“OK, they’re leaving my house, so five minutes!” Morgan Hastings, of Sykesville, told the dozen or so friends and family gathered in the back corner of the Trust Auto lot, in Sykesville on Tuesday afternoon.
The “they” in question were Hastings’ husband and her brother, Mitch Osterhouse, of New Windsor, who thought he was being driven to the hardware story to help work on the Hastings’ home windows.
Instead, his friends lay in loving wait in front of a red Toyota minivan, festooned with balloons and signs reading, “Congratulations,” and “babies on the way.”
“A couple of months ago we found out my brother and sister-in-law, Mitch and Mady Osterhouse, were pregnant, and soon after that they found out it was triplets,” Hastings explained in an interview. “There is a lot of excitement that comes with that, but also a lot of stress. It’s a little bit overwhelming at times.”
Overwhelming, and not without complications.
At 24 weeks, Mady lost one of the triplets, Hastings said, and has been in the hospital, unable to work since (the twins are doing well and due March 6). With twins now expected and Mady not working, the family was in serious need of a new vehicle.
“A friend mentioned to me that it would be a good idea to send a letter to some car dealerships to see if anyone was willing,” Hastings said. “Trust Auto contacted me and told me that they loved the story and wanted to help out.”
Trust Auto General Sales Manager Russ Yapparov said he empathized with the Osterhouses, having two children himself.
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“The vehicle they have right now is probably not going to serve their needs, it’s a little bit smaller. They were asking us if we would be able to donate a vehicle,” Yapparov said. “We decided immediately that we would help. This minivan that you’re looking at is something we picked with our heart.”
And so around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Russ led Mitch, who had begun to realize something was up, through the Trust Auto office and out the back door, to a chorus of “Surprise!”
“We heard the story and it was heart touching, beautiful. Congratulations,” Yapparov said. “We would like to help you with this beautiful car for the bright and beautiful future you have ahead of you as a beautiful family.”
After embracing Yapparov, Mitch was at a loss for words initially.
“This has been a just completely overwhelming and amazing experience, that they gave us a van,” he said. “They literally donated to us a car. It’s beyond words and I am so grateful.”
Mady was unable to be at the reveal of the van in person, but Hastings had her attend remotely through a video call on her phone, and Mady’s voice could be heard exclaiming with surprise as her husband took the phone and showed her the van and the people gathered there.
“I am absolutely speechless,” Mady said in an interview. “But to be quite honest, to the community and family and friends and church that we have around us, I am not even surprised they did something like this, because they are amazing. We’ve never been in want, ever. The Lord is working through them and we are so thankful.”