Bernie and Diane Lierow have already been bringing up their five sons, but they always wanted to have a daughter. When the boys grew up, the couple decided to adopt a girl. When they came to an orphanage, they couldn’t find a child for themselves for a long time. But then they saw a photo of a girl who wasn’t present on the event they attended.
Something in her piercing glance attracted attention and touched till the depth of the soul. Bernie and Diane understood that they wanted to adopt this girl. To their surprise, workers of the orphanage started to dissuade them from this and make different hits that not everything was all right with this child and they should better choose someone else. At that moment, the couple didn’t know that an awful tragedy was hiding behind the pretty face of this kid.
Because of the awful treating, the psychical development of the 9-years-old girl stopped at the level of a newly-born child. She was still wearing a diaper, just recently started to leave off a dummy, and she couldn’t talk.
However, even after hearing all this, the couple didn’t refuse to adopt the girl. Then, the workers of the orphanage told them that the girl was almost wild till the age of 7. Policeman Mark Holste who found the girl, remembers: “I’ve been serving in police for 27 years, but this is the most horrifying case in my whole career! The house where the child lived was awfully dirty. Garbage, animal faeces and web. The house was crawled with insects. There was no furniture in rooms, and the 7-years-old child was sleeping in a corner of a tiny room on some clouts and in a single diaper!”
At the age of 7, Danielle was weighting 20 kilos, couldn’t talk and eat solid food. Doctors diagnosed that she had autism and sent her to a specialized orphanage. But her socialization was proceeding very slowly.
No matter what, the couple decided that they will help the child. They wanted to get acquainted with her slowly. When she saw them for the first time, she huddled herself frightenedly in a corner. “She was looking more like a scared animal rather than a child,” remembers Diane.
But slowly Danielle started to support the visual contact with new parents and even react on their calling. At that moment, the couple understood that not everything was lost, and that there was a small personality hiding inside this child who understood everything, but simply didn’t know how to behave and act.
In 2007, the couple officially adopted the girl, and for the first time in her life she got the real loving family. There were lots of trials waiting for them ahead: Danielle didn’t know how to use bathroom and toilet, how to eat using flatware, to dress up by herself and to do many other everyday things that children can easily do at her age.
“This is hard, – says Bernie, – but I feel that this is my child, my girl, the God’s gift. And our task is to help her. No matter how hard it is for us, we love her the way she is.”
Today, the girl is still on the stage of socialization, but her development has already surpassed all expectations and forecasts of doctors. Despite the fact that Danielle still can’t talk, she communicates with the help of pictures, and in general, her education has reached the level of a student of middle shool. She wants to develop, wants to study and she will surely cope with everything with love and support that she receives from parents!
“When a child gets into a family, he or she receives the second chance for life. He gets the chance for happiness. This is the most important in adopting a child”, says Diane.
This touching story proves again that love can work real wonders.