Last December, the Knuth family of Darboy adopted Meili, a six-year-old Chinese girl who suffers from recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a rare disease which causes skin to blister and peel, and also degenerates hands.
Meili is the Knuth family’s second adoptive child with EB.
The family first fostered, then adopted 12-year-old Charlie Knuth when he was just weeks old.
Trisha Knuth reflected on the decision to add on to the family.
“I didn’t know how I was going to possibly do it,” she said. “And I was really scared, and I thought, this can’t be the right thing for me to be doing.”
Despite those fears, the family ultimately went through with adopting Meili, in part because they know just how difficult living with EB is.
“I try to imagine a kid,” Trisha said, “you know, with this horrible disorder and being so painful, alone.”
Still, the family wasn’t sure what to expect as they brought their new daughter home.
“Okay, I have two kids here with EB,” Trisha remembers. “How can we do this every day because it’s so time consuming?”
Trisha’s fears were quickly vanquished as the family got to know their youngest daughter.
“She’s such a good girl,” Trisha said. “Our whole family just fell in love with her.”
And that includes Charlie.
“Charlie’s like her protector,” Trisha said. “And I think it’s important to both of them to have someone else to relate to.”
On their first Mother’s Day as a whole family, Trisha reflected on the decision to adopt Meili.
“Now that she’s here, I’m so relieved,” she said. “I’m so relieved that I didn’t chicken out because it’s like she’s always been mine.”