TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - As parents, we would do anything for our children. For a northwest Ohio family, that meant going around the world to adopt and rescue a little girl facing immense physical challenges.
Walking is something we take for granted. But, for Esty and her family, her life and her ability to walk are miracles.
"It was God speaking to my heart and telling me that I could handle her needs and I took him at his word and said 'Okay,'" said Esty's mother, Amy.
Just last year, the Wauseon family of eight became a family of nine when Amy and her husband Brian adopted Esty from a Chinese Orphanage.
They knew she was a child with intense medical needs such as Spina Bifida and Scoliosis. But they had no idea when they arrived to take her home, Esty would be at death's door.
"She was very sick when we picked her up and so that was a big surprise to us and she actually needed emergency hospitalization while we were in China," said Amy. "She had a really bad infection that went septic and we almost lost her just a few days after we got her."
Esty desperately needed help and love. For ten years, she sat in a wheelchair, orphaned, uneducated, malnourished and developing permanent damage to her kidneys.
"Had we not been there that week, we would have lost her," said Amy. "She would not be here. So, we did some intense therapy there, in the hospital. When we brought her home, she stabilized."
It wasn't long after that, Esty began to see the specialists at Children's Miracle Network's Spina Bifida clinic.
Amy did her research before adopting Esty. Could her family care for a child with her special needs?
Had there not been a Children's Miracle Network Hospital in Toledo, Amy says Esty may have died an orphan in that orphanage.
"I think it would have strongly impacted how we said yes or no to her," said Amy.
While she has kidney damage that will never be reversed, her Scoloiosis and Spina Bifida diagnoses have improved greatly with the help of a team of doctors at Children's Miracle Network Hospital.
In less than a year, Esty is walking.
Her family will adopt another child, Gable, a 2-year-old boy with cancer from China this spring.
For now, Amy tells the stories of Esty and her other adopted children with special needs, encouraging others to share their hearts.
"It's gonna change your life and there's hard stuff about it, but you get a front row seat to miracles. Front row seat. And that's what she (Esty) is," said Amy.
Today, Esty's world is just as bright as her contagious smile.
She has a large, loving family of brothers and sisters and parents who love her.
Esty will visit Children's Miracle Network Hospital every three months to check on her kidney condition and meet with her specialists.
But all that precious time in between visits, is spent at home and at school, living life like a young girl should, happy, healthy and loved.
"Your dollars are being given for genuine, real care to kids that need it," said Amy.