How Sofie’s Journey Began – It’s amazing how a phone call can change your life. In October of 2008, we received a phone call from Community Care Resources, Inc. wondering if we would be interested in a child with multiple serious medical issues. At that time, Sofie was already 10½ months old and had not yet left the hospital. At birth she weighed less than 3 pounds, and, starting with day one, she would have several life saving surgeries. Sofie has a complex cardiac defect, which ultimately leads to a heart transplant in her teenage years. She also has a bone and joint deformities of all four extremities, has a colostomy and is fed via a stomach tube. Admittedly, at first we were almost afraid to even pick her up, but our hearts went out to her. And, of course, we love a good challenge, and this little girl sounded like she
would give us a run. On our first visit to Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee, I knew she had to come to our home.
I’m on my way.
Approximately 3 weeks and several visits to the hospital later, Sofie, at 2 weeks shy of her first birthday, finally left the hospital. She was severely delayed in her motor skills and intellectual development and there was concern that even a simple common cold could be tragic. However, with our first follow up visit back to Milwaukee Children’s Hospital, they were surprised and amazed with the progress our Sofie had made. As the months progressed, Sofie continued to work very hard to overcome her physical disabilities. It was initially thought that Sofie would never be able to swallow, sit, stand or walk. But now, we’re proud to say that with assistance Sofie can do all of these things and more.
Success at last!
Eventually, the day came when we received a phone call from Sofie’s biological mother, asking if we would adopt Sofie if she and Sofie’s father voluntarily terminated their rights. YES!!! By that time it was almost unthinkable for us not to adopt her. On April 23rd, 2010, we gathered before the Honorable Judge Ed Leineweber, as Sofie officially became Sofie Elizabeth Delventhal Kessenich. Sofie is of Hispanic heritage, so it is important to us that she maintains some aspects of her Spanish culture. Thus, Sofie has been learning Spanish as well as English, and has made several trips with us to Puerto Rico (she has already earned her wings). What a difference this little girl has made in our lives, and we feel truly blessed to have her as our daughter. Sofie has defied all odds, and when things look difficult, you just look at that smile….life is blessed!