Over the course of 9 months expecting parents dream of all the milestones, from their first word to their wedding day, that they’ll get to witness over the years.
However, when one new mom found out that her baby had been born with a rare condition, all the dreams and hopes she had for her baby girl completely vanished and she felt she had no choice but to give her away. Thankfully, a family came along that showed her that she could still have a full life. Years later, she finally got to repay their kindness…
9 Months Of Waiting
After waiting for 9 long months to meet their baby girl, a young couple couldn’t wait until the day they went to the hospital to give birth so they could finally hold their little girl in their hands, bring her home, and start their life together as a family.
A Rare Diagnosis
However, when doctors first laid eyes on the newborn baby girl, they could tell something wasn’t normal. The baby had an extremely low birth weight, and according to the doctors, it was because the newborn had been born with a rare form of dwarfism…
The doctors had to break the news to the new mom that her baby girl had been born with primordial dwarfism, of which there are only about 100 recorded cases in the world. People born with the condition grow much slower than others and have a life expectancy of about 30 years.
A Blindsided Mother
When the doctors told the new mother that her baby had primordial dwarfism and explained the variety of health complications she would face throughout her life as she got older, her mother was understandably blindsided and devastated about the news…
For the past 9 months, the couple had been envisioning the life their little girl would have and all the milestones they would get to experience as they raised her and in a matter of minutes, all of those dreams and hopes were ripped away from them.
A Drastic Decision
The new mom couldn’t cope with what the doctors were telling her. She never planned on having a child with special needs and wasn’t prepared to do what her daughter needed, so she decided to give her baby up for adoption that very same day…
Normally, families looking to adopt jump at the chance to bring a newborn baby home. However, none of the prospective families were willing to take a child with such challenging needs. As the months passed by, it seemed no one would ever give the baby a home.
Love At First Sight
Eventually, a couple from Minnesota was told about the baby and went to see her. The minute Jackie and Larry Kritzeck laid eyes on the tiny little girl, they fell in love with her and knew they had to bring her home and make her part of their family along with their 3 kids…
Making It Official
After signing the adoption papers, which made the adoption official, Jackie and Larry named the baby girl Hannah and brought her home with them for the first time. Even though they had raised 3 older children, they had never raised a child with special needs so it took some time to adjust.
In the beginning, Hannah looked like a typical baby, but as she got older, it became more obvious that she was different since she grew so much slower than other children. Despite the differences, the couple was determined to do whatever it took to give Hannah a good life…
A Normal Childhood
For the first few years of Hannah’s life, Jackie and Larry showered her with love and support and when she was old enough, they decided to send her to the same school that their other children attended to give her as much of a normal childhood as possible.
A Little Independance
The couple even made changes around their house so that Hannah could become more independent. “They lowered all the light switches and put stools in the bathroom and kitchen because I can’t reach the counter and sinks,” Hannah explained…
A Target For Bullies
Yet Hannah wasn’t a ‘normal’ child and the other children could tell. Because of her size, she was constantly stared at by other students and classmates and became an easy target for the bullies at her school who would tease her about her condition.
Even as Hannah got older and went to high school, bullies still taunted her every single day and called her a 5-year-old. 1 day, Hannah’s classmate even told her that nobody would ever date her because she was a dwarf. Thankfully, Hannah’s siblings were always there to defend her…
Her Support System
Not only did Hannah’s adopted parents love and protect her, but her adopted siblings, Mark, Matt, and Kelly, did the same. Throughout their childhood, they all made a point of standing up against Hannah’s bullies for her whenever they could.
Overcoming The Obstacles
“Growing up I always knew I was different from my brothers, Mark and Matt, and my sister, Kelly, who were average height… My mom and dad still made sure I had a normal childhood though,” Hannah said about her family, who taught her not to let her size stop her from living her life…
Tough As Nails
Because of her family’s support, Hannah didn’t let the bullies ruin her life. It also made her strong enough to overcome all the complex health issues she experienced as she grew up, including spinal surgery to implant titanium rods to correct her scoliosis, getting dental implants because her natural teeth are extremely small, and getting routine MRI scans to monitor for developing aneurysms.
Determined To Help
Hannah’s family had been by her side no matter what challenges she faced, so when doctors discovered that Jackie had polycystic kidney disease, which can lead to kidney failure, Hannah refused to sit by and watch the woman who had saved her life lose her own. Doctors explained Jackie would need a kidney transplant to survive, and Hannah immediately got tested to see if she was a match without telling anyone…
A Perfect Match
The results came back and Hannah was a perfect match. Doctors tried to talk her out of giving up a kidney for her mother since her own condition put her at risk of several dangerous complications. But Hannah was determined to save her mother and underwent the lifesaving transplant procedure. As a result, Hannah now has to take medication and get check-ups each week.
Living Life To The Full
“My advice to anyone living with the condition would be to never give up on your dream, and keep trying,” said Hannah, who is determined to live her life to the fullest and never let her condition stop her from doing something since she might not live past 30 years old. “Looking to the future, I’d like to get married and have my own family,” the hopeful young woman added.