Major Andy Wilson will be taking on a challenge of epic proportions at the end of this month in aid of SSAFA -the Armed Forces Charity, who helped Andy and his wife start their own family
Andy joined the Army at aged 16 and married Stacey in 2008. After they married, they found out that Andy had a condition called Azoospermia which meant that they couldn’t have children naturally.
They began to look into different options and as Andy himself was adopted, adoption seemed like the perfect route to go down. It wasn’t until they were posted out to Germany they realised that rather than going through local social services, they could actually use SSAFA. Andy said:
"Many may think that adoption in the military can make the process harder than it already is as military life is unpredictable, but SSAFA made the process so much easier and continue to give us support now."
Whilst posted to Germany, SSAFA provided funding for the Wilsons to be able to travel back to London for a week-long course of parental training and supported them throughout the entire process.
After two years, the Wilsons came across Aaron who seemed to be a perfect match for the couple. SSAFA flew them back to the UK from Germany to meet nine-month old Aaron and provided all of the accommodation for the two-week period where they met and got to know the baby boy that would become their son.
When they decided to adopt a second time two years later, they went straight to SSAFA even though they were now back in the UK. They had been so wonderful before and they couldn’t think of a better support network to help them through the long process once again and thanks to their help, became proud parents to daughter Ruby. Andy spoke of the process:
"It was a very emotionally and mentally draining process but having SSAFA there to provide the support and help we needed made it that much easier."
Without them they wouldn’t have the two beautiful children they have today.
Which is why Andy now wants to give back to the charity before he signs off and leaves the military next year. With Ruby’s godfather, Danny Rogers, he aims to get to Everest base camp to raise money and awareness for the charity that gave him and Stacey the family they always dreamed of.
Andy is very passionate about the charity and says that although a lot of people know of SSAFA, they may not know about everything they can do and offer and he wants anyone out in the Forces World who may be considering adoption, to have SSAFA as their first choice.
To help Andy reach his target of £5,000 and to follow his journey, you can donate by clicking HERE.
If you want more information about how SSAFA could help you start a family head to their website: ssafa.org.uk