Belize Toddler Becomes East Texan - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

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Belize Toddler Becomes East Texan

"It would certainly be in her best interest to grant the adoption to Mr. and Mrs. Ballard and I declare that she is your child for all purposes," with those words from an East Texas court, Emi Salam was adopted by the Ballard family of Longview.

They are the East Texas family who took her in months ago while she received treatment from Longview doctor's for a destructive skin condition.

"We had to have a discussion with her mom about did she trust us did she feel like we could love her daughter the way that she did," said Katie Ballard, Emi's new mother.

After being diagnosed back in May of 2008, going back to Belize was difficult for Emi. Once again she became sick and her health deteriorated, forcing her mom to make a tough decision. Katie told us, "she had gone all over belize and all over guatemala to get health care for her and to the united states and so as hard as it was she was willing to give her up."

Jason Ballard, Emi's new dad says, "there's no words to describe it just the joy of seeing where she came from and knowing that she'll have a life that she would never have and Belize."

Emi's also has a new big brother, Max, who like everyone else adores her...

"This is our christmas baby..This is christmas for us," says Jason, "It was neat when we put the christmas tree up and she had never seen a christmas tree."

And this is sure to be a christmas the Ballard family will always remember, "This is the daughter that we been waiting on and so we couldn't ask for anything more."

LaKecia Shockley, Reporting. lshockley@kltv.com

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