Foster parent holding Alyse
Alyse as a baby
Alyse's brother Martin and Scott
Alyse and her family
Alyse with her mom, Lady Eady
Alyse and her family
Alyse during her reign as Miss Arkansas 2010 with THV's Dawn Scott
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- We've talked to First Lady Ginger Beebe, local radio personality Bob Robbins, and now we are profiling one of our own here at Today's THV, "THV This Morning" anchor Alyse Eady.
She is sharing her adoption story in an effort to show that just because you are adopted, just because your start in life may not have been perfect, it doesn't mean you can't accomplish wonderful things.
So many of us have come to know Alyse Eady from her reign as Miss Arkansas 2010, when she was thrust onto the national stage as runner up to Miss America, with a talent for ventriloquism that amazed her fans.
But part of Alyse's story is something many of us don't know, and it starts when she was a baby.
"I was put into foster care after I was born," says Alyse, with her signature smile, bravely telling the story of her adoption.
Alyse spent the first two-and-a-half months of life in the arms of a foster mom. Because she was a baby, she only knows what she's been told.
Her mom Lady Eady explains.
"Her biological mother was young and had three other children," says Lady. "And she just started going back to school, had moved in with her parents and couldn't take care of a fourth baby."
So Alyse, born in Little Rock, went immediately into a state foster home. About that same time, Lady and her husband Lewis, across the state in Ft Smith, were dreaming of a baby girl. Lady had given birth to two boys, but was later medically unable to bear more children. She contacted the Department of Human Services about adoption and literally 9 months later, she got a call.
"I was at work," recalls Lady Eady. "Got a phone call and they said how about a healthy baby girl and I said 'yay!' (laughs)."
"It was a long trip to Little Rock," remembers Lewis Eady, Alyse's dad. "It was long. Probably the longest two-and-a-half hours that's ever been."
The Eadys were nervous they say, but the moment they laid eyes on their baby girl, they knew it was meant to be.
"I started feeding her a bottle and I remember that was just so wonderful," says Lady. "It just felt like she was always mine."
Alyse recalls how they described that moment to her. "And when my mom says they got me, they were so excited and could already tell that I fit into their family so wonderfully. When I look at pictures, I just look like I belong."
Alyse went home with Lewis and Lady and grew up in Fort Smith alongside her two brothers (photo gallery). Her childhood was a happy one she says, her parents acknowledged from the start that she was adopted, but loved her just the same.
"Growing up, I never felt different," says Alyse. "My parents never excluded me, they didn't introduce me as their adopted daughter. I was always just baby girl, 'Leesee.' That's who I was."
"She is such a blessing to everyone that she meets," says her father. "She spreads a lot of joy, a lot of love. And so adoption is one of the best things that can happen."
"I told her it was good her birth mother didn't have an abortion and just had her," says her mother. "Because she was a blessing in our lives."
Alyse now says her life has come full circle. Born in Little Rock, now returning to deliver the morning news, all with gratitude to her parents for bringing her home.
"To my parents, I would say thank you," says Alyse. "Thank you for loving me, for giving me a second chance at life, a chance to accomplish things I never would've been able to without them. And that I love them, they gave me life. They're my real parents."
Alyse does not know her birth mother and says she is satisfied at this point not knowing such details.
Instead she says it's a great feeling knowing that you belong, a gift given to her by Lewis and Lady Eady.
Alyse is on the air every morning beginning at 4:30 a.m. here on Today's THV.