Aaron Grew Up in Honduras
Aaron was no stranger to diversity. He stuck out a lot as an evangelical missionary child in Honduras due to his blonde-haired, blue-eyed looks. However, growing up in that environment showed him how people can look different — yet we’re all the same deep down.
It often takes growing up in a diverse neighborhood or city to open your mind and recognize that we aren’t all as different as we’re led to believe.
Rachel’s Upbringing Was Different
Rachel, on the other hand, had a very different upbringing. She grew up in the delta of Mississippi, where people can sometimes be closed-minded towards those who don’t look like them.
A few trips to Haiti changed Rachel’s perspective as she spent time around the wonderful citizens there and saw through the racial prejudice she was raised with for the first time. Little did she know that it would change her life forever.
They Shared the Same Mission
In 2004, Rachel and Aaron met on a blind date and they quickly knew how right their relationship was. They both felt that they were down-to-earth people, and they shared a lot of similar goals.
A big goal for them, due to the way they were raised, was to continue using the gospel to change the world and make it into a better place. This wasn’t too hard for them to do thanks to Aaron’s background.
When Dreams Come Together
Their relationship eventually took a turn towards romance, since Rachel always felt like Aaron was the one. One thing that helped was that they both knew one thing without a doubt — they wanted to adopt.
We know what you’re thinking; adopting a load of puppies sounds like heaven! But no, children were what they both had in mind. They really wanted to start a family, and adoption was very important to both of them.
Starting Their Family
Rachel and Aaron eventually got married and were determined to start their beautiful family. They were both able to have their own children, but they believed that getting involved in adoption was extremely important for those who can afford to.
A few years into their marriage, they were trying to conceive naturally, but the idea of adoption was always floating around in their minds. They even visited an adoption agency where they were living at the time just to check things out.
Adoption With Caveats
Rachel and Aaron really loved the idea of adoption, but there was a big caveat. They had done their research, and they had learned that in the United States, agencies really struggle to find homes for non-Caucasian children.
There are a lot of issues in the US adoption system, like the fact that adopting children of certain races is often cheaper than others, and that minority children often have to spend more time in foster homes than white children do.
The Big Decision
The couple decided to tell the adoption agency that they would love to adopt a child, but with a condition — they wouldn’t adopt any child who was fully white. They believed that if they were meant to have a white child, they would have it naturally.
That’s why they felt it was so important to give a child a chance who otherwise wouldn’t be given one. It wasn’t a political statement, it was simply the right thing to do.
The Couple Makes a Move
Rachel and Aaron had been considering the possibility of going back to Honduras as missionaries, taking things back to Aaron’s roots. But, they were looking into adoption at the same time in their town in Mississippi.
As Rachel was struggling to conceive, they finally came to a decision — they were going to adopt two young African-American children. They had a big, beautiful home, and those children deserved to have a big, beautiful home to run around in… just like any child does.
Sharing Compassion and Love
They were so excited to grow their family, naming their adopted little ones Ford and Catherine. They couldn’t wait to share their passion for loving and helping others with their children. But, those around them weren’t so thrilled.
Some people in their little town in Mississippi weren’t so thrilled by the idea of their mixed-race family. Some stared at them in confusion, while others shook their heads. But, people were even more surprised by what happened to their family next.
One Big, Happy Family
Rachel and Aaron were so happy with their decision, as they felt like the children settled in very quickly and that their family was even more complete than before. They didn’t really care about the looks they got when out in public.
All they cared about was that their children were happy and that they had a home, and how much they enjoyed being their parents. They enjoyed parenting so much, in fact, that they decided that their family wouldn’t stop there.
Missing Piece of the Puzzle
Many people dream of having a big family. The idea of lots of little ones running around fills them with joy and a sense of purpose. It was something that the Halberts had always desired.
For those kinds of people, two children usually isn’t enough. They dream of three or four, or even more if they have the resources for that. Just imagine one of those big vans full of happy little ones!
An Intriguing Conversation
With two young children, the Halberts weren’t exactly looking to expand their family just yet, as they were running around just trying to keep up with their adopted kiddos. However, they had an interesting conversation with another couple.
That couple told them that they should look into a unique process of adoption, and they were very intrigued by the idea. It would mean, after all, that Rachel could give birth to a baby.
The Perfect Solution
Rachel looked up the process and they seriously considered it. While most know about IVF treatments and male donations, she found something called embryo adoption, which many people have never heard of.
Embryo adoption is the process of being implanted with an embryo that isn’t biologically related to the mother, often in order to give the embryo the best chance at life possible. They both thought it was the perfect solution.
Rachel Becomes Pregnant
Rachel and Aaron loved the idea because they were able to give embryos frozen for in-vitro fertilization a new chance. They pursued it and soon, Rachel was pregnant. It was an exciting time for both of them.
Rachel was one of many women who dreams of becoming pregnant and growing a little life, so embryo adoption gave her a chance to do just that and give her two children another sibling. But, Rachel and Aaron were in for a surprise.
The Best Chance
With processes where embryos are implanted, like in-vitro fertilization and embryo adoption, it’s common practice to implant more than one embryo to give the mother a better chance at pregnancy. Still, no one expected what happened next.
Rachel and Aaron selected two embryos for implantation, but they weren’t just any embryos. They discussed what would be best with their doctor, and came to an agreement. They wanted their two children to feel connected to these new siblings.
Shared Life Experiences
Due to the shape their family was already taking, the Halberts decided that the embryos should also be African American. The donation center they used wholeheartedly agreed that it was a good decision to make.
It would allow the family to give a home to a new deserving child, while helping all of their children bond over their shared looks and life experiences. They never once doubted that it was the right thing to do for them as a couple and for their family.
Nervewracking Doctor’s Visit
During the pregnancy, Rachel and Aaron were serving as full-time missionaries in Honduras. They had gone back to Aaron’s childhood roots. They were anxious to see whether one of the embryos had taken.
After six weeks, they went to visit the local hospital where they were living in Honduras, and were super nervous to see what the doctor would say. They never expected the question he would then ask them.
Confusion in the Doctor’s Office
After they explained the situation in their somewhat broken Spanish, the doctor asked if they were positive that they had only inserted two embryos. They said they were, and were a bit confused by the question.
All became clear when the doctor told them that not only had both embryos taken, but that one of the embryos had apparently split inside of Rachel’s womb. So, they were not going to have one baby, or even two — but three!
A Blessing Tripled
It’s fairly common when implanting embryos to end up with multiple children. That’s because many parents choose to insert more than one embryo to have the highest odds of one taking and causing pregnancy.
Rachel and Aaron had already known that twins were a possibility, but they never expected to find out that there were three little ones growing in there! It was a really big shock, but they took it in stride.
A Family Expansion
Aaron knew that his wife Rachel must be so happy. She was already so lucky to have Ford and Catherine. Now she would get to have not just a baby bump, but a massive one!
They both felt like it was truly a blessing, and they knew that those three little ones would be loved and cherished for all their days. They couldn’t wait to share their home with such a big family.
A Fear of Mixed Reactions
As a mixed-race family, Rachel and Aaron were constantly met with a lot of skepticism by people in their community. They didn’t let it phase them, though, and continued with their plans because they felt it was the right thing to do.
When they found out they’d be having African American triplets, they weren’t sure how people around them would react. They already got weird looks for having two adopted children who didn’t look like them.
A World of Support
Thankfully for them, most of their friends and family were super supportive of how they chose to expand their family, even if they think that the way they went about it was a bit unusual.
The most important thing is that love is love, and family is family, no matter what they look like. Most of the Halberts’ immediate community recognized that, making them incredibly blessed and lucky to have such a community around them.
Some Questioned the Decision
While most people were supportive, there were always those doubters, and those people were a bit confused about the methods they used for Rachel to become pregnant. But, Rachel didn’t let the haters phase her.
She truly believes that her children don’t need to have her facial features or hair color or look just like her in order to be her children. She said that love is all it takes, which should be true in any family.
