Little Big Town’s Kimberly Schlapman released a children’s book, A Dolly for Christmas: The True Story of a Family’s Christmas Miracle, earlier this month. The book was inspired by the true story of Kimberly and her husband, Stephen Schlapman, and how the prayers of their oldest daughter, Daisy, now 13, led them to adopt their youngest daughter, Dolly, after years of infertility.
“[Daisy] never stopped believing and where, at times, my husband and I were discouraged and heartbroken over things not working out, Daisy never gave up,” Kimberly told People. “One day, her prayers and her dreams were answered in the most incredible way. She now has a baby sister that she loves more than life.”
Kimberly had battled infertility for years, including with her first husband, Steven Roads, who passed away suddenly of a heart attack in 2005. So when the singer married her current husband in 2006, who was a family friend, she had no idea she could even get pregnant.
“My Steve and I, we didn’t even think we could get pregnant, so of course we talked a lot about adoption,” Kimberly recalled. “But on our honeymoon, we brought home a little souvenir, a huge surprise, and that was Daisy. She was a miracle.”
It was Daisy who pushed her parents to have another child, starting when she was about four years old.
“One time she said to me, ‘Mommy, if I don’t ever have a brother or sister, then my children will never have aunts or uncles or cousins,’” Kimberly said. “She so badly wanted a sibling.”
The couple tried both artificial insemination and two rounds of in-vitro fertilization, but neither of those worked. The Schlapmans went through the process to adopt, and were approved at the end of 2016, but told the wait could be long. Undeterred, Daisy decided to take matters into her own hands.
“[Daisy] was still praying every day,” Kimberly shared. “She was really excited now that we were in the adoption process and just had her little heart energized again for the possibility of a sibling. Because her prayers weren’t answered how she wanted at the moment, she decided to take matters into her own hands. She wrote a letter to Santa Claus.”
At a Christmas party at their adoption agency, their precocious child spoke to Santa about her biggest wish.
“[Daisy] sat in Santa’s lap, and she said, ‘All I really want for Christmas is a baby brother or sister,’” Kimberly recounted. “Santa Claus said, ‘Wow, I’m not sure even I could do that.’ I’ll never forget her little face, her innocent little eyes looked at him. She said, ‘Yeah, but I know you know God, and I was thinking maybe you could talk to him.’”
The Schlapmans adopted Dolly on December 31, 2016, and the bond between the two sisters remains stronger than ever. The Little Big Town member recalls one night when her two daughters fell asleep in bed together.
“I went in there, and I was moving everybody, and Daisy looked at me,” Kimberly said. “Dolly had fallen asleep in her arms, and [Daisy] said, ‘Mommy, I don’t know what this feeling is, but it’s the best feeling I’ve ever had in my whole life.’”
A Dolly for Christmas might be a story for children, but Kimberly hopes adults can be inspired by it as well.
“I just want people to be hopeful and to know that if they’re in the middle of a struggle, they are not alone,” she said. “We walked those same roads, and they are very, very difficult. But, in the end, there is restoration and there are children who are waiting for them.”
Purchase A Dolly for Christmas: The True Story of a Family’s Christmas Miracle at Amazon.