Adopting Gracie *
My name is Liz Storholt and this story is about a little girl in my life, appropriately named "Gracie." A group of missionaries from Tennessee found Gracie in Carrfour, Haiti in 2013, born prematurely with significant birth defects. An exhaustive search was conducted to find Gracie's mother. Despite repeatedly reaching out to her biological mother, the mom expressed no interest in being reunited with her disabled child. In April of 2013, I went back to Haiti to remove Gracie from the orphanage and to move her into a safe home. She came home with me to Kernersville, NC in October of that year, and has been with us ever since.
Over the past six years she has had three major surgeries, including the most major, "through the knee" amputations of both legs. She has had hundreds of doctor's visits, and thousands of hours of physical therapy. In spite of so much adversity, Gracie is absolutely thriving.
Gracie also has medical challenges other than the absence of her legs. She has phantom leg pain, a lot of trauma, and a condition called arthrogryposis. In this case the condition is not likely genetic since we know that the mother was binding her stomach to hide the pregnancy, but the condition is the same because of pelvis deformities. The nerves in her legs were never fully developed all the way up into the pelvis.
Gracie is now almost seven years old. She loves music and dancing, and drives her brother crazy. She's excelling in school, makes friends easily, and is going to be in her first musical with the Little Theater in Winston Salem in "Frozen". God is so good.
We are actively pursuing adoption because we consider Gracie to be a member of our family already. Once approved we can move for legal guardianship and a green card, a process that can take about 18 months. The next step will be to start the Haitian side of adoption, for which there is really no time line for. I've seen it take six years.
We chose adoption because it is the right thing to do, and the cost is really the biggest limiting factor in getting Gracie to the point of citizenship and ensuring that she is forever part of our family.
We really need your help. As you can see there is much to do. We are requesting $20,000.00 that includes the following:
-Immigration and naturalization expenses, adoption, a green card, full citizenship, Gracie's future health care needs and legal expenses.
Would you consider a gift for Gracie? Any amount is greatly appreciated.
Gracie and I thank you very much.
- Michael Woods
- Pamela Hinton
- brett koceja
- Heather Storholt
Organizer and beneficiary