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Couple Knows Little Girl Is Meant To Be Their Daughter, Despite Her Being HIV+

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Sometimes you just know when something is meant to be. Others might scoff and doubt, but when you feel steady, constant leading in a particular direction, even the toughest of circumstances can’t sway you from the mission you’ve been given.

James and Kaylee Wilson have learned all about their mission over the past few years, after plunging through trials that might have stopped the faint of heart. Kaylee knew that God wanted her to adopt a child someday, but when she first met James, he wasn’t convinced.

“After a few weeks of dating, James told me he really didn’t think adoption was right for him,” Kaylee told the website Love What Matters. “I knew God wanted me to marry him, and I knew God put adoption on my heart. I told James that God would change his heart. He smiled and said he would keep an open mind about it.”

And he did, but it took two years and heartbreaking circumstances before God changed James’ mind. James and Kaylee had lost a baby only five weeks into Kaylee’s pregnancy. A bit later, the church they were attending gave a presentation on orphans in Africa.

“As I continued to look at the photos, my heart started to break for those children,” James told Love What Matters. “For all the millions of children that didn’t have families or anyone to love them. It was as if I was finally hearing God’s calling for the first time.”

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That settled it. They set their sights on Africa, and visited Kenya to confirm. Their life was busy, with them also trying to open up a business, so they prayed and waited for a sign.

“We prayed and decided that if we saw a little girl pop up on the waiting list,” Kaylee said, “that would be our sign that God was opening the door and we needed to step through it.”

By September 2016, the process was moving along. “One less orphan in Ghana, Africa…” Kaylee posted on Instagram on Sept. 8, 2016. “Our daughters name is Emmanuella, she will be 2 years old on Oct 14th! She is at an orphanage waiting to meet us in a couple months. If everything continues to go smoothly, we hope to bring her home in 4-6 months!”


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Day #50 in Ghana? #africa #daughter #adoption #adopt #ghana #california #love #Temecula #baby #emmanuella @spirit_aloft

A post shared by Kaylee Wilson (@kreativekay_wilson) on

“Adoption has been plan A for a while now,” she continued. “We have been praying that God would show us the right time to start a family. Ever since we saw Emmanuella’s face, God has been flinging the doors wide open for us! We feel beyond blessed that we are called on this journey. Let the adventure begin!!”

They didn’t have much money, but they had a lot of faith and a strong support network, and in October they flew to Ghana to see their new daughter.

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There was only one “problem”: Little Emmanuella was HIV+. That didn’t shake the Wilsons in the slightest, though. “She was so beautiful. We knew she was HIV+ which wasn’t a big deal, and we wanted to adopt a child with this ‘special need.'”

“On November 9th, 2016, we met Emmanuella for the first time,” the couple wrote. “It was a surreal and miraculous moment. She seemed so sad and had no idea how much we loved her. It made us reflect on how God adopted us into His family, and how we are not able to fathom the love He has for us.”

What followed was months of living in Ghana, bonding with Emmanuella, trying to get paperwork approved, and scrounging for money to pay for the adoption fees. James had to go back to the United States to try to earn more money, and Kaylee stayed in the remote village with their daughter for 6 months.


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Dec 19th – Happy birthday to my favorite person!! ❤️James has been enhancing people’s lives for 26 years. I’ve always loved everything about him, but this past year has taken it to a whole new level. I don’t know many men that would uproot their lives to go live in a 3rd world country. James completely takes care of us, and I can’t fully describe what that means because life here is SO different than in America. Watching him as a dad is the best thing ever! He has the biggest heart of anyone I know. He always makes time for just me, he cherishes me and puts my happiness first. He loves us girls so well. He’s the best teammate, business partner, and friend I could ever have. God knew what He was doing when He put us together. ?@jovialjimmy_wilson ? ➡️Watch my story to see how we spent the day! ? • • #wellawilson #adoptionrocks #family #adventure #ghana #africa #adoptionjourney #birthday #trampoline #legonbotanicalgardens #playground #happybirthday #26 #accra #daddy #shopsmall #smallbusinessowner #playtime #parentinginspiration #temecula #california #3rdworld #thm #glt #travelphotos #daveramsey #garyvee #lovemakesafamily

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After a generous donation from the Tim Tebow Foundation, James was able to return for a few more months.

All in all, the process took 590 days. They relied on their friends and family to iron things out back home for them, and, like many loving parents, they had faith. When they returned to the U.S. and took “Wella” in for a checkup, they found out she didn’t have HIV after all!

“We hope and pray that our story inspires people to follow their calling, their heart, and their dream,” the couple wrote. “Don’t ever let fear hold you back from doing something you are called to do! And to those of you who are considering adoption – you CAN do it.”

“You WILL get through it, and there are so many people who are ready to step alongside you in your journey. When God moves in your life He will baffle the spectators, just like He did for us. Many chapters are yet to be written in our story, and we invite you to turn the page with us as our journey unfolds.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking