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'The Girl In The Window'

Bernie and Diane Lierow depended on God's help when adopting a severely traumatized orphan who had been neglected and raised in unspeakable conditions for seven years. Read Transcript


Terry: ON JULY 13, 2005,

A SQUAD CAR PULLED UP

TO A ROTTING HOME IN WEST

FLORIDA.

INSIDE LIVED A WOMAN WITH A

77 I.Q., HER BOYFRIEND AND

TWO ADULT CHILDREN.

TWO OFFICERS WALKED IN THE

DOOR THAT DAY AND WERE NOT

PREPARED FOR WHAT THEY SAW

INSIDE.

MONTHS LATER, BERNIE AND

DIANE LEROY FOUND OUT THAT

SOMEONE ELSE WAS IN THAT

DANK HOUSE, A LITTLE GIRL

WHO NEEDED TO BECOME THEIR

DAUGHTER.

Reporter: BERNIE AND

DIANE LEROY HAVE ALWAYS

ENJOYED HAVING A LARGE

FAMILY.

AFTER FOUR OUT OF THEIR FIVE

BOYS WERE GROWN AND OUT OF

THE HOUSE, THEY DECIDED IT

WAS TIME TO ADD A DAUGHTER

TO THEIR HOUSE, THIS TIME BY

ADOPTION.

THEY ATTENDED AN ADOPTION

EVENT.

THOUGH DIANE WAS SURROUNDED

BY DOZENS OF HEALTHY

CHILDREN, SHE WAS DRAWN TO A

GRAINY BLACK AND WHITE PHOTO

OF A GIRL WHO WAS UNABLE TO

ATTEND THAT DAY.

WHEN I SAW DANIELLE'S

PICTURE ON THE BULL TAIN

BOARD, I FELT DRAWN TO HER.

MOSTLY ALL THEY WOULD

TELL US IS YOU DON'T WANT

HER.

AND IT WAS LIKE, WELL, WE

REALLY WANT TO KNOW MORE.

AND FINALLY ONE OF THE

LADIES TOLD MY WIFE, THERE

IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH

HER.

SHE'S NOT UP TO PAR.

Reporter: DESPITE THE

DIRE WARNING, THE LEROYS

FOLLOWED UP WITH THE AGENCY

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE

CHILD.

THEY PAINTED A HORRIBLE

PICTURE OF CHILD ABUSE.

IN 2007, MY NEW PARTNER

AND I WERE DISPATCHED TO

THIS LOCATION BECAUSE

ALLEGED NEGLECT OF A FEMALE

CHILD WAS ALL WE HAD.

WHEN WE GOT THERE, THE

INSPECTOR WAS INSIDE THE

HOUSE WITHOUT US, AND SHE

WAS BACK OUT AND SHE WAS

LEANING AGAINST HER CAR AND

SHE WAS CRYING.

I APPROACHED HER AND SAID,

WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?

DID THEY HURT YOU OR ASSAULT

YOU?

AND SHE NO, IT WAS THE WORST

CASE OF ABUSE I HAVE EVER

SEEN.

THE COCKROACHES WERE TENS OF

THOUSANDS OF THEM AND THE

ODOR WAS OVERPOWERING.

Reporter: THE DETECTIVE

ENTERED A SMALL ROOM IN THE

HOUSE, NO BIGGER THAN A

CLOSET.

THE MATTRESS HAD BEEN

SOILED.

AND THERE WAS A PILE OF

DIAPERS IN THE CORNER.

THERE WAS INSECT ACTIVITY ON

THE DIAPERS, FLIES, KNATS.

IN THE CORNER WAS A CHILD.

WHICH WAS DANIELLE.

Reporter: WHEN THE

DETECTIVE FOUND DANIELLE,

SHE WAS SEVEN YEARS OLD AND

WEIGHED 46 POUNDS.

SHE COULDN'T TALK, RESPOND

TO OTHERS OR EAT SOLID

FOOD.

THE BEST WE COULD

DETERMINE, SHE HAD NEVER

BEEN OUTSIDE THE HOUSE,

BASED ON WHAT THE NEIGHBORS

SAW US.

THE NEIGHBORS SAID THEY SAW

HER LOOKING OUT THE BROKEN

WINDOW ONE DAY.

I'VE BEEN AN OFFICER FOR 27

YEARS, AND THIS IS BY FAR

THE WORST CASE OF CHILD

NEGLECT.

Reporter: DANIELLE WAS

SENT TO THE HOSPITAL FOR

URGENT CARE.

IT MADE ME CRY TO READ

HOW SHE HAD BEEN KEPT AND

THE CONDITIONS SHE HAD BEEN

FOUND IN.

IT IS SURPRISING THAT SHE

ACTUALLY LIVED THROUGH WHAT

ALL SHE LIVED THROUGH.

AND THAT SHE WAS ABLE TO

HOLD ON AND MAKE IT UNTIL

SHE WAS REMOVED.

Reporter: DOCTORS AND

THERAPISTS DIAGNOSED

DANIELLE WITH ENVIRONMENTAL

AUTISM, AND INFORMED THE

LEROYS THAT HER BASIC CARE

NEEDS WOULD BE

OVERWHELMING.

WHEN WE READ THE

PSYCHIATRIC REPORTS ON

DANIELLE, IT WAS VERY

DISCOURAGING.

SHE WAS FUNCTIONING BETWEEN

ZERO AND SIX MONTHS ON

PRETTY MUCH ALL OF THE

LEVELS OF DEVELOPMENT, OTHER

THAN SHE WAS ABLE TO WALK.

SHE GREW UP SO ISOLATED FROM

THE WORLD, IT LEFT A

LIFE-LONG IMPACT ON HER

ABILITY TO RELATE TO

OTHERS.

Reporter: BUT BERNIE

AND DIANE KNEW DANIELLE WAS

STILL SUPPOSED TO BE A PART

OF THEIR FAMILY.

AS THEY MOVED THROUGH THE

ADOPTION PROCESS, DANIELLE

LIVED IN A GROUP HOME.

SHE ATTENDED SCHOOL FOR THE

FIRST TIME AND WAS PLACED IN

SPECIAL EDUCATION CLASSES.

THIS IS WHERE BERNIE AND

DIANE MET HER.

I THINK OUR CONFIDENCE

WAS BUILT DURING THE FIRST

FEW VISITS THAT WE HAD AT

DANIELLE'S SCHOOL, WHERE

EVERY TIME WE CAME, SHE

WOULD DO SOMETHING NEW THAT

SHE HADN'T DONE BEFORE.

THE VERY FIRST VISIT, SHE

MADE REAL GOOD EYE CONTACT

WITH BERNIE, AND ACTUALLY

REACHED OUT FOR HIM.

IT WAS GREATLY ENCOURAGING.

IT WAS LIKE, YES, THERE IS A

LITTLE PERSON IN THERE, AND

SHE IS REACHABLE.

AND IT'S NOT GOING TO BE

EASY, THAT'S FOR SURE, BUT

WE CAN MAKE SOME PROGRESS

HERE.

Reporter: AND BERNIE'S

RESOLVE WAS SOLIDIFIED AFTER

A DREAM.

I FELT THE LORD KIND OF

HAND HER TO ME, AND HE SAID,

THIS IS MINE TO GIVE TO

YOU.

AND HE JUST HANDED HER OFF

TO ME.

AND HE SAID, TAKE CARE OF

HER.

Reporter: ON

OCTOBER 29th, 2007, THE

FORMER FERRAL CHILD BECAME

DANIELLE LEROY, AND FOR THE

FIRST TIME IN HER LIFE, SHE

HAD A LOVING FAMILY.

BUT THE LEROYS STILL HAD

MANY CHALLENGES AHEAD.

WHEN WE FIRST GOT

DANIELLE, WE DON'T KNOW IF

WE WOULD EVER BE ABLE TO POT

POTTY TRAIN HER.

YOU START REALIZING, I DON'T

KNOW HOW FAR THIS CHILD

COULD GO, BUT OBVIOUSLY THEY

CAN PROGRESS FROM WHERE

THEY'RE AT.

YOU JUST LOVE THIS CHILD

THE WAY THEY ARE.

SHE'S MY KID, AND THAT'S

IT.

SOMETIMES IT IS A 24/7

THING, BUT THERE ARE ALWAYS

REWARDS.

Reporter: TODAY,

DANIELLE LIVES ON A LIVELY

TENNESSEE FARM WITH HER

PARENTS AND HAS MADE

STUNNING PROGRESS.

SHE USES THE BATHROOM.

SHE SWIMS.

SHE GOES HORSEBACK RIDING.

SHE DOES A LOT OF SELF-CARE

TASKS INDEPENDENTLY.

EVEN THOUGH THEY SEEM LIKE

SMALL, MINUSCULE

ACCOMPLISHMENTS, THEY REALLY

ARE HUGE TO HER BECAUSE SHE

HAS GONE ALREADY WAY BEYOND

EXPECTATIONS THAT ANY OF THE

SPECIALISTS HAD FOR HER AT

THE TIME THAT SHE WAS

FOUND.

