WEST MONROE, La. (11/13/18) – A family that began thousands and thousands of miles apart.
“God told us he wanted us to adopt so that’s when we started the journey”, said Stan Felts.
A journey that would bring two young girls from two totally different worlds to the Felts family.
“I didn’t think we were missing anything until we brought Mika Ella home”, said Ashley Felts.
Even with four biological kids of their own, this Ouachita Parish sheriff’s deputy and his wife still had more love to give adopting Mika Ella from the Philippines.
“She had been abandoned ina small little hotel there in General Santos City”, said Stan Felts.
Six-year-old Mika Ella is full of life and laughter but she’s facing a number of hidden challenges. She suffers from bilateral perisylvian syndrome which causes semi-paralysis in the tongue, jaw, and throat.
“She can’t speak because she’s still having trouble learning to control her tongue. She has a problem gaining weight she’s six years old and weighs 26 pounds”, said Stan Felts.
Even with their house already full the Felts knew their work wasn’t done.
“I knew before we brought Mika Ella home that God was going to call us to another adoption that was going to be harder”, said Ashley Felts.
That’s when the family adopted Isabelle from a orphanage in China. The five-year-old is struggling to overcome blindness, hearing issues, and a newly discovered neurological condition.
“Her left eye is missing. She’s blind in her right eye. We don’t really know how much she’s actually hearing so being blind and not hearing well…it’s a work in progress”, said Stan Felts.
Prior to her adoption, Isabelle spent her entire life laying in her crib starting at the ceiling until she lost the only sight she had left.
“That’s where she’s been for 5 in a half years they didn’t take her out”, said Stan Felts.
“Although she’s 5 in a half she functions like an infant”, said Ashley Felts.
Severely malnourished, the caretakers at the orphanage were still bottle feeding Isabelle.
“No interaction, neglect, no hugs and kisses I mean just a terrible terrible life”, said Ashley Felts.
“They pretty much told her that she would never be adopted, that she would die there”, said Stan Felts.
But to the Felts, it’s just another challenge to overcome – the first was financial. The adoption fees for both Mika Ella and Isabelle together cost almost $70,000.
“We never paid a penny people just donated money”, said Stan Felts.
With the community’s help, this family is giving these two sweet children a chance at a better life.
“To think that our yes has completely changed their world”, said Ashley Felts.
But it has changed this family’s world too.
“She’s such a blessing, her giggles, her laugh and just giving her her first bath…she sat there and just splashed in the water”, said Ashley Felts.
Simple pleasures that some take for granted.
“There’s no reason no excuse big enough to say no to an orphan”, said Ashley Felts.