When she was six months pregnant, Lisa Littler, an aspiring fashion designer from New Jersey, was considering her options: a maternity clothes bag, a baby blanket, and a new pair of baby slippers.
“I just wanted to buy whatever I wanted,” she said.
“What I wanted was something that had some value, something that I could keep forever.”
Littlers daughter, Emily, was born in February 2016.
The family had purchased the family’s home in the Catskills, New York, and planned to move to New Jersey when Emily’s first birthday came and went.
But as she began to learn about the medical costs associated with labor, the decision became more and more difficult.
“When Emily was born, I was like, I want to do this,” Littles said.
She had just spent about $1,000 on the baby’s medical bills.
Litters family had spent almost a quarter of a million dollars on her child’s care, and had spent the rest of the time trying to sort out the financial issues.
Emily’s mother, Jennifer, was a stay-at-home mother who had worked full-time for more than 20 years.
“My life is just so much simpler now than it was,” Jennifer Litterer said.
But while Emily was on her way to becoming a successful professional, Jennifer was struggling to support her family.
“It’s a really hard time for us financially,” she told The Washington Post.
“We’re not able to make ends meet, we don’t have money to put toward Emily, and it’s really hard for us.”
It was in July 2017, three years into Emily’s pregnancy, that Jennifer Latterers story came to a head.
Latterer was a nurse practitioner in New York City and a part-time caregiver.
In her spare time, she worked on a variety of projects and was a volunteer for a local animal shelter, which has adopted two young kittens named Riley and Lucy.
But when she began experiencing anxiety attacks, she decided to give birth at home.
“One of the biggest challenges for me as a nurse was to have a safe, private place where I can have the baby,” Latters told The Post.
Letterers husband, Chris, had recently retired from his job as a financial advisor.
When he and Jennifer found out that Emily was about to be delivered, they both asked him to help with the baby.
But after a week, Chris realized that they had a problem.
“He was very hesitant about giving the birth,” Jennifer said.
Lattiels husband was concerned that they would have to pay for her delivery herself, but Jennifer, Chris and Emily had been planning to raise the baby at a private home.
They figured that since Emily was only six weeks along, it would be easier for the Littels to just keep the baby in their home, where they could be sure that Emily would be well cared for.
But the day before the birth, Littiers husband told her that he was leaving for a family vacation in Florida, where he planned to take his family to Disney World.
Jennifer and Chris agreed to help out.
The couple made a small donation to the family in exchange for their involvement, and when Litterers husband arrived at the home, he was shocked to find the Lattiers’ newborn baby.
He was stunned to find out that he had been told by the family that the baby was too big for the room, and they were considering putting the baby down.
“So he went into shock,” Lattierers husband told The Associated Press.
The Littes were able to get the newborn, and the baby passed into the hands of the Lutterers, who delivered Emily in their backyard in less than an hour.
“The baby was still in her mother’s arms, and there was no sign of a struggle,” Jennifer told The AP.
“She was not in distress.
She was a normal baby.
She didn’t cry or move.”
Jennifer told ABC News that the Lotterers did not know about their baby’s condition, and that they were happy that the family had adopted the new baby.
“You can’t help but be happy to have an adoption, even if it is a tiny baby,” she added.
“If it wasn’t for us, we wouldn’t have gotten to this point.”
The Latterels have since become a surrogate mother for Emily’s two other children, who are in the process of transitioning to a new set of family.
When asked about the impact the adoption had on their relationship, Jennifer said, “It changed our life for the better.”