'Is This Our Daughter?': Couple Lose Pregnancy and Decide to Adopt a HIV+ Girl 2 Years Later
After falling in love with a baby halfway across the world, a devoted couple was determined to call the little girl their own, refusing to give up no matter what came their way.
In 2016, Kaylee Wilson suffered a miscarriage after five weeks of being pregnant, leaving her and her husband James Wilson wholly devastated.
However, as people of faith, they didn't give up, leaning on their Christian beliefs to move forward and take the next steps. The couple decided to adopt, specifically drawn to taking in a child from Africa.
Kaylee and James Wilson with Emmanuella [left]; A smiling Emmanuella [right]. │Source: instagram.com/kreativekay_wilson
AT FIRST SIGHT
Getting hold of an adoption agency, they received a link that presented them with numerous children in Africa with no parents. Eventually, coming across a baby girl named Emmanuella, they instantly knew they wanted to be her parents. Kaylee recollected:
"Right away, I thought to myself, 'Is this our daughter?'"
Emmanuella, who they eventually nicknamed "Wella," was from Ghana and was HIV+, but the duo was more than ready to take on the challenge.
THE INITIAL MEETING
However, no matter how ready they felt, the couple had no idea what was in store for them. A mountain of complex paperwork was just the beginning.
The second was to gain the trust of the emotionally scarred and malnourished 2-year-old girl. They finally met her in November 2016 when they traveled to Ghana.
Although she didn't trust them at first, the pair slowly gained her confidence and improved her health. Kaylee and James cutely reported that they fed Wella Cheerios on their third day together.
Unable to take her through the States yet, Kaylee stayed behind to look after Emmanuella while James had to fly back to America.
However, with no confirmation of a court date to confirm the adoption, what they thought would be a few weeks of Kaylee remaining in Ghana turned into half a year.
WAITING TO BE REUNITED
She had to look after her baby in a foreign setting throughout this time. The United States citizen was a fish of water and struggling to adjust. Kaylee expressed:
"Those 6 months without James were the hardest months of my life. ... God was the only thing that kept both of us strong."
While watching the little one grow up, Kaylee had to adapt to the culture and live in a rural village, which came with unfamiliarities, such as a lack of running water.
THE TIDES BEGIN TO TURN
Eventually, everything began to fall into place. With the pair struggling with meeting the adoption criteria financially, the Tim Tebow Foundation gave them an $8,000 adoption grant.
James was also able to come back to Ghana during this time. Soon after this, in 2017, a court officially appointed the little girl as their legal child.
WELCOME TO A NEW LIFE
There was yet another year of stress in an attempt to gain a United States VISA for Wella, from documents galore, phone calls, and endless emails. However, the country eventually issued the little girl a VISA. Kaylee exclaimed:
"We booked our flights and on June 23rd, 2018, landed on U.S. soil with the clothes on our backs, $200, and weary hearts full of love and relief."
If all this wasn't enough, the couple had also found out that Emmanuella didn't have HIV. This revelation came after taking her to a medical lab in the city of Accra in Ghana beforehand.
THE MORE THE MERRIER
Although an unbelievable journey, it was far from over. Wella now has a sibling, Harriette Promise, whom Kaylee gave birth to in September 2019.
Even more so, in 2020, the delighted parents found another baby in Africa that they planned to adopt. They said this would prove to be a very similar journey that they went on with Emmanuella.
IS IT DESTINY?
Kaylee and James believe that their faith and connection to God have led them down this pathway. In a co-written outline of their journey, the couple penned:
"When God moves in your life, He will baffle the spectators... Many chapters are yet to be written in our story."
Who knows what kind of life Wella made have led were she not adopted. One thing is for sure: the immense love that her parents have for her will ensure she grows up with complete confidence and ready to take the world by storm.
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