Tiny, muffled cries alerted workers at an orphanage in Northern China. Someone had left a baby girl and walked out of her life forever.
It was April, 2008. At just 3 months of age, Leah was beginning to show the signs that could mark her as an outcast in the foreign culture: she was born a dwarf.
To this day no one knows who her birth parents were. There was no note. She would spend the next four years in group homes and foster homes, watching other orphaned or otherwise parentless kids be placed in the arms of people who wanted them. Not Leah.
On the other side of the world, Mark Trombino and Carol Trombino were starting a new life of their own. They had just been married in Phoenix. Both were leading successful lives in America as dwarfs. Mark was a past president of the Little People of America, Arizona chapter. He and Carol had met at a convention.
They hadn't been married even a year before Mark's daughter from a previous marriage, Priya, began asking for a sibling.
"I waited for a long time," said 9-year-old Priya.
Mark and Carol began looking into adoption. The process took nearly two years. But the moment the Trombinos found Leah, they knew it was right.
"We saw a picture and of course fell in love with her right away," said Mark.
The couple flew to China in November and spent two weeks signing papers and getting to know Leah and her caretakers before finally bringing her home in the weeks before Christmas.
For Carol, it was more emotional than she expected.
"Mark and I just burst into tears, both of us because we saw her."
The Trombinos consider it their early Christmas miracle - the person to complete their little family.
And for Leah, it is a ready-made family with a sister, cousins, aunts and uncles to make her feel welcome and loved. The family she never had. Unwanted no longer. An angel surrounded by love.
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