Children who suffer from extreme abuse have a long road on the path to recovery. Even for those who go on to lead somewhat normal lives, the scars of their past will follow them forever. It has been said that overcoming great obstacles is something that makes you stronger, but some are so large that they can leave individuals broken for the rest of their lives.
Bernie and Diane had always loved the idea of having a large family. After the couple's kids grew up, they felt like they still had a lot of love to give. Since they had already raised five boys of their own, the two decided that they wanted to change things up by adopting a little girl. There was some discussion as to how to go about doing so, but it was eventually decided that they would attend a local adoption fair to find the perfect child. However, even though there were hundreds of children in attendance, Diane became drawn to the photo of a child who wasn't there.
The couple was told that the girl in the photo wasn't meant for adoption and that there was something gravely wrong with her. After some investigation, they discovered that the girl was the victim of an extreme case of abuse. Her name was Danielle and she was considered to be feral. She couldn't talk or eat solid food, and she had never been outside for most of her life because she was locked in a room with a soiled mattress. She was seven years old when police discovered her, but she was at a developmental age of below six months old.
Bernie and Diane were told that the difficulties of caring for this child would be insurmountable, but the couple strived to do what many thought would never happen: give this little girl a loving home.