SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - She's now a happy, healthy and active four-year-old girl, but it hasn't always been this way. Camilla has remarkably overcome a number of challenges and all it took to help get her where she is today was the unconditional love from a forever family.
Camilla has brought laughter and love into her parents' lives.
“We are totally blessed with her,” said Marie.
When Camilla was first matched with Marie and Ray, she was developmentally delayed and overweight.
“When we got her she couldn't walk, couldn't talk, and she ate baby food and she was 32 pounds,” continued Ray.
“She was considered obese, so they placed her with us because we were very active,” added Marie.
And it didn't take for their shy little girl to blossom into a bubbly and energetic go-getter, living a happy and healthy life.
“Well she's run a few 5K's already. She smoked me on a razor,” Ray said.
They say Camilla's transformation has been remarkable.
“Just to see her grow into this active child is just awesome. She can ride a bike, she swims, she can play soccer,” Marie explained.
Their decision to adopt, came after Marie survived breast cancer. Unable to conceive on their own, and inspired by the children on Adopt 8, Ray and Marie turned to San Diego County Adoptions.
“We looked at other things like private adoption and international adoption, they were really expensive, and we just knew there were a lot of kids in this county that needed families,” said Marie. “We watched Adopt 8, and it broke my heart every single time because I wanted a kid so bad, so we decided to go through it. It was a long process, took a while but it was totally worth it.”
Though the beginning can be challenging:
“It was really hard. The first, you're basically given a child and you have no time to prepare. And so that first year was hard. The first week was hard and we kept questioning did we do the right thing, but we stuck with it and just watching her and looking at the pictures of her as she's grown, is just, it's incredible,” said Marie.
They say this is the way they were meant to start a family.
“I feel like she is mine and I gave birth to her. I can't even remember a time without Camilla,” Marie continued.
“Our life's full now, we're blessed, I couldn't imagine it without her,” Ray added. “God totally brought her into our life, and that's what we tell her, God brought you into our life and he knew you were going to be ours.”
If you are interested in adopting or becoming a foster family, please call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U.
CBS News 8 would like to thank the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center for hosting a fun day at the museum.