• Elyse

    Date: 2014.05.17 | Category: Adoption, Elyse, Faith | Tags:

    Please say hello to Elyse or Lysee (LeeCee) as everyone has started calling her.


    Isn’t she beautiful?  Can’t you just see the sweetness shining through that wonderful smile?

    Many of you have been waiting to hear her story.  I apologize that it has taken me so long to get this down in writing, but here is part of her story.

    In the midst of discussions between Dan and I about adopting Kelly*, I brought up adopting one more.  I was having a hard time conveying to Dan just why I felt we were being called to adopt two so I put all my thoughts about adopting two at a time in an e-mail to him and asked him not to respond and just let it “percolate” a bit.  He talked with me later that afternoon and asked “are you crazy” and told me “absolutely not”, but I know how God works with him.  If God was placing it on my heart, then God would work on Dan’s heart too.  I didn’t need to nag him.  I just let it be.

    A couple days later he told me that he had an image of what this little girl would look like – yellow wheelchair, pig tails, not a toddler or a teenager.   If God meant for it to be, we would find her.  I immediately typed in “little girl in yellow wheelchair, with pigtails, adoption”.   Alas, Google was not helpful, it was not going to be that easy.  I looked at all the pictures on Reece’s Rainbow and didn’t find her.  I asked my Facebook friend Annie how I would go about finding lists of little girls in wheelchairs.  I couldn’t ask Annie to advocate for her.  I just needed to know what my options were.

    There are many groups advocating for children from China both on Facebook and Yahoo groups.  I trusted that God would bring her to us.  I saw many pictures of girls in wheelchairs and then Annie posted about a little girl on one of those Facebook groups.  I watched her video and she was just so sweet.  I didn’t have an immediate reaction of “yes, this is her” but I did think she was beautiful, sweet, and had the very best smile.  So just for the heck of it (and yes, I admit I was being more than a little ornery), I sent the video to Dan.  I texted him saying, “How about a light blue wheelchair and yellow rubberbands with the pigtails. lol”


    I couldn’t believe it?!?! Spina bifida?  Kelly has spina bifida too.   When we decided that we would adopt two, I had said it would be nice if their special needs were similar so that when we were making appointments at the Children’s Hospital I could double up.  The hospital is 2 hours away and although it wasn’t a requirement it would make life a little easier.  Plus, before Dan told me his vision of what the little girl looked like, I had been looking at lots of aging out girls, other mothers had even sent me information about other girls they were advocating for, but Gracie, who is 9, had said on more than one occasion that it would be nice to adopt a little girl who was her age.  What I didn’t know was how hard Gracie was praying for a little girl close to her age.  I didn’t know this until after we started talking about Elyse.  Gracie later apologized for praying so hard for a little girl her age, but what a wonderful blessing it has turned out to be.  How can you be upset about a little girl’s answered prayers?

    And here was his response….


    I thought he was joking until I got home and saw his face.  He was serious.  This little girl was his daughter.  He looked at me and said, “We need to go get her.”   This was amazing and could only be from God.  Just so you get the whole picture I’m including his words from an e-mail he sent to his friend the next day.

    Just to fill in the story on her.  My dear Lisa had the audacity to ask me about adopting one more on this trip. I have never been more unreceptive to adopting more kids than I was at that moment. An image briefly flashed in my head, and I snapped at her and said – “OK, find me a little girl in a wheelchair, but not a toddler and not a teen. She should have pigtails. And a wheelchair with yellow on it. Otherwise forget it.”

    The next day she sent me a link to a video.

    I could not have been much more negative at that point if I tried. I started watching it, and just burst into tears. It was just like when I first saw Jasmine. Keep in mind, I’m not prone to bursting into tears, and this isn’t the first cute orphan I’ve seen. I was just wrecked. Then she sang MaMa Hao. I had written something to Lisa a few weeks ago about this song. I had read the lyrics, and posted a little tribute to her stating that this song captures how her children feel about their new mommy. And there she was singing it to us. It was like God slapped me upside my head. By the time the video was over I knew she was mine, and texted Lisa saying simply “She is my daughter”. There she was, exactly what I asked for in living color (the yellow was in her coat, not the wheelchair). 

