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Burn victim gets new parents in time for Xmas

December 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A 9-year-old girl badly burned and abandoned on the streets of China is getting a new lease on life. She's in Southern California to undergo treatment and meet her new adoptive family. The little girl arrived Friday night.

Cami, 9, walked off a plane Friday night and into the arms of her brand new family. It's the beginning of a new life in the United States for a little girl who has spent the last seven years in an orphanage in China.

"She had been very well prepared that she was coming to an American family to have surgery and she just walked in and she just looked at me, and I looked at her in the eyes and you just knew, you just knew she was supposed to be our daughter and supposed to be here," said Karen Ying Ling, Cami's new mother.

Cami's new parents, Karen and Doug Ying Ling, learned of Cami's heartbreaking story through the Children's Burn Foundation in Los Angeles. She was looking for a host family in the U.S. while Cami received reconstructive surgery.

The Ying Lings offered to be that family, but their efforts to bring Cami here were stalled when the Chinese government denied the girl's medical visa. That's when they decided to adopt Cami.

"We've been very fortunate, we've been very blessed and we just feel it's something we were called to do," said Doug Ying Ling.

Cami was only 2 years old when she was abandoned on a Chinese street, severely burned. Her hands are disfigured, her face is blended with her chest, and as she grows up the scar tissue is beginning to pull and tear at the skin around her eyes. She can't close her mouth or chew properly.

But that's about to change, thanks to the Children's Burn Foundation and renowned Southern California surgeon Dr. Peter Grossman.

"The Children's Burn Foundation was in 100 percent to fund and get her medical care, take care of her psychologically, and in every way to bring her new hope for a new life," said Carol Horvitz, executive director, Children's Burn Foundation.

Cami is not the first daughter the Ying Lings have adopted from China. They also have 6-year-old Katie and 4-year-old Becky, as well as two grown children of their own. Cami is a very special new addition to the Fullerton family, just in time for Christmas.

"I don't need anything else for Christmas. I just want my three girls together Christmas Eve," said Karen Ying Ling.

Cami will meet with Grossman for the first time next week. Her first surgery will be scheduled shortly after that. The reconstructive process will be extensive, requiring about 20 surgeries in total.

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