Reporter: THOUGH

DANIELLE HAS YET TO TALK,

SHE HAS MADE REMARKABLE

STRIDES AND LEARNING TO

COMMUNICATE NON-VERBALLY.

SHE IS WORKING ON A

PICTURE EXCHANGE SYSTEM,

WHERE SHE GIVES ME THE

PICTURE AND I GIVE HER THE

OBJECT.

AND SHE IS WORKING ON MONEY,

IDENTIFYING COINS.

SHE WORKS ON COLORS AND

SORTING, AND, OF COURSE,

LIFE SKILLS IN GENERAL.

SHE WANTS SOMEONE TO

CHALLENGE HER.

SHE WANTS TO BE TAUGHT.

SHE WANTS TO LEARN.

I THINK A LOT OF IT HAS

TO COME FROM GOD.

AND SHE FEELS SAFE.

SHE FEELS SECURE.

SHE AS ARRIVED AT THE PLACE

WHERE SHE WAS MEANT TO BE.

Reporter: DANIELLE'S

VICTORIOUS STORY HAS MADE IT

ALL OVER THE WORLD.

WHEN HER STORY RAN, THE

WEBSITE OF HER FORMER

ADOPTION AGENCY WAS FLOODED,

AS THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE

LOGGED ON TO CONSIDER

ADOPTION.

AND BERNIE AND DIANE HAVE

WRITTEN A STORY CALLED

"DANNY'S STORY."

I THINK THE STORY ABOUT

ADOPTION IS THAT A CHILD IS

GETTING A SECOND CHANCE AT

LIFE.

THERE ARE SO MANY CHILDREN

WHO NEED ADOPTIVE HOMES.

THERE ARE SO MANY REWARDING

THINGS ABOUT WATCHING A

CHILD THAT HAS COME TO YOU

BROKEN AND DISCOURAGED, AND

WATCHING THEM FLOURISH AND

GROW AND BLOSSOM.

THERE IS A HUGE REWARD AND A

HUGE JOY THERE.

Terry: WHAT AN

INCREDIBLE STORY OF RESCUE.

YOU KNOW, THE BIBLE SAYS GOD

PUTS THE LONELY IN FAMILIES,

AND THAT IS A PICTURE OF HIS

MERCY, HIS GRACE, HIS

PROVISION.

AND AS HER MOM SAID, A NEW

BEGINNING.

AN OPPORTUNITY FOR A NEW

START FOR A LIFE IN THIS

SCENARIO.

GORDON, I THINK ABOUT THE

FACT THAT IN AMERICA, THERE

ARE NOW APPROXIMATELY MORE

THAN 400,000 CHILDREN IN

FOSTER CARE.

FOSTER CARE.

OUT OF THOSE 400,000, ABOUT

140,000 ARE AVAILABLE FOR

ADOPTION.

EVERY ONE OF THOSE KIDS,

WHETHER THEY'RE ADOPTABLE OR

NOT, NEEDS A HOME.

THEY NEED SAFETY.

THEY NEED PEOPLE WHO ARE

GOING TO SAY THIS IS HOW WE

DO LIFE.

THIS IS WHY YOU'RE SPECIAL.

THIS IS WHY FAMILY MATTERS.

THIS IS HOW WE LIVE, HOW WE

MAKE CHOICES.

IT IS SUCH A HUGE NEED, BUT

THIS STORY IS LIKE NOTHING

I'VE EVER HEARD.

Gordon: THIS STORY IS

BEYOND BELIEF.

AND IT UNDERLINES THAT LOVE

NEVER FAILS.

LOVE NEVER FAILS.

Terry: YEAH.

Gordon: THAT EVEN

THOUGH IT SEEMS HOPELESS,

AND EVEN THOUGH THE EXPERTS

ARE SAYING SHE CAN NEVER

DEVELOP, LOVE NEVER FAILS.

AND PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY

CHILDREN, RESPOND TO LOVE

AND RESPOND TO NURTURING AND

CARING.

WE ALL DO.

WE'RE ALL MADE FOR THAT.

AND WHEN WE DON'T GET THAT,

THAT'S WHEN THINGS REALLY

BREAK DOWN.

SO YOU LOOK AT THE

SITUATION, AND I KNOW YOU'VE

BEEN INTERNATIONALLY TO SOME

ORPHANAGES WHERE THE

CHILDREN ARE JUST CRYING OUT

TO BE TOUCHED, JUST TO BE

HELD.

