She Gave Up Her 1st Birthday for Jonah’s Journey

May 6, 2015

When Ligon and Wilson Troutt got married, they knew they wanted to center their home around giving more than receiving. As a former first grade teacher, Ligon recounts teaching the children in her class that the greatest rule is that it is far better to give than to receive. “That’s something we want to instill in our family,” she explained.

The couple lives in north Nashville with their young daughter. Both come from families that have a history of fostering and adoption. “My husband has three adopted siblings,” explained Ligon. “One is about the same age as us and his parents adopted two more after they retired – one domestically and one from Lithuania.”

It didn’t take long for these two to realize God was calling them to follow in the same footsteps. “We’re praying about it and waiting to see how it is going to play out. It’s just a matter of timing,” said Ligon.

For now, they have their hands full as parents of beautiful one-year-old Ansley Allen. She recently celebrated her birthday and, interestingly, didn’t keep a single gift from her guests.

“We had been praying about how we could give back to our community,” said Ligon. “We wanted to be able to serve here in a meaningful way.” When the family heard about the mission of Jonah’s Journey, they felt like God was leading them to partner with the ministry.

With their daughter’s first birthday approaching, Ligon compiled a list of donation needs that would make life easier for caregivers and children in Jonah’s Journey. And when it was time to write out Ansley’s first birthday invitation, she added: “In lieu of bringing a birthday gift for our daughter, please bring a donation for Jonah’s Journey.” She included the list of donation suggestions, as well as the mission statement in the invitation.

As guests poured in with presents in hand, Ligon and her husband graciously thanked them for their willingness to support their alternative to traditional birthday giving. The couple also took the opportunity to share their heart for fostering and adopting in the future.

Ligon said the experience was simple, but incredibly rewarding.

“Our guests were so willing to give,” she said. “So we want to continue this tradition. We want to challenge our friends and family to give back because God has blessed all of us beyond measure.”