Ten years ago, our family received a sweet gift in the form of our first daughter, Annabelle. She was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and blessed us with 8 weeks and 3 days of having her here until The Lord healed her & gave her a whole heart in Heaven. Through our time at MUSC with Annabelle, we met an incredible community of both medical professionals & heart families who soon became extended family to us. We continued to honor our daughter’s memory in blessing other families in the PCICU with Annabelle Baskets consisting of blankets, socks, hats, small stuffed animals…and, for the girls, bows!

EmersonRose was one of our sweet little recipients! Throughout the years since Annabelle’s time with us, our hearts were moved as our faith deepened. We slowly began to understand more and more our adoption in Christ as His sons & daughters. In 2013, we were heavily burdened with the plight of the orphan and took a giant step of obedience in beginning the adoption process to bring home a little girl from China. The list of medical needs we would consider was long. But, we knew that we were given our heart community so many years ago for a reason and, sure enough, our Andie- Grace’s file came to us in the form of a heart baby.

We adopted her in February of 2014. She has had many medical needs that have all been met through the amazing staff at MUSC. She is thriving & twirling through her five year old life now! After adopting Andie-Grace, I began advocating for those who continue to wait for homes and families of their own. Our eyes had seen things in China that couldn’t be unseen and our hearts were heavy. Last summer, I met an in-process adoptive mom through a private group online specific to children with medical needs. She had committed to a little girl’s file that she had recently received and was actively learning anything she could to be prepared for bringing her home. Once again, through our heart community, I was able to have her file reviewed for her…this little one is also a heart baby. My heart broke after several months of encouraging this soon to be mom when I awoke to a message that the final paperwork to travel to adopt this little girl came and she said no. My husband and I began immediately contacting the agency trying to find out how we could help advocate for her. After several days of prayer, it was clear that The Lord had orchestrated all of this to lead us to her. On October 27, 2017, we received Pre-Approval from China to bring home our littlest sister…exactly 4 years to the day that we received Pre-Approval for Andie-Grace! God has moved mountains in our adoption of Ailee James and our paperwork was just sent to China in record time! We anticipate this entire process taking just under 6 months from start to finish…something only God could do!

Our family is honored to have received a grant from the Emerson Rose Heart Foundation to help bring home Ailee James. Perhaps the great blessing is getting a glimpse into the majestic tapestry that God is weaving in our lives…wasting nothing and truly using everything to bring Him glory. From our Annabelle’s legacy leading us to meet Jason & Susan to now Emerson Rose’s legacy being a part of adding another daughter to our family, God reveals His sovereignty over us as His children. There is truly no greater place to be but in the palm of His hand.