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This month, we are excited and honored to welcome a new member to the Adoption Choices of Oklahoma team: Ashley Johnson! She will be working as a Surrogacy Editorial Intern with us for the next six months.

Ashley Johnson writes a weekly blog regarding any and all things adoption. She previously worked for six years as a legal clerk for a judge in Montana, and has since decided to go back to college to finish her degree in Communications in the hopes of pursuing her passion for writing. During her six months with Adoption Choices, Ashley plans to accomplish a better understanding of the adoption and surrogacy industry, as well as learn what it takes to become a great editor.

Before she begins her regular blogs, I wanted to give her a chance to introduce herself and for you all to get to know her.

RR: When you hear the word, “surrogacy,” what comes to mind?

AJ: When I hear the word “surrogacy” the first thing that comes to mind is “selflessness.” I think of how much selflessness it takes on both sides in order to ensure that each child has a safe and positive environment to grow up in with a loving family.

RR: What/Who inspires you?

AJ: As clichéd as it might be, my parents really have been a constant inspiration to me. I admire their unconditional love, the truth of their hearts, as well as their courage. They consistently push me to be the best version of myself. Challenge me toward my goals and help me grow and evolve as an individual.

RR: What was the last book you read?

AJ: The last book I read was You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living and Awesome Life by Jen Sincero.

RR: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

AJ: The craziest thing I have ever done is marry my husband, whose lifestyle is a complete 180 from mine. I was raised in Great Falls, Montana where you drive around, go to the mall or stop to get a coke at McDonald’s, just for something to do. He was raised on a family ranch and farm where there was always work to be done, and it was usually not paperwork but dirty work. To be honest, I was used to being a girly girl – nails done, hair done, you name it. It’s been a crazy ride, but it’s one that I wouldn’t change for the world.

RR: What are you passionate about? 

AJ: I am passionate about my self-improvement and development. It’s a guarantee that I will spend the rest of my life with myself, so I am striving to be the best version of me that I can be. Whether that’s being the best mother to my kids, wife, coach, co-worker, employee, ranch-hand, neighbor, friend, daughter or sister. I strive to improve myself and my abilities every day. Sometimes this means needing five minutes to decompress from work, so that I can give all of my attention to my children. A little self-love and improvement go a long way.

RR: What are you currently watching on Netflix?

AJ: Right now, I am obsessed with The Prodigal Son on Netflix. If you’re into suspenseful crime shows, such as Law & Order, this is a must watch! I am truly addicted to this show, I swear. Sometimes, my husband tells me that this show is my TV boyfriend.

RR: What did you want to be when you grew up?

AJ: When I was a child I was fascinated with criminal shows like Law & Order, Criminal Minds, etc… So, from an early age, I wanted to be a psychologist. I was intrigued as to why people do the things they do and how the criminal mind works.

RR: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

AJ: As a mom, there’s never a day off. Whether I’m loading all the kids up to go grocery shopping or dodging Legos that have been strewn across the floor, I’m hardly still. Being a mom is the hardest and most rewarding job any woman can have. But, outside of the office, I love helping on the family ranch. Whether it’s cleaning the barn or riding horses, there are always projects to be done. It’s been such an amazing opportunity to raise my children on the family ranch and see their interactions with the animals, as well as being able to instill in them a great work ethic from an early age.

RR: What are your career aspirations?

AJ: As far as my career aspirations go, I’d love to be a best-selling author. To be able to share my love of writing and storytelling with other people.

RR: Why Adoption Choices?

AJ: After my son turned 2, my husband and I knew that we wanted another child. We struggled with conceiving, and the medical reasons for this were unknown at the time. Eventually, we began researching other ways of growing our family – adoption and surrogacy. However, in the rural community we live in, there are no services or support groups that are related to what we were going through. After reading how many children in the world wanted a family who loved them for who they were, my mind was blown.

We started filling out the paperwork for adoption when, a week later, we found out I was pregnant. While feeling blessed that we could conceive on our own, it was amazing to know that there were organizations out there like Adoption Choices. They showed us nothing but support and love. As a couple struggling to conceive, there was a lot of outside criticism and judgment; but having people whom we had never met treat us like family and walk through the process with us, with nothing other than support, was simply amazing.

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