moment. She was glued to her phone, waiting for the ringtone that would change their lives forever. The call came, and Neely’s heart sank; she had been waiting for this all day, but had no idea if she was ready for what was to come next.

Then the words came, the ones the Trotters had only been dreaming of for the past year. “You’ve been chosen.”

Neely began to cry and jumped in the car to find her husband to tell him they were about to be parents of not one, but two children, siblings. She knocked on Shane’s office door and he immediately knew why she was there. They hugged and cried, and were over-the-moon excited.

This was the moment they were finally going to become a family.

“Excited was an understatement,” Neely said. “We had been waiting for this phone call for so long and it was all finally happening. Going from zero to two kids was super overwhelming, but we were more than ready to be their parents and love them with everything we had. We spent the evening calling our families to tell them the news. It was such a special day.”

After having spent a little over two months with their newly-adopted children, getting to know them even more each day, the Trotters look forward to spending their first Christmas together, as a family.

“This Christmas Eve, we will celebrate with Neely’s side of the family,” Shane said. “Everyone is overjoyed to introduce these babies to a family Christmas.”

Because of difficulties with infertility, adoption became the only way the Trotters could form a family. Now, adoption means everything to them, Neely said

“While infertility can be heartbreaking and hard to understand, we are now so thankful for it,” she said. “Infertility led us to the two most amazing kids.”

Neely and Shane began the adoption process last November. To be eligible to adopt, they had to  attend orientation, complete numerous amounts of paperwork, have a home study by a state official, participate in multiple trainings, complete a profile book of their family and lifestyle and then be chosen by a birth mother.

“Adoption is typically a very long process, but we were extremely blessed to complete our family in less than a year,” they said. “Within our adoption program, we were only expecting a newborn. When we found out this was a case with siblings, we were over the moon. Their birth mom was shown multiple family’s books and we were so hopeful that she would choose us to be these sweet babies’ parents.”

This past summer, they experienced a failed adoption. A birth mother in Florida had chosen them to be her baby’s parents. On their way to the hospital, she changed her mind and decided to keep her baby.

“This was a really difficult time for us, but if we had not experienced the failed adoption, our family would not be what it is now,” Neely said. “We would go through that heartbreak a thousand times again if it led us to Ace and Brix.”

When Neely and Shane first met Ace and Brix, there was an instant feeling of overwhelming love and joy, they said. Words could never be enough to describe how they felt at that first meeting.

“It all happened so fast and it was such a surreal and emotional moment for us,” Neely said. “They immediately became our everything. They have been with us for (a few) months now and we can’t even imagine life without them. We never knew how incomplete our life was until we met them.”

Although being parents is a difficult task to take on, Neely and Shane said they have received so much love and support from everyone around them.

“We are so thankful for our amazing family, friends, community, colleagues and students,” they said. “We are so fortunate to have the best ‘village.’”

After these past couple months, the Trotters have quickly gotten to know their kids and their personalities. Both Ace and Brix have become the two most important people in their lives, and continue to better their lives each and every day.

“(Ace) loves to smile, dance, play and make the cutest faces,” Neely said. “He is a lover and has us wrapped around his finger. He brings life to everything and everyone he meets.”

Brix is their precious little girl and she is the sweetest and most peaceful baby ever, Neely said.

“Her little personality is starting to shine through and we love watching her grow,” she said. “Her favorite things are her puppy brothers, smiling and big bows. She makes every day so special; we just love her.”

While being a parent comes with a great deal of responsibility and daunting tasks, Neely also said it will forever be their greatest joy.  

“We have been so incredibly blessed to be their parents,” she said. “We are so excited to watch them grow and make memories together as a family. I don’t think we will ever get over the fact that we were chosen to raise and love them forever. We will never take this role for granted.”