Paul and Elizabeth have been together for 8 years and have three wonderful bio kids between them Carl 25, Bethany 21 and Ethan 17. Carl is in school to be a child psychologist, Bethany just finished 4 years at a local university (she will begin her Master’s program in public health and is on her way to becoming a physician) and Ethan is in high school and is a talented musician and computer geek like his father.
This family of five started their adoption journey 2 years ago when asked to adopt a little girl from Ecuador. Ultimately the laws would not allow an identified child adoption. They were heartbroken this little girl would not become part of their family. It was then the Staley’s realized they were in fact missing a piece or two from their family.
They did a lot of research on adoption, although for some reason Elizabeth kept coming back to Asia over and over again. She had always wanted to adopt internationally and more specifically from Asia. Finally speaking with a couple of agencies and getting some very good advice, they decided to proceed. Originally they had planned on adopting one child with a mild special need, but sometimes you don’t get to make the plans.
After seeing receiving an e-mail about a little girl with a serious heart problem in October of 2014 they decided it would be too serious a special need for their family. Then little “Elsa” popped up on the advocacy page. Elizabeth kept coming back to check on this little girl every day, watching the videos and peeking to see if anyone had stepped forward for her. Several families reviewed Elsa’s file but there were no takers.
In the meantime a little girl with Albinism also popped up on the advocacy page with another agency on December 1st, they requested “Paisley’s” file. At that time they were told there were 7 families waiting to see her file. Elizabeth wanted to be on the list no matter what (“I just had a feeling” she says). They pressed on continuing to look at little faces and learning about all the special needs. Out of the blue on Dec 15th Paisley’s file was in her in-box. They knew this little angelic girl was their daughter.
They had been talking about adopting two. Both Paul and Elizabeth were only children and knew they did not want that for these kids. The couple wanted two and the only consideration would be one trip or two? There are pretty big pros and cons on both sides.
Even with all of this going on Elizabeth is still checking Elsa’s page and reporting everything to Paul every night. When a new update came out Paul then said they should see if Elsa could be transferred to their agency. When BAAS was contacted they said another family has the file but we will let you know. Waiting was really hard.
That family passed on Elsa’s file and the file was pulled before it could be transferred and Elsa was gone. She was nowhere. The not knowing was the worst. They questioned if maybe they were pushing something that was not meant to be.
Out of the blue Elsa popped up on the Shared file and their agency snapped her up for the Staley’s. They wrote the LOI the next day. Elsa’s heart issue is really big and really scary, Elizabeth talked to several other moms with heart babies, she wondered “Could we do it?”, “Can we handle it?” It was one of those moments where adoptive parents are on the ledge and need a minute and to hear from the “Been there done that” moms. Paul told her that Elsa was already meant to be in the family no matter what happens. It has been full steam ahead ever since.
A very gracious mom to several heart babies from Asia referred them to a cardiologist at Children’s. This doc is going to assist in requesting “Elsa’s” file be expedited for the family and the treat “Elsa” as soon as she arrives home. “Elsa” has TOF with Pulmonary Atresia. This means there are 4 structural abnormalities of the heart and a malformed or missing pulmonary artery.
They are ready to be family of seven, the girls’ room is almost ready. There are books and puzzles, blocks and stuffed animals and a rocking chair for story time. There are bottles, sippy cups, little plates and bowls all ready. Two highchairs stand ready and waiting in the dining room. A double stroller in the hall is waiting for trips to the zoo.
Paisley will be named Isabella and Elsa will be named Gabriella. The family is still working on middle names. Dad is very fortunate to have a flexible position working in IT and mom will stay home with the girls. They believe every single child counts and should be treasured because they are our future.
Now the family is scrambling to get all the funds together so the girls can come home and Elsa can get the medical care she so desperately needs.
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at bissynut.com