Born in China in 2007, Shalin had a congenital heart defect that was so severe it stunted her growth and affected her ability to move freely without becoming breathless. Thankfully, her bright personality and positive spirit were not compromised. The caregivers at her orphanage adored her and wanted her to find a forever family.
And that family came forward. Liz and John had adopted their son, Matthew (7), from China the year before. His cleft lip and palate required surgery and treatment, but after a year home, they were ready to start the adoption process again. They were given information about Shalin. Liz and John, along with the doctors, studied her medical information and they knew her condition was serious. In the end, though, her beautiful smile won their hearts.
Before she arrived, they had made arrangements for Shalin to see one of the best pediatric cardiac surgeons in the country. Shalin, now Mia, was adopted and came home in May 2013. Three months later she underwent the surgical procedure to correct the stenosis in her heart valve. The doctors said the condition had become so severe, that if she had not had the surgery when she did, the condition would have been inoperable. The surgery had probably saved her life.
Mia is still small in stature, but her prognosis is excellent. She continues to shine in school and at home. Now she is beginning physical activities. Liz and John’s willingness to parent a child with a severe heart condition changed their child’s life and theirs.