Ford and Catherine’s Reactions
While Rachel was pregnant, Aaron couldn’t help but be delighted at how sweet their two children were. Seeing their love for their unborn siblings made his heart burst with pride and love. The kids would kiss Rachel’s belly, and say goodnight to it every day.
Most siblings are really excited when they find out they’ll be getting a little brother or sister, so knowing that they were getting three sisters was very exciting for Ford and Catherine.
Safety Concerns for the Pregnancy
Carrying multiple babies at once is extremely taxing on a mother’s body, and unfortunately, many babies that are part of multiple pregnancies don’t make it to full term. That means that these mothers have to be extra careful.
Rachel and Aaron constantly paid attention to her safety, making sure that she and the babies were well taken care of. Once she was closer to her due date, the doctors made a big decision.
Time for a C-Section
They decided that an early C-section would be the safest way to ensure the survival of all three of the little ones, so that’s what the family did. Aaron was all nerves while Rachel was in with the doctors, as any partner would be.
Then, he saw the beautiful babies his wife delivered. Three little black babies were born, and he burst into tears at the sight of their little healthy faces.
An Even More Fulfilling Fatherhood
Aaron was already so proud of being a father to his two adopted children, yet seeing his wife produce these three little bundles of joy was what finally made both of them realize their family was now whole.
He felt so proud and couldn’t wait to hold the three of them in his arms. He and Rachel finally had that big family they had always wanted, and they had helped children and embryos in need at the same time.
A Bigger, Happier Family
Ford and Catherine were now able to say goodnight to their three little sisters in person, and the Halberts couldn’t have been happier. They decided to throw a party when they got home as a way of saying thank you.
They couldn’t have done it all without the support of their friends and family every step of the way, especially in the face of the naysayers who didn’t understand why they did things the way that they did.
Not Like They Planned
When they started dating all those years ago and they bonded over wanting to adopt, they weren’t sure exactly how that would play out, but they didn’t expect what they ended up with.
Just because they didn’t expect it, though, doesn’t mean that they weren’t grateful for the five wonderful children they were blessed with. In fact, they’re both extremely proud of how their family turned out, because what’s inside is more important than appearances.
Doubters Don’t Matter
The Halberts have shared that some people don’t understand their mixed-race family and look down on them for choosing the path that they did. Those people don’t affect them at the end of the day, though.
They find other things more important — like living their lives as good, honest people and caring, attentive parents. They want their girls to grow up knowing they’re loved and perfect exactly as they are.
It’s Not a Big Deal
People have thanked them for doing what they did, in adopting needy children no matter what they looked like, and making a point to give a home to children who may have had a hard time finding one.
To them, though, it’s not a big deal at all. It was just the right thing to do. They firmly believe that all children deserve a chance at happiness and that their skin color is the least important thing about them.
It Takes a Village
Rachel and Aaron have always made it a point to express gratitude towards everything they were given in life and those who were there for them along the way. It meant a lot when others in their community judged their decisions.
They didn’t care what those around them thought of their choices, because they had a beautiful family of five fantastic children that they were lucky enough to have the privilege to raise.
A Heartfelt Facebook Message
The Halberts thought it was important to say thank you, so they went on social media and said, “It’s been heartening to see virtually all of your friends and family express overwhelming support for our family and the unusual way we’ve built it.”
They also shared, “In our minds, we are just living out our dream. A dream that may not look like the average family, but one that we are thankful could come true in light of our country’s history.”
Moral of the Story
Photos of the Halbert family may seem unusual to those who don’t know them, but it doesn’t matter because the children are happy, healthy, and loved for who they are. They’re being raised to be good, giving people.
Their story just goes to show that if you want something bad enough, there will always be a way to achieve it, and that there will always be people to support you through it.
There’s Always Embryo Adoption
In an update in 2021, the Halberts shared that while seeing their story everywhere has been strange, there has at least been some good to come out of it, and it’s that it’s helped to spread the word about embryo adoption.
