12/29/13 — Dalton's wish comes true

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Dalton's wish comes true

By John Joyce
Published in News on December 29, 2013 1:50 AM

The Wallace family of Goldsboro knows that not every Christmas gift comes tied up with a ribbon and bow.

Sometimes they are dreams that come true.


Stephanie Wallace, a teacher assistant at Tommy's Road Elementary, loves her family very much.

The Wallaces do everything together.

But not every year is easy -- that's because one member is missing. On Dec.2, Dalton, the oldest of the three Wallace children, would have turned 16.

Getting through that day wasn't easy.

Dalton Wallace died in 2008 from a genetic disease called Friedreich's ataxia, a form of muscular dystrophy. He also had a heart condition.

"It was just a little bit harder for me to be around people," his mother said. "This was one of those milestone years."

Dalton's illness was not easy on the family. Much of their time was spent in hospitals and waiting rooms. But there were some bright spots for the young man who died much too soon.

In awe of those who serve in the military, Dalton got to be a Marine for a day at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. He wore a flight suit and helmet and took the grand tour of the base with his family, getting the chance to meet many of his heroes.

It was a special day, Mrs. Wallace said.

But Dalton had another dream.

He told his mother later that his greatest wish was for his parents to adopt more children.

In 2010, Stephanie and Randy Wallace decided to make Dalton's dream come true. They adopted Ryker, now 4 years old. That brought the Wallace family to four children total -- Zhoie, now 12, Kamdin, now 10, and of course, Dalton, who was gone, but still in their hearts.

Licensed to adopt by the state, the Wallaces considered adopting an older child in 2012.

"Our license was set to expire in October 2013. Around Thanksgiving last year, after we thought real hard and prayed about it, it just came to us that it was not the right fit for us to take on that particular child," Mrs. Wallace said.

The couple had decided.

The license would expire.

Their family was complete -- or so they thought.

Mrs. Wallace believes God -- and Dalton -- had another plan.


On Dec. 24, 2012, Stephanie Wallace's phone rings.

A couple giving birth that day had been considering adoption.

At the last minute, both parents signed the release -- if the Wallaces wanted her, there was a newborn baby girl in need of a family.

"The called us on Christmas Eve, a month after we had decided not to take on the other child," Mrs. Wallace said.

Everything happens for a reason, she said.

"God let us know that child wasn't for us and we weren't the right fit for that child because, well, He knew there was this one in the oven getting ready for us," she said.

Lyric Wallace is now a year old, celebrating her birthday this week.

She is still the greatest Christmas gift her mom has ever received.

"I asked my husband, Randy, just the other day how he was going to top last year's gift this year," she said.

She knows he can't. He knows he doesn't have to.

The Wallaces' license to adopt did, in fact, expire in October.

Their family is now complete.

But Mrs. Wallace is sure that there was someone else helping guide Lyric to her new family -- her big brother Dalton.

Now, at last, his wish was complete. Two children had new families all their own -- just like he told his mother he wanted.