    After I resuscitated Lisa, we talked to Lifeline, and they agreed to transfer her file to CCAI since we had already started with them for Kelly. We had a brief 24 hours of terror, as another family was reviewing her file. But the next day, she was transferred to CCAI, and the LOI was sent about ten minutes later (that was yesterday afternoon).

    As you have just read in his message, Elyse was singing the same song Dan had posted to my Facebook just weeks before.   Here is that post.


    But as only God can do, there was more.  Dan’s friend knew this little girl as she had once been in their foster care program. We had no idea that she had been cared for by them. She let Dan know that they had pictures of Elyse from when she was a baby.  I cried happy tears.  One of the things that has been the hardest for me with my adopted children is the lack of baby pictures.

    Not only that but we found out their organization had been advocating for years to get her paper ready and had all but given up hope that the orphanage would ever do so.  But the orphanage recently decided to get her paper ready.  God is good!  Have I mentioned that before?  Well, it is worth repeating, over and over again!

    Many times you never get to hear your adopted children’s stories.  Their years previous to joining your family are just lost, but I have been blessed over and over again.  Jasmine was with Love Without Boundaries so we have updates with pictures over many, many years.  Maisey and Lainey were with New Hope Foundation so we have pictures from their stays.  Eli was at Maria’s Big House of Hope.  Ben and Evie are the only two we don’t have information on.  And now with Kelly at Agape and Elyse having previously been in Love Without Boundaries foster care, I will have their information.  I am one blessed mama.


    We had a nerve wracking 24 hours waiting to see if the other family would proceed.  We were blessed in that Lifeline chose to transfer her file.  We know this doesn’t always happen and isn’t always possible.  We can’t thank them enough for helping advocate for our girls.  We are blessed that our agency has been fighting hard to beat Kelly’s August 17th deadline.  Not all agencies are willing to do this.  We have so much support.  It has been overwhelming.  I posted about having PA for Kelly and over 200 people have liked that post and so many have commented about how they have prayed for her and advocated for her. One day I will be able to show her that she has been loved and prayed for by so many.   I now have the same thing with Elyse.  People who have advocated for her and loved her and prayed for her have sent us messages.  What a gift to share with my girls.

    I am so excited to work as hard as we can to get the paperwork through. We have 92 days left.  92 days to get immigration clearance, get the dossier sent, LOA, Article 5, and a travel date is not a lot of time, but we have faith that it is being taken care of by God.  As was shown recently with the fingerprinting for our homestudy.

    We had Linda and Codey fingerprinted and sent through a courier. We went through a courier because there was a three day turnaround and we knew Codey prints were going to be rejected.   They were both rejected twice so we thought we could do it manually as we have done the previous two adoptions, but there is some new law that makes this no longer available.  The FBI said they could not use the rejection letters from the courier so we needed to start from square one.  They informed us there would be a 5-6 week wait for the prints to clear and considering our dossier needs to leave for China by the end of May, we just didn’t have that much time.  I talked to numerous people at the FBI customer service desk and was told the same thing over and over again, “There’s nothing we can do.  There is no way to expedite this.”

    We can’t finish the homestudy without the fingerprint clearance.  Without the homestudy we can’t get our 1-800a form.  Without our 1-800a form, we can not finish our dossier.  Without our dossier being finished and sent to China, China can’t proceed with LOA and on and on and on.  It is horrible.  I was in Boston and there was nothing I could do.  And then all of a sudden we got the news that someone had interceded on our behalf.  Codey and Linda’s prints cleared.  It was amazing.  What we were told over and over again couldn’t happen….happened!

    We see his hand all over the girl’s adoptions and we are expectantly waiting to watch it all unfold in His perfect timing!

    God is good and we are all feeling blessed!

    *Edited to add that Kelly ultimately decided to stay in China and we did not push for the adoption after we found out that she didn’t want to leave the group home that she lived in.  We wanted to honor her request to stay in the only home she had known with the people she loved.