Many of those people had never heard of it before, but they did some research and chose a similar path thanks to the Halbert family’s story. They now live in Honduras, continuing the work Aaron’s family did all those years ago.
Woman Claps Back at Jeweler Who Called Her Engagement Rings “Pathetic“
It seems like an absolute guarantee that when two people are in love, one of the lovebirds is supposed to get down on one knee and ask for the other’s hand in marriage. Moreover, that person is expected to pull out a beautiful engagement ring in the process. While the following story revolved around this pivotal moment in a young couple’s life, things got a little complicated along the way. But it’s how the couple responded that took this story to another level…
Their Plans Took an Unexpected Turn
Happy couple Quinn and Ariel were ready to move onto the next stage of their beautiful relationship. It didn’t take too long before they knew they were meant to be together forever.
With that comes all of the usual rituals and traditions that one must embark on in order to express one’s commitment to each other. Quinn needed to get a ring for Ariel, but on the day this happened, things took an unexpected turn…
It Should Have Been a Normal Day
During that fateful trip to find the perfect rings for his future fiancée, Tennessee-native Quinn forked out as much money as he could to get an engagement ring so that he could propose to his beloved Ariel. He also wanted to buy a matching wedding ring, too.
Despite his best efforts, though, Quinn was met with a shocking response from none other than one of the staff members at the jewelry store he was shopping at. Thankfully, Ariel was also there and had the perfect response…
Things Used to Be So Simple
There was a time when Ariel and Quinn didn’t need to worry about what others thought about their love. When they were both just 20 years old, fate brought the two together when they ended up meeting online. Many people who meet online like to take their time and ease into things. Not these two, though.
It was just a matter of time before one thing led to another and the two would embark on the journey of a lifetime together…
They Hit it Off Instantly
After just a couple of messages were sent back and forth, Ariel and Quinn decided that they wanted to exchange numbers and hear each other’s voices. From that point onwards, it seemed like the two couldn’t stop talking to each other. They completely skipped the texting part.
According to Ariel, the two spoke on the phone for 6+ hours each day for the next two days. Shortly after this, Quinn would make the next move that escalated things even further…
He Picked Her Up the Next Day
Just two days into talking to each other, the two agreed to meet. Amazingly, even though Quinn lived quite far away from Ariel, he drove all the way to her house to pick her up and take her on their first date. It was an hour-long drive, but one that he would certainly never regret.
According to Ariel, she “wore a tacky Christmas sweater” as she stepped inside the car and embarked on a truly unforgettable first date…
Funny First Date
During that crucial first date, the two went to a local bar and ate wings! Ariel and Quinn were so comfortable in each other’s company that they even had a burping contest together!
After having so much fun at the bar, the two hopped back into Quinn’s car and went on a joy ride around the neighborhood, listening to their favorite songs and singing the night away. As soon as the date was over, Ariel knew exactly how she felt about Quinn…
Already in Love
As soon as she got out of the car and returned home, Ariel knew exactly how she felt about Quinn and how she wanted to treat things moving forward. Online, she confessed that she was already in love with him after the first date.
But, that’s not all she admitted. “If he had asked me to marry him the first time we met, I probably would have said yes,” she said.
They Wanted to Elope
Those first three months into their relationship were absolutely magical. The young couple went on many memorable dates and it was at the three-month mark that they had a huge agreement — they wanted to elope. Truth be told, they also agreed to take some more time before they made such a huge decision.
However, Ariel and Quinn couldn’t wait any longer. “I’ve never been this happy in my life and I couldn’t imagine spending it with anyone else ever,” she said.
We Don’t Have a Lot
One of the reasons that Ariel and Quinn may have decided to elope was because they didn’t necessarily have the funds to pay for a big, over-the-top wedding. “[Quinn] doesn’t have a lot. Neither of us do,” Ariel said.
“We scrape and scrape to pay bills and put food in our bellies.” This was another reason why the couple took their time before tying the knot. They wanted to save money to get married the way they always dreamed of…
They Couldn’t Wait Any Longer
After nearly two years of dating, waiting, and saving up money for the perfect wedding, Ariel and Quinn decided that they simply didn’t want to wait any longer.
