RICHMOND, Texas– Two married teachers struggling to have a child together are turning to social media for help.
“A miracle is going to happen,” Ryan Snell said.
Two years ago, his wife Cara surprised Ryan with news that they had a baby on the way. The couple finally had a sister for 12-year-old Darian, Ryan’s son and Cara’s stepson.
12 weeks into her pregnancy, Cara got bad news.
“It’s just this sinking feeling, just that this sick feeling,” she said.
Their baby had no heartbeat. Months later, Cara’s mom died too.
“The way to honor her was to be a great mom,” Cara said.
So, the couple tried to conceive again. They miscarried again. This time, it happened on Cara’s 30th birthday.
“I wondered is it something wrong with me,” Ryan Snell said. “Is it something wrong with my wife. What are we not doing correctly?”
“All of your hopes and dreams leave you,” Cara Snell said.
So they turned to adoption and used the life insurance money Cara’s mom left them. It seemed like a sure thing.
The couple paid tens of thousands to their private adoption agency, which required the Snell’s pay birth mother expenses. Those included rent, phone, utility and medical bills.
The Snell’s did even more.
“She had four kids at home,” Ryan Snell said. “We made sure she had food. We made sure she had furniture all these things.”
The Snells also furnished their own room for Olivia. However, the day after she arrived, the couple’s agreement with the birth mother began to die.
“It was a bad moment,” Ryan Snell said. “I don’t know how to describe it. Your heart is just taken away from you. I just wanted to know why you would hurt someone like that?”
Nationwide, 10% to 25% of adoptions get disrupted, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Texas law allows birth mothers 48 hours to renege.
In the Snell’s case, the birth mother used all 48 then left the couple with no money to try again.
But the two high school teachers are determined to do just that. They’ve held bake sales, car washes and started a GoFundMe page to raise money for their next adoption. They hope to have a new daughter next month. Her name will be Olivia. By bringing her home, the Snell’s hope to complete their family and send a message about playing the hand life deals you.
“We’ve gone through so many horrible things, but you can still get back up,” Snell said. “And you can still move forward and you can still be grateful for the things that you have.”