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Friday 24 November 2017

The little girl who nobody wanted to adopt could soon find a loving home

Three-year-old Grace, from Birmingham, who is looking for a home for Christmas Photo: Julian Hamilton
Three-year-old Grace, from Birmingham, who is looking for a home for Christmas Photo: Julian Hamilton

Sasha Brady

A British adoption agency has appealed publicly for a prospective family to give three year-old Grace a permanent home in time for Christmas and the response has been overwhelming.

Little Grace (3) has been waiting for an adoptive family ever since she was born prematurely at 25 weeks.

The Daily Mail highlighted Grace's plight on their front page yesterday and received an overwhelming response.

Within 24 hours, 350 families contacted First 4Adoption, offering Grace a home in time for Christmas.

Head of service, Gemma Gordon-Johnson told the The Mirror that the adoption agency received hundreds of emails, tweets and phone messages.

"People from all over the UK have contacted us to offer Grace a home and we are thrilled," she said.

Until now nobody had appeared interested in giving Grace a permanent home.

The adorable toddler is currently being cared for by a middle-aged couple, Jill and Paul, who are looking to retire soon.

The pair have fostered 40 children in 19 years but feel that they are getting too old to provide adequate care for Grace.

The three-year-old suffers from cerebal palsy and chronic lung disease after she was born prematurely at 25 weeks and weighed just a tiny 1.3lbs. Her birth mother was unable to care for her due to a brain injury.

The "cheeky tomboy" has difficulties eating, is regularly sick and needs to be monitored through the night. The winter months are particularly tough as the cold weather makes the youngster prone to chest infections.

Jill and Paul said that people should not be put off by Grace's medical needs, explaining that she defied the expectations of doctors, who initially feared she would never walk.

“I think there is a perception that Grace may be a demanding child because of her health problems. She would need one stay-at-home parent like me because she requires a lot of care but there is nothing wrong with her mind. She is as bright as anything. She is a very intelligent child. A very special little girl,” Jill said to the Daily Mirror.

Jill said that the kind of love Grace can offer a family makes it the care "more than worth it."

Hundreds of people have flooded the Mirror's Facebook and Twitter pages with messages of support for little Grace.

One message read: "What a beautiful little girl! I have two boys who are my world and I've always wanted a little girl to love!

"I wouldn't know where to start with adoption but would genuinely love to love her."

Another post read: Such a beautiful little lady, myself and my partner haven't got any children and are unable to have children.

"I would love to offer this little girl a loving and supportive home."

Gemma said that the adoption agency are handling enquiries on First 4Adoption's information line and will be "prioritising approved adopters who are able to provide the round-the-clock care that Grace needs."

Grace's story inspired more than just the general public: in response to the toddler's plight, the British government has pledged to help vulnerable children in similar situations by putting £19 million (€26.4 million) into adoption services in the UK.

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