Tom and Tami Wetmore of Tyler, Texas, a mid-sized town three hours or so north of Houston, knew from the moment they saw Danica that one day she would be their daughter. For six years, the Ukrainian orphan only lived in the orphanage, and the Wetmore’s were the only people who had ever inquired about this child.
Danica suffers from a rare disease called Treacher-Collins Syndrome, which affects approximately one in fifty thousand people. This condition affects the development of bones and other tissues in the face. The staff at the orphanage had told the Wetmore’s that most likely Danica would never be adopted and would eventually be put on the streets to fend for herself.
The Wetmore’s own daughter, Juliana, suffers with this same disease and was born six years before Danica. Juliana has a much more severe case of the disease. Not only is she deaf, but was born without 40% of the bones in her face. Juliana has had to endure 45 surgeries on her face. Her brain and her body are perfectly healthy and, as the family states, after speaking with her for a few minutes you forget there is anything abnormal about this twelve year old.
Thom Wetmore heartwarmingly describes his daughter as, “Pure love. She loves everybody. She doesn’t judge anybody. She doesn’t see anybody as different. She just takes everybody as the same.” The Wetmore’s are firm believers that Juliana is what helped them open their hearts to Danica and accept her just as she is.
Not only have they adopted Danica, but the Wetmore’s have also opened their home and hearts to three other children in need of a family and love.
What an amazing story of love, compassion and family. Thank you to this inspiring Texas couple for reminding us that there are wonderful people out there who open their hearts to those in need!
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