A loving couple who has opened their hearts to adopt several children has shared with a Dallas news station why they adopted a little girl from Ukraine with Treacher Collins syndrome.
Danica was born with Treacher Collins syndrome, a condition that affects the development of bones and other tissues of the face.
“She had been in an orphanage for 6 1/2 years and no body had ever visited her. No one had ever inquired about her,” Danica’s adopted mother Tami Wetmore told the WFAA reporter.
“We were the first and only ones,” her adopted dad Thom added.
“I knew as soon as I saw her, I knew in my spirit, go get your daughter,” Tami added.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the signs and symptoms of this disorder vary greatly, ranging from almost unnoticeable to severe.
Most affected individuals have underdeveloped facial bones, particularly the cheek bones, and a very small jaw and chin (micrognathia).
Some people with this condition are also born with an opening in the roof of the mouth called a cleft palate.
In severe cases, underdevelopment of the facial bones may restrict an affected infant’s airway, causing potentially life-threatening respiratory problems.
Because of her challenges, the Wetmore’s were told that as Danica grew, she would probably be turned out of the orphanage to live on the streets.
Parents Thom and Tami said that they chose Danica because of Juliana, their birth daughter born with the same condition.
She has become known around the world as “The Girl Born Without a Face.” Her story went viral a year after she was born.
An hour long documentary about Juliana has been posted on YouTube, before new sister Danica was welcomed into the family.
“You forget that there’s anything different about her after she’s sitting there for five minutes,” said Thom Wetmore.
Tami described Juliana as, “pure love.”
Juliana said her favorite things to do are no different than other children, watch movies and play with her sister.
And she inspired her parents to adopt Danica.
Thom and Tami say they immediately fell in love when they saw Danica at the orphanage.
“She’s quirky, extremely inquisitive, very artistic, loves drawing, painting, expressing herself,” says Danica’s dad.
And the Wetmore’s did not stop there.
They have since found love in their hearts to adopt three more children, all siblings into their loving home.
“It’s just amazing how your daughter that you look at as just a normal everyday child that looks a little bit different has changed so many lives because people realize, it’s okay to be who you are,” Thom lovingly observed.