Alo Moli always had dreams of playing in the National Football League (NFL).
The talented football player was an all-state player in high school and received scholarship offers to play football from universities all over the United States.
“I figured football was the ticket to make it to the NFL and repay my parents for the sacrifice they made for me… but I learnt I had a different calling in life.”
The heart-warming story of Alo Moli, 27, and his wife, Ashley Watson, 32 adopting six kids, has gone “viral”- touching the hearts of thousands of people across the world.
Alo said he posted their story online so his family in America and Tonga could see photos of their children. He did not expect the post to go viral.
“It’s been a little overwhelming,” he said.
“A lot of news stations have been calling us and a lot of people have messaged me who are struggling with infertility and saying our story is what they needed to hear.”
Alo’s family is originally from Tonga and he was born and raised in Utah. His father Alea’anga Moli, and his mother Latai Moli, migrated from Tonga in their late twenties to give their children a better life.
After returning home from his mission in Dallas, Texas, Alo moved to Arizona to play college football. There he met his wife Ashley, at a young single adult ward; she was serving as the gospel doctrine teacher at the time.
They married in the Draper Utah Temple in 2013. Life was good for the couple but soon they were to experience unexpected trials. Shortly after they were married, Ashley was hospitalized with endometritis; Alo gave up pursuing a football career to take care of his wife.
Alo and Ashley were married in the Draper Temple, Utah in 2013
Life has changed dramatically for the young couple, who went from having no children to now having six kids ranging from ages 4 to 21.
“Those hospital visits brought heart-wrenching news that devastated both my wife and I . . . that we may never have the opportunity to have children of our own,” he said.
“My heart pleaded to God and I asked Him that if it were in the cards, to just bless us with one child. There were nights where I felt completely hopeless and in addition to that, I would hear my wife cry herself to sleep thinking that this was somehow her fault…”
This was a trial that took a toll on their faith, Alo said.
“I thought, we have a temple marriage, I served my mission and we were active… why isn't God blessing us?”
“We didn't look at it the right away and there were dark times. There were times as a husband, I couldn’t really do much to help my wife. I felt helpless.”
However, Alo’s heart was softened after his brother told him there was a family of six kids who needed a home.
“I called my wife with the news and I was so nervous and anxious...
“My wife and I talked for a little bit and there was no way we would separate this family and told my brother that we would take all six of them in. All we wanted to give them was the love we’ve been yearning to give our unborn children.”
Now, life has changed dramatically for the young couple, who went from having no children to now having six kids ranging from ages 4 to 21. Four of their kids have special needs.
“When we first met them, we knew we loved them,” Alo said.
“We always wanted to have a family and we know God placed us in their path, so we could give them a better life. We told our kids, ‘we will never call you foster children, you will always be our sons and daughters. Although we couldn’t have our own children, we know these children needed us more.”
The Toli family live in Utah, and both parents work from home.
Alo tries to help his children embrace his Tongan culture, which he loves. All his children even have Tongan names.
“The first night I gave the kids Tongan food and I let them know . . . always make sure you keep God close . . . family is important . . . we take care of each other. If your family needs help, you go and help them.”
Alo understands there are couples all around the world struggling with infertility. He hopes his story will help other couples trust in God's plan.
“I would always get mad when people would tell me the same thing when we couldn’t have children. They would say, ‘it's all in God’s timing and plan.’ But now I understand how it feels to not have children. There were immediate needs elsewhere. In those times of struggle, you have to understand God has a plan. Always remain faithful because God will bless you.”
“After all these years, I know now why God put these kids in our path,” he said.
“One day we will seal our family together in the temple. That means far more than anything I could have ever accomplished in football, or any other accolade. It will be the greatest blessing.”