Little Emily has big dreams, which include a forever home - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Little Emily has big dreams, which include a forever home

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The little girl you're about to meet has a serious birth defect that has required her to undergo many surgeries. And she has at least one more major operation ahead of her, but as you'll see five-year-old Emily is an incredibly positive and happy little girl, who needs a forever family to help her chase her dreams.

Emily is learning to spell and at first glance, looks like a typical kindergartner.

But this precious little girl is quite extraordinary when you consider the number of challenges she's faced in her short life.

"She's had a lot of ups and downs in five years," said Joanne Gibbings with Voices for Children.

Emily was born with VATER Syndrome.

"VATER. It's vertebrae, anal, tracheal, esophageal renal, but she's made amazing progress, she's had a lot of surgeries," continued Gibbings.

Including operations to repair her esophagus, bladder, kidney and bowel functions.

Emily was born with a hole in her heart and also wears leg braces. Sometimes losing her balance, but despite all of Emily's setbacks this little dynamo has continued to charge ahead.

"She's just been walking a year and a half and she's amazing," added Gibbings.

Emily zips around in her walker with ease, but her confidence without it is an indicator of her strong will. Emily puts no limits on herself.

She spent much of our playdate taking me by the hand and leading me around to explore

"Physically she has some challenges and she's delayed, but intellectually she's right at age level, in fact, sometimes she's above in some areas and that's why we fought really hard to get her into a regular classroom," Gibbings explained.

Emily has been thriving in her mainstream kindergarten class and her current foster home is providing the stability she needs.

"She's been in a good foster family. She makes all her medical appointments, her physical therapy, she's getting all her medications and it's made a huge difference in her life," said Gibbings.

Over the past nine months, Emily has gained six pounds, and has grown four inches with the help of a G-tube feeding each night to meet her nutritional needs.

"She can eat regular foods and we're introducing regular food all the time and she loves dill pickles. She loves to try new things," Gibbings noted.

Her favorite food it pizza and ice cream ranks as number one for dessert.

"She's such a loving child," said Gibbings.

Emily says she wants to take care of others when she grows up.

"She wants to be a nurse, and she's definitely determined that's what she's going to be is a nurse," Gibbings added