They realized that they were simply postponing moving on with their lives together and they might as well just get the nuptials over and done with. It was at this point that they decided to finally elope and do what was necessary. But, where would they start?
Wasn’t Even Thinking About Rings
For so many couples, the exchanging of rings is an integral part of tying the knot and committing to each other for a lifetime of happiness. While it isn’t technically obligatory to do so, the silver, gold, or diamonds bands are synonymous with getting married nowadays.
With this said, Ariel admitted that she wasn’t even concerned with what kind of ring Quinn was going to get her. “I wasn’t even thinking about rings,” she said.
Marrying Her Best Friend
Yes, for Ariel, the exchanging of rings was something that hadn’t really even crossed her mind. For her, it went much deeper than that. When she met Quinn, she had met her best friend.
She just happened to hit the jackpot, as she was now able to kill two birds with one stone — having a best friend who she could also marry. “I just wanted to marry my best friend,” she said. But, that didn’t stop Quinn…
He Wouldn’t Have It
Even though Ariel admitted that she wasn’t fussy about what kind of ring she would get and that all she wanted was to marry her best friend, this still didn’t stop Quinn from doing what he felt needed to be done.
“But, he wouldn’t have it,” Ariel said. Quinn couldn’t stand the idea of not providing any kind of ring for his beloved Ariel when proposing to her. So, the time had finally come to find a band for his soon-to-be fiancée…
He Knew What She Wanted
Some people don’t actually know what kind of engagement or wedding band they would like to wear. But, Ariel knew exactly what ring she wanted and dreamed of having a pear-shaped set. And Quinn was well aware of her dream.
He had noticed many pictures of the set dotted around her Pinterest page and he sincerely wished he could make them her own. Truth be told, though, he was going to need to save up a lot to afford them.
Tried to Save Up
For the next few months, Quinn worked tirelessly around the clock while also refusing to spend frivolously on things he didn’t need. Quinn was determined to put some money aside each month so that he had something to spend on his fiancée-to-be.
According to Ariel, “He scraped up just enough money” so that he could afford some kind of ring that she might get excited about. But, it was where he’d buy them from and the day he bought them that turned this story on its head…
He Couldn’t Afford Them
Even after putting in tons of overtime at work and saving up a lot of money, Quinn felt defeated as he knew that he would not be able to afford the pear set that Ariel was so determined to make her own.
He felt like he had been a lousy partner and the couple was not even married yet. But, the time had come to ask for her hand in marriage and he simply needed to give her something that she might end up liking. It was time to go to Pandora…
Matching Rings from Pandora
The day had finally come for Quinn to buy the ring he was going to use to propose to Ariel. According to the young lady, she ended up with “two matching rings from Pandora. Sterling silver and CZ to be exact.”
Quinn was convinced that he had found the right rings for the love of his life. And all he needed now was Ariel’s seal of approval. But, how exactly did Ariel respond to these rings?
In Love With the Rings
Unsurprisingly, it turned out that Ariel was in love with the rings from the moment she laid her eyes on them. “I am so in love with them,” she said. She also went as far to as state that this is what sits on her ring finger now.
While it seemed like nothing could get in the way of the couple’s happiness, something would end up happening that threw a spanner in the works…
While Ariel and Quinn were purchasing the matching rings, another lady who was working at the store came over to the person who was selling the rings. At first, the couple assumed that she was simply coming to exchange pleasantries during this heartwarming occasion.
But, according to Ariel, this woman said the following — “Y’all, can you believe that some men get these as engagement rings? How pathetic.” It should come as no surprise how Ariel felt about this…
He Was Devastated
Initially, when the staff member of the store had said those devastating words, Quinn was absolutely distraught from it. “When she said that, I watched my now-husband’s face fall,” Ariel said. “He already felt bad because he couldn’t afford the pear-shaped set that so obviously had my heart and covered my Pinterest page.”