Terry: I WAS JUST GOING

TO SAY, SO MUCH OF OUR

DEVELOPMENT AS HUMAN BEINGS

COMES FROM TACTILE TOUCH.

ALL OF THE DEVELOPMENTAL

THINGS THAT HAPPEN BEGIN AS

THE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN

PARENTS HOLDING A CHILD, AND

CONNECTING WITH EYES.

THIS IS WHY I HAVE SUCH

RESPECT FOR THE LE LEROYS

BECAUSE OFTEN WE ADOPT

FASTER CARE CHILDREN AND

EXPECT THEM TO PULL THEM

INTO OUR WORLD AND PROGRESS

ON.

Gordon: NO, YOU GET

PULLED INTO THEIR WORLD.

Terry: OH, MY GOSH,

YES.

AN EXPERT THAT "ORPHANS'

PROMISE" HAS BEEN WORKING

WITH RECENTLY SAYS IT THIS

WAY, "DON'T JUST BE WITH

YOUR CHILD, BE WITH YOUR

CHILD."

I'M HERE, I'M WITH YOU AND

I'M CONNECTING WITH YOU.

Gordon: WHY ARE SO MANY

PEOPLE IGNORANT ABOUT WHAT

ADOPTION AGENCIES AND

THINGS -- IT SEEMS LIKE

WE'RE KIND OF LIVING IN A

BUBBLE, IF YOU WILL, WITH

THE NEED.

WITH 400,000 IN FOSTER

CARE -- THE NEED TO PROVIDE

ADOPTIVE HOMES SO THERE IS

IDENTITY AND THERE IS

FAMILY.

Terry: AND FOSTER

HOMES, EVEN FOR A TEMPORARY

PERIOD OF TIME.

SOME KIDS ARE TRAPPED IN THE

FOSTER SYSTEM AND CAN'T BE

ADOPTED BECAUSE OF

LEGALITIES.

SOME OF THE KIDS WE'VE MET

AND TALKED TO HAVE BEEN IN

HOMES FIVE, SIX TIMES IN A

YEAR.

DIFFERENT HOMES.

WHO CAN GROW UP NORMALLY

LIKE THAT?

I THINK SOMETIMES ONE OF THE

ISSUES FOR US IS THAT WE

LIVE VERY FAST, BUSY LIVES.

AND IT'S A LITTLE SCARY.

WE ADOPT, OR FOSTER,

SOMETIMES THINKING I'M GOING

TO DO SOMETHING KIND FOR

SOMEONE, AND WE'RE IN OVER

OUR HEADS BEFORE WE

REALIZE.

Gordon: HAS THAT EVER

HAPPENED TO YOU?

Terry: OH, JUST A DAY

OR TWO.

BUT THERE IS REDEMPTION FOR

ALL OF US.

AND THE PROCESS -- AND I'M

SURE THE LEROYS WOULD SAY

THIS, THAT THEY'VE BEEN

BLESSED.

Gordon: IT DEFINITELY

CHANGES THE ADOPTIVE FAMILY

AND STRETCHES THEM WAY

BEYOND THE COMFORT ZONE.

WHEN YOU START GETTING INTO

THE SELF-SACRIFICE

NECESSARY --

Terry: IT GETS YOUR

VALUES IN ORDER.

I WANT TO SAY, AGAIN,

THEY'VE WRITTEN THIS AMAZING

BOOK CALLED "DANNY'S STORY,"

AND IT IS REALLY QUITE

ASTONISHING.

THIS IS AVAILABLE WHEREVER

BOOKS ARE SOLD THROUGHOUT

THE COUNTRY.

Gordon: IF YOU WANT

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HOW

YOU CAN HELP THE ORPHANS OF

THE WORLD, GO TO "ORPHAN'S

PROMISE".

THERE WILL BE A LINK ON

CBN.COM.

BOTH IN TERMS OF HOW YOU CAN

HELP THEM TANGIBLY, IF YOU

JUST WANT TO GIVE, AND THEN

HOW YOU CAN BE PART OF THE

SOLUTION.

IF YOU WANT TO STRETCH YOUR

FAMILY AND STRETCH YOUR

FAITH -- IT'S NOT FOR

EVERYONE, BUT IT IS FOR

SOME.

AND IF GOD IS CHALLENGING

YOU, GET INFORMED.

FIND OUT WHAT THE NEED IS

AND HOW YOU CAN GET

INVOLVED.

JUST LOG ON TO cbn.com AND

WE'LL DIRECT YOU TO ORPHAN'S PROMISE.

EMBED THIS VIDEO

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