How 1 Latter-day Saint couple utilized social media to adopt their second son

Scott and Ashley Laneri
Scott and Ashley Laneri
Photo courtesy of Scott and Ashley Laneri

When Scott and Ashley Laneri found out that they miscarried after IVF treatments, they were devastated. Like many other couples, Scott and Ashley have experienced significant challenges associated with infertility and IVF.

However, an unexpected phone call led Scott and Ashley to consider adoption for the first time. Ashley recalls that after that phone call she turned to Scott and said, “That was either the craziest thing that’s ever happened to us, or that was a miracle that will change our lives.” That phone call eventually led to the adoption of the Laneri’s first son, Charlie.

A few years after bringing Charlie into their family, Scott and Ashley decided to adopt again. The process of their second adoption was much more difficult and prolonged than the first. The Laneris chose to do a private adoption and utilize social media to spread awareness about their situation. It took Scott and Ashley around 18 months to adopt Peter, their second son. The adoption process required resilience, commitment, and trust in the Lord.

In this week’s episode of All In, the Laneris share their journey and reflect on the miracles that brought their family together.

Listen to the interview with Scott and Ashley Laneri in the player below or by clicking here. You can also read a full transcript here.

The following excerpt has been edited for clarity.

Morgan Jones Pearson: You mentioned that you decided to go the social media route [for your second adoption]. I want to hear a little bit about that, and kind of what you saw as the benefit of that. And I want to talk a little bit about how you were extremely creative in the process of your second adoption. You had a cooking show on social media with Charlie. And then you even hosted a Utah-themed birthday party to try to raise awareness of adoption. I watched the Studio 5 clip and loved it. I’m wondering, what is the benefit of going that route when trying to adopt? And how did you come up with these ideas? Because they’re very creative!

Ashley Laneri: Thanks, Morgan. I like poured my heart and soul into those ideas so that means a lot. Well, I think we decided private—I don’t know, you kind of go with what you feel. We know a lot of people who’ve had success with agencies. And so, there are some great agencies out there. With private adoption, you’re not paying an agency fee but you are putting in a lot of your time and your work and effort to put your name out there.

Scott Laneri: And the legal process and the actual adoption process is exactly the same, whether it’s a private adoption or an agency adoption. The primary difference is that with an agency they do all of the marketing, all of the finding, and then they’re with you every step along the way. They will assist you through the process. And then with a private adoption, you are doing the finding, you’re doing the marketing, and you hire an attorney to walk you through the legal steps of adoption, you work with a social worker. And it’s just less of having someone by your side the whole time to take you through it.

Ashley Laneri: And with Charlie, we had had success with word of mouth. I mean, really, his birth mom heard about our situation through word of mouth. And so, we figured, why not try again. So, the cooking show, the birthday party, and any other video that we created happened very like organically. I mean, I actually love my birthday, I threw myself a birthday party, I saw an idea on TikTok about somebody who did a themed party, it was a Utah, no, it was a themed dinner party with their family. And I was like, I want to turn that into a birthday party. So, I just threw myself a birthday party. And then it turned into something when I posted the video on social media, I got a lot of views.

Scott Laneri: We posted it through the adoption account.

Ashley Laneri: And then yeah, and then we kind of used that to then kind of spread the word. The cooking show, it was like, I just love to cook. I’m always in the kitchen, always baking, always cooking. And our son Charlie is hilarious. So like, why not put those together? And we ended up like creating these really sweet memories in the process that I can now look back on. And it was kind of cool, because as a little two- and three-year-old, Charlie really got to help bring Peter into our lives, bring another little brother into his life.

Morgan Jones Pearson: Totally, and I want to highlight something I had Karly Guymon help me brainstorm a little bit. Karly is Ashley’s old roommate [and she] helped me brainstorm some of these questions. And one of the things that she said she was like, I'm so glad you have a question about the cooking show because people should know that that is like so genuinely Ashley. She loves to cook. She loves to try new recipes and to be in the kitchen. [Karly said that] the thing that [people] also should know is that every other aspect of the whole social media thing was very out of [Ashley’s] comfort zone. That’s something where you put yourself out there, and that wasn't super comfortable for you. Is that right?

Ashley Laneri: Oh, yeah, I actually hated that, Morgan. I hated it so much! It was so hard. I hate being vulnerable. I hate telling people our personal life. It is so uncomfortable.

Scott Laneri: Ashley is very private, which is hilarious.

Ashley Laneri: Not anymore.

Scott Laneri: And here we are on podcast sharing with the world. But yeah, actually, like when she joined my family, the Laneris, we’re kind of loud and open and talkative and share feelings and all those things. And I think when Ashley first came into our family, it was like, it was an adjustment. She was like, um, Scott, why did you tell your mom and your sisters about this thing that happened in our marriage? And I was like, Oh, was that bad? I’m so sorry. And yeah, so for Ashley to be the one to like, really take on this whole social media thing was pretty amazing. And I think that by doing that you alter, and you change a little bit. But yeah, you had to get outside of your comfort zone for sure.

Morgan Jones Pearson: Absolutely. I also loved one of the things that I watched in preparation for this interview [where] you said that God helps us find ways to keep going, that He gives us just enough to keep us kind of in the pursuit of whatever it is that we’re trying to do. And I love that because I love the idea of the daily bread that God gives us, [and its] just enough to get us through another day a lot of the time. How have you seen him giving you just enough? Like, what does that actually look like for you guys?

Ashley Laneri: One of my favorite stories is in the book of Ether, the Jaredites. And they get into a giant football, or a ship that’s tight like a dish, and they travel across the waters. And they have a bunch of issues, one of them being air. And we talk a lot about the light one, and steering [which] God takes care of, but the air—God tells them to cut a hole in the top and in the bottom of the ship. And that when the waves are crashing upon them, they then prayed, and God brings the ship above the water, and then they can unstop the hole and get air. And that is exactly how I would describe, well, this entire experience. I feel like every time that I have been like, I can’t do this anymore, I’m so tired, Please, I just need to breathe, God has given me air. And it comes in the form of…it comes in the form of just a kind comment, from the scriptures. I mean, the scriptures have been my best friends through this whole process, just a scripture that I just needed at the time. Or maybe it was like a cool opportunity, like somebody, a food blogger wanting to collaborate, to help get the word out about adoption. I mean, it came in lots of different forms. But every time I prayed for air, God gave me air. And I just know that if you need air, God will, he’ll give it to you if you if you ask.

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