For 8-year-old Libby, it seemed like Xinzhou Orphanage in China would be the only home she would ever know.
Abandoned at birth because of hydrocephalus, she was unable to hold her head up and could do little more beyond lying on the floor. While at the orphanage, Wide Horizons For Children trained caregivers and staff to work with Libby and they helped her improve. She had a special chair and received regular physical therapy.
Still, Libby would need lifelong care. It felt like she would never be adopted.
Yet, her nannies described Libby as a happy, talkative little girl with an infectious smile. Something she talked about most? Finding a mom.
It was Libby’s voice that first drew Kerri’s attention. She came across a video of Libby on Wide Horizons For Children's Facebook page.
She was having a conversation on a toy phone with her “pretend” mom. “Come over, pick me up soon,” Libby said. “When are you coming?”
That day finally came.
In May, Libby met her new family. For Kerri, it was an emotional journey. When she first came across Libby’s video, she immediately felt Libby should be part of their family. But they had just brought home a preschooler and toddler from China, and couldn’t afford to adopt again so soon.
There were other pressures: their oldest daughter’s upcoming wedding, and college tuition for another. Nevertheless, Kerri just couldn’t get Libby out of her mind.
Kerri learned there were financial subsidies available for families who want to adopt kids like Libby — but need help with the costs. “We just knew this was our sign to proceed,” she says.
Today, Libby is a happy, well-adjusted first-grader. Though she continues to use a wheelchair, she is working hard at walking. Libby is living her dream of being loved, having a family of her own and going to school.
“Libby is quite an amazing little girl,” says Kerri. “She’s incredibly bright, funny, happy, determined — and so much more!”
Wide Horizons For Children is dedicated to the well-being and security of vulnerable and orphaned children worldwide. To accomplish our mission, we: - Strengthen families to improve their ability to care for their children - Improve outcomes for children living outside of parental care - Place children with loving, adoptive families - Support birth parents, adoptive parents and children throughout their lives