“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” Desmond Tutu

It’s difficult to remain positive in a negative situation. Over the course of the past 48 hours though, something happened that I had given hope on months ago. What was it? I was contacted on FB through messenger last November by a young mother who had seen a post regarding the Villareal Family interested in putting her unborn child up for adoption.

Because we weren’t friends on FB, the message was hidden. I found the message while searching for a message from someone who sent me a text that they had been trying to contact me on FB.

My son told me how to find hidden messages. While I prefer for anyone to contact me through my sites or by call or text, you can also email me directly Wendy@texastwinsevents.com to reach me.

The message was pertaining to a post on my page last year. I’ve known Burt and Deanna since marrying them at Sampson Park July 2016. They were both military. Burt was about to be deployed to Iraq. Deanna had found me on Gig Salad. It was the beginning of a tight friendship.

My clients and our relationship don’t end on event day although that’s the norm for most event vendors. We become friends and connect on social media. I stay in touch with them. I celebrate their success and I mourn their losses.

Burt and Deanna as well as their journey and ties to me would continue after Deanna again reached out the moment she learned that she was pregnant.

She wanted me to baptize her baby which isn’t uncommon as most of my former clients are “be backs.” They contact me again frequently.

At the time I had committed to perform a baptism for Deanna and Burt, I was as excited as they were.

But, months later, Deanna was told baby DeLilah had Trisomy. The child wasn’t expected to live more than a few hours. Tragedy had come to replace joy. My heart was heavy.

Because we weren’t sure when DeLilah would come, I assured Deanna that I would be in Texas rather than traveling the month she was expected to deliver.

Cindy and I were in Granbury with Cindy’s granddaughter, Makenna for STAAR testing when Deanna sent me a text that they were headed to Harris Hospital.

Cindy and I were scheduled at a function in Dallas that evening but decided to arrive late in Dallas in order to stop by Harris Hospital and baptize DeLilah on our way to Dallas.

Our appearance at the Dallas function wasn’t nearly as important as being on site in Fort Worth. After all the public appearance in Dallas was voluntary and not a booking.

On April 10, 2018, Cindy and I parked and prepared to go into the hospital. I had packed my Bible and Holy Water leaving my office that afternoon prepared for what would be one of most heartbreaking moments as a celebrant.

Like anyone going to the hospital awaiting uncertain news, our hearts were heavy. We prayed DeLilah would defeat the odds.

The maternity ward is often the happiest place in the hospital. For Deanna and Burt as well as their friends and family including Cindy and I, it would also be the saddest place in the hospital that night.

Walking into Deanna’s room, we heard the heartbeat of DeLilah and had hoped that this was a good sign.

Deanna had told us that it would be a few hours so Cindy and I left for Dallas to attend a function and make a brief appearance then return to Harris.

Sometime while in Dallas or on our return to Fort Worth, DeLilah had been born. Deanna had been moved to another room.

We located the room and the many military friends of the Villareals. It was emotionally difficult for me to walk past the silently crying soldiers to Deanna’s bed. Seeing all of those soldiers weep while still in their uniforms was heartbreaking.

Cindy was at the back of the room. Burt was leaning over Deanna and DeLilah. I began to unpack Holy Water. I began to control my own emotion. I was about to perform one of the most difficult ceremonies I’ve ever performed. I was going to baptize a child that had only a few hours to live. My sadness was profound.

The following day Deanna advised me that she needed me to officiate the memorial.

It would be the second hardest thing I’ve ever done. Losing DeLilah devastated Burt and Deanna.

Months later, Deanna decided to start a GoFundMeAccount campaign for IVF.

Weeks later, she was advised she couldn’t carry another child.

Deanna had asked me to post if anyone wasn’t in a position to keep their child that she would like to speak to them. I did and someone saw the post and had messaged me. I didn’t see the message until Tuesday evening.

I sent a message back to call me. I then asked for her phone number and sent her a text. She’s in South Carolina.

Burt and Deanna are now stationed in another state outside of Texas. I waited to contact Deanna. It had been months since this young lady had tried to contact me. What if she had changed her mind?

Last night for over an hour, we texted back and forth. She’s now homeless in Union, South Carolina. I searched for shelters but found none. After an hour of conversing with her via text, I sent a text to Deanna.

Will Burt and Deanna be gifted with a child they wanted so desperately? Perhaps.

Can I help this young lady find assistance and shelter in Union? I’m trying. Will there be light at the end of this tunnel? I’m praying there is.

Burt and Deanna are wonderful people with a heart to welcome this baby.

The mother wants to do what’s best for her unborn child.

Did I ever see myself facilitating two strangers by posting on my wall that Deanna would welcome any child? No but without social media, these two strangers would have never found one another.

I’m often asked about my job, my clients, my role and my ability to look beyond their differences. Their circumstances. Why I’m open minded and open hearted? But, the true essence of who I am and what I will do to help my clients past or present is that I welcome them as family.

I hope there is a happy ending for Burt and Deanna. I pray there’s also a fresh start for Lacey who is now in a safe place and off the street. Who can now get medical treatment for her unborn child and who has found the perfect parents to open their hearts and their home to the joy of a new baby.

UPDATE 04-11-2020… Deanna forwarded screen shots of messages from the “God Mother” of Lacey who took her in yesterday. In less than 24 hours, messages sent back and forth from Lacey’s God Mother reference School, a laptop, a new phone and “how much money are you going to be sending? Lacey’s getting food stamps so you need to be sending money.” I was alarmed and horrified at this turn of events. After all, I had searched to find a shelter for Lacey and Deanna had offered to buy clothes and items she might need. Lacey reached out to me in November. Is she a con artist? Is she really planning to let Deanna adopt her baby? Or is she in cahoots with this God Mother trying to make a buck off someone who has already suffered heartache?

Reviewing these screen shots sent to me from Deanna, I advised her to get paperwork and to focus on helping Lacey with clothes and not to offer money to this God Mother figure who obviously is trying to find a “financial angle to benefit herself?” I’m now warning Deanna to step back and set limits.

We don’t really know Lacey. She reached out to me after reading a post regarding Deanna willing to take a child in no questions asked.

Did Lacey contact me because she thought the Villareal Family was wealthy? To take advantage of their kind and tattered hearts? I don’t know but I know this, I won’t let anyone take advantage of my friends. I’ve advised Deanna to step back.

Cindy chimed in “we don’t even know if she is pregnant? She sent photos but are they old pregnancy photos?” My twin has a valid point.

It is now time to proceed with caution with a stranger who knows far more about a family desperate for a baby and sees an angle of benefitting herself at their expense. What she didn’t see was Deanna telling me this list of demands and expectations. She certainly didn’t see Cindy’s suspicions about “why someone’s going to go to the trouble to contact you because she doesn’t want to keep her baby and you have clients that want a baby. Listen, I’m leery about this and you need to be too. Ask for photos of her stomach.” My sister is right of course. We have no medical records or proof that Lacey is in fact pregnant. What we have is someone who contacted me that I contacted back and put in touch with Deanna who is now asking Deanna for money, school, a laptop and a new phone. What we have here is a problem.”