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Then & Now: Hayley Todd, adopted in 1986

After waiting 4 long years Howard and Donna Todd wondered if adoption was in God’s will for them.  They wondered if God was shutting that door for them and they simply needed to accept it.  They were already blessed with a biological son before health concerns left Donna unable to have another child.  They loved and treasured the gift of their son and decided that their family might be complete.

Todd Then

Donna, Howard and Jason welcome their new addition, Hayley.

But the next day, they got a call from Jimmy Dobbs at Agape requesting a meeting in the Agape office in Montgomery. At the meeting, Jimmy asked Howard and Donna if they would return the next day to pick up their 4-week-old baby girl.

“The emotions were overwhelming,” said Donna. “It was like receiving the most valuable gift anyone could imagine from a total stranger. We went from the stress of waiting and wondering for almost four years to a moment of pure joy and elation the second they placed her in our arms. She was ours forever more. It was a feeling that I cannot really express in words . Just like the moment the doctor placed my newborn son in my arms. It was magical and miraculous!”

The Todd’s son, Jason, was 12-years old when baby Hayley joined their family. At their first Christmas together, Jason played Santa Jr and passed out gifts which kept the magic alive for Hayley and the family for years.

“Christmas morning has always been a joyous celebration at our house,” said Donna. “Needless to say, we all enjoyed so much the joy of a new baby. The total wonder of Christmas was in our home again.”

Hayley Todd child

Hayley Todd as a child

Hayley was filled with imagination, adventure, music and drama. As Howard and Donna watched her grow, there was never a dull moment.

“She was always and still is SO full of life,” said Donna. “We have always been so grateful we were able to be a part of her life. We are SO thankful that her birth mother choose life for her and choose us to share her life. She is now a wonderful, Christian mother herself and we are excited to watch her legacy continue as she raises her new son.”

Todd Now

Howard and Donna with their daughter, Hayley, and her husband and new son.

When people ask Hayley what it’s like to be adopted, she says, “I’ve never considered myself an “adopted child.” I am the child of Howard and Donna Todd. Yes, I have birth parents, but my mom and dad are the two wonderful people who raised me. From the beginning of my life my parents shared with me and celebrated the fact that I was adopted and what a special blessing I was in their life. Until the time I was 8 or 9 years old, my parents would celebrate “two birthdays” with me – the day I was born and the day I came to be part of their family. This was such a unique experience and made me feel special in so many ways. I have never felt like I did not belong in my adoptive family because they did everything they could to share their lives with me and shower me with love and affection. I have been truly blessed by the grace of God with two wonderful parents and an amazing brother who helped guide me, protect me and taught me to love God. Being adopted by Howard and Donna Todd is the greatest blessing God has ever bestowed upon me.”