At that moment, Quinn was convinced that he had let his partner down and was now in a fit of desperation. He was really trying to salvage the situation…
Will You Be Happy With These?
Ariel could sense that Quinn had felt like he had screwed up. According to her, he kept asking her the following — “Are you sure you’ll be happy with these? Are you sure this is okay?” Ariel claims that Quinn was so upset at the prospect of letting her down.
He felt like because he couldn’t afford the rings she wanted, that maybe she wouldn’t marry him when everything was said and done. But then, Ariel spoke up…
If this incident had happened a few years prior, Ariel admits that she would have acted very aggressively toward the rude staff member. However, she was a little older and wiser now, and was ready to provide a mature response. She said the following — “It isn’t the ring that matters, it is the love that goes into buying one that matters.”
After dropping the mic with that awesome line, the couple bought the rings and left Pandora. But, the story was far from over…
Sharing Her Story With the World
While Ariel felt happy with the response she had given, she didn’t feel like that was enough to prove a point. She felt the need to share her story with the world and ended up writing a profound post on Facebook.
She explained everything that went down on that fateful day, including her awesome response. But, she would go on to provide a couple more powerful words of wisdom that were bound to inspire whoever read them…
No Matter What
After breaking down the events of this heartwarming story, Ariel made it clear how it didn’t matter in the slightest what kind of ring Quinn had bought for her that day. She knew long before that he was the man for her and that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him.
“Y’all I would have gotten married to this man if it had been a 25¢ gumball machine ring,” she said. But, this led to a bigger conversation that went far beyond their own personal story…
What Is This Nation Coming To?
Ariel went on to lament about how low people had got when it came to the topic of engagement and wedding rings, saying the following — “When did our nation fall so far to think the only way a man can truly love a woman is if he buys her $3,000+ jewelry and makes a public decree of his affection with said flashy ring?”
While she didn’t want to cut down anyone for their own experiences, she was concerned about such high expectations.
Thankfully, Ariel was also able to share some great news in her powerful Facebook post. She did confirm that she and Quinn had since tied the knot. They got married in a courthouse and now they could spend the rest of their lives together and make each other happy.
“Here I am though, courthouse married, $130 ring set, the love of my life by my side, and happier than I could ever imagine.” But, that’s not all they had a reason to be happy about…
It didn’t take long before the story was being shared by seemingly everyone and became an overnight viral sensation. So many people could relate to Ariel and Quinn’s remarkable story that they couldn’t help but like, share, and comment.
As of January 2020, the post has amassed a staggering 217k responses, has been shared 163,000 times, and has received 1.1k comments! But, it’s what people wrote in the comments section that showed just how close to home this story was…
What made the post so remarkable was that others started to share very similar stories about how their partners couldn’t necessarily afford expensive rings to propose to them. Ultimately, though, this didn’t mean much in the large scheme of things as these couples were meant to be no matter what their financial situation might be.
Others shared photos of their rings and the beautiful stories attached to them. It just goes to show how many people go through the same stories.
The following woman shared her own story that was certainly in a similar spirit to Ariel and Quinn’s. “My husband and I got a similar reaction when we got a 2-in-1 engagement/wedding ring (just a one piece) at Kay’s jewelry for under $100! Saved money that went towards our “honeymoon” and the ring is still perfect to me,” she said.
“The people that need a huge ring in order to accept a proposal are the ones that fantasize about a wedding instead of a marriage.”
Someone Proposed With Bubblegum Wrap!
Some of the stories shared in the comments section were so unique that they were bound to put a smile on Ariel and Quinn’s faces while they were on honeymoon.
One woman shared the following photo and wrote this caption — “When my husband and I were dating I told him he could propose with a bubblegum wrapper twisted up like a ring and I would still say yes. That was more than 21 years ago. Guess what sits in a ring box in our lockbox?”
As diverse as the world has become, there are still some families that surprise those around them with how they look. Rachel and Aaron Halbert’s lives took a crazy turn when Rachel gave birth. The story of Rachel and Aaron proves that while it can be difficult, it’s also worth it, especially with a story as remarkable as theirs.