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Tragic Family News Erased at Easter Play

"When I looked at Makalynne’s picture, I knew I was her mom because I didn’t see any imperfections in her.  I looked straight into those eyes of hers and from the moment I saw her…I knew that I was her mom because mothers don’t see any imperfections in their children,” said Jenelle McElroy. 

Jennelle McElroy and her husband Rance had two sons when they adopted Makalynne, a baby who had been abandoned at a Chinese orphanage.    

“I knew, from the moment I saw her… I knew that she was the one that God intended for me,” she said.

When they brought Makalynne home at 18 months, she needed surgery for her cleft palate, she was malnourished, and her development was delayed. She also tested positive for Hepatitis B, but showed no symptoms as Jenelle and the family brought her back to health.

“By the time she was 2 ½ years old Makalynne was happy and healthy.  She was just as normal as any 2 ½ year old could be,” Jenelle said.

When Makalynne was 3, she stared showing symptoms.  I noticed she was having some swelling particularly around her eyes.  I noticed that she had really dark concentrated urine.”

Doctors confirmed Jenelle’s fears.  It was Hepatitis B.  Makalynne’s liver and kidneys were failing.  Too young to undergo transplants, she was sent home with 3 years to live. 

“It was very hard.  I remember I cried out to the Lord on many occasions, God why? Why would you give her to me and now turn around and take her away? Why would you bring her all the way here, let her live through all this and overcome all this to turn around now and let her die?  Why? I don’t understand.”

The McElroys called on family and friends to spread the word and pray for Makalynne’s healing.  In the meantime, doctors prescribed an antiviral medication to help manage Makalynne’s condition, but Jenelle says she didn’t fill the prescription, because something told her to hold off. 

“I did at that time feel that it was God trying to tell me, Peace be still. Just wait a minute.”  At the time, it was the Easter season and Jennelle’s family kept with their tradition of going to a Passion of Christ play by students from the University of Mobile.  

Makalynne’s grandmother Dr. Kathy Sheppard, says this year the play took on a whole new meaning.  “And I just looked up and the young man that was playing Jesus looked out into the audience and what I saw was those crystal blue eyes and I saw Jesus and He spoke to my heart,” she said.  “I just felt a contact with Jesus and the Holy Spirit saying to me, Kathy, I see you. I got this.  And it just washed all over me.  He’s got this.  We’ve done all we can do as parents, as grandparents, as medical professionals.  But He’s got it,” said Kathy. 

“She truly believed that she had hear God’s audible voice.  She was that confident when she spoke to me.  It was no I think I heard.  I feel I’ve heard.  It was, ‘I heard.  I know.  God told me.  This baby is going to be fine.”

Jenelle held on to that promise, as people from all over the world prayed.  Over the next several months, tests showed Makalynne’s enzymes started dropping.   “I remember talking to my nephrologist. He called and said, ‘I don’t even know how to explain this.’ And I said ‘I do’.  It’s a miracle because she was so sick.  And now she’s so healthy,” said Jenelle. 

Makalynne continued to get better and today records show Makalynne’s liver and kidneys are fully healed.  She’s also progressing through the stages of recovery from Hepatitis B. 

Her grandmother Kathy is overjoyed.  “Just so thankful.  I’ve seen Jesus. I’ve seen His work.  He does miracles today….We saw this. There was nothing the medical profession had done to turn her around.  It was a touch from Jesus Himself,” said Kathy. 

“I do have that complete family I always wanted.  Makalynne is sassy.  She is prissy.  She is sweet,” said Jenelle. 

Jenelle: “How old are you?” Makalynne: “Five”
Jenelle: “Where are you from?”  Makalynne: “China”
Jenelle: “Where were you?  Were you in mommy’s tummy?” Makalynne: “No.”
Jenelle: “Where were you?”  Makalynne: “Heart.” 

Jenelle: “You were in mommy’s heart.”

I see what God did for us and it makes his resurrection even more paramount in my eyes and in my heart because I see all that He went through but He overcame.  He overcame in a big way and I know he did because I have evidence, tangible evidence in my little girl.  I really feel that without God’s grace and mercy she would not be here,” said Jenelle. 

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