When Taylor and TJ Mauldin welcomed home their daughter, Lizzy, from India in 2020, they knew she had a long medical road ahead of her, but they never anticipated what would ultimately become her diagnosis.
Lizzy was born with hip contractures, knee issues, and bilateral clubbed feet, a condition the Mauldins had already experienced with their son, Cameron. But prior to even meeting Cameron, his orphanage had provided excellent medical care, allowing him to heal and eventually learn to walk.
Lizzy’s orphanage experience was far different. While it was full of what Taylor described as “extraordinary love,” it lacked funds to help with Lizzy’s medical needs. The Mauldins knew once they brought Lizzy home, she would need multiple surgeries, leg castings, physical therapy, and other extensive care, but they were certain she would one day walk, just like her brother.
“We definitely had fear because there was so much unknown,” Taylor said. “But we really did think in our mind, This is the child the Lord has called us to, and we have confidence in that. Even though we are scared, we are still moving forward. We are still putting one foot in front of us because the Lord said to. And we trust him.
“But we really did think in the bottom of our heart, We are going to get home; and we’re going to do all these things; and we’re going to help her. And before you know it, and a few years down the road, she’s going to be up running around, and all these things will be a distant memory,” Taylor continued.
But God had a different story for Lizzy.
During Lizzy’s first medical visit back in the U.S., the Mauldins learned Lizzy was paraplegic and would never walk. With a paraplegic diagnosis, and still needing to address her clubbed feet, medical bills came flooding hard and fast, and insurance covered very little for Lizzy.
“We did not anticipate our insurance rejecting so much and not being willing to help as much as what they have,” Taylor said. “And we have had just thousands upon thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of medical bills and debt for surgeries and castings and for medical equipment, physical therapy in itself.”
The Mauldins spent countless hours trying to work with insurance and find alternative ways to pay for medical necessities, so when they learned Show Hope had entered into post-adoption needs with Medical Care grants, they were overjoyed.
Show Hope most recently awarded the Mauldins with their second Medical Care grant that is helping cover the cost of Lizzy’s paraplegic surgeries and physical therapy.
“Now that we have this grant, knowing that Show Hope has our back in a way to where I’m like, ‘She needs this. The answer is yes.’ And it is covered,” Taylor said. “And we don’t have to hesitate. We don’t have to be anxious. We don’t have to try and manipulate to make things happen. We can just focus on our daughter. We can just focus on helping her. We can just focus on her recovery and healing.”
While the Mauldins never anticipated all of Lizzy’s medical needs, Taylor said their daughter’s story has led them on the most incredible journey of their lives.
“There are times where my husband and I get so emotional thinking, What if we would have let fear rule our hearts? And what if we would have looked at her file and just have said no? And what if we would’ve missed out on all of this?” Taylor said. “And it is just overwhelming and brings us to tears to think. She is just incredible. She is just a bright light for us.”
Not only is Lizzy a bright light for her family, Taylor said she’s a spark of joy to anyone she meets. Taylor and her husband call Lizzy (whose full name is Elizabeth) “The Queen,” as in Queen Elizabeth, because everyone flocks to her.
“I just wish that everybody had the opportunity to meet our daughter,” Taylor said. “The Lord has given her this gift that I have never experienced with any other child in my entire life. She just has this joy that is unconditional. She has more joy in her big toe than all of us combined.”
Taylor cannot wait to see how the Lord will use Lizzy for his kingdom, not just through her physical diagnosis but through who God has made her, and the Mauldins are so grateful to Show Hope and their supporters for making her medical journey easier.
“It is the Lord’s story,” Taylor said. “And we just get like this front-row seat to watching it play out. It is nothing in us or of us that we have done. We are continually humbled that we get to watch it play out.”