Help me adopt my miracle girl Elise

On March 9, 2011 my life was forever changed, that was the day that I found out that my girlfriend's (Sammy) daughter, Elise, was diagnosed with a JPA brain tumor.  On March 10th, I made the toughest decision of my life, I choose to stay around for a little girl that I barely knew and who wasn't mine by blood, but for some reason I felt connected to her in a way I couldn't explain at the time.  The news did not look good for her and after having a shunt put in her head to drain the fluid around her brain it was decided that she would need to be seen at St. Jude. Two weeks later I waved goodbye to Sammy and her little girl as they made the trip to St. Judes Childrens Hospital to begin chemo treatments.  I told them that if they needed anything I would quit my job and be there as soon as I could.  On March 31st I got the call that Elise was slowly falling into a coma because the tumor had grown so much and she was going to have to have emergency surgery to remove the tumor.  I was asked by Sammy to come be there for her.  So I quit my job and at 11 pm that night I was there to do what I could.  This was also the same day that Elise's father made a decision that I know he will come to regret one day.  He left the hospital that same day and has only seen her twice since then.  On April 5th 2011 she went into surgery with high hopes and a big smile on her face.  That was the last time we would see our little girl as a "normal" 3 yr old.  10 hrs later when she came out of surgery we found out she had a stroke during surgery.  This was not to be the end though, less than 2 days after her surgery her sodium levels dropped too low and she had a seizure that would forever leave her changed.  She was left a vegetable for almost a month until the doctors finally let us take her home, were she showed signs of recovery almost the minute we got her in the door.  Since then I have been able to live through all the maor milestones a parent should get with their child.  I have been able to watch her take her first steps, watch her feed herself for the first time and most important I have been able to be their to cheer her on when she finally was able to zip her coat or even something as simple as walking without assistance.  I have gotten the joy out of watching her fall only to pick herself up and tell me she was ok.  She is always going to be "different" to the world around her, but to me she is still beautiful and I still catch myself choking up when she comes and kisses me for no reason other than to tell me she loves me.  In the 4 years I have gotten to be with her she has come to be my own, she is my little girl.  Now her biological father has decided he would be ok giving up his rights and letting me adopt her.  We have to wait until March 11th because that will be 6 months since Sammy and I have gotten married.  The problem is that adoptions are not cheap, the lawyer I talked to said we would need at least $2000 with $1300 up front to get the process started.  I am a full time student right now and while I would love nothing more than to officially make her my own, I can not do this on my own.  I am not the type of person that normally asks for money without intentions of returning it, but my daughters are my achilles heal and I would do anything to make sure they are happy.  So please help me by donating, even if I don't reach my goal any little bit helps to make my family whole once and for all.  Thank you - Dustin
  • Karen Norris  
    • $250 
    • 72 mos
  • Bethany Beard 
    • $100 
    • 72 mos
  • Neil and Linda Bangs 
    • $340 
    • 72 mos
  • Bethany Beard 
    • $100 
    • 75 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 76 mos
See all

Organizer

Dustin Bangs 
Organizer
Springfield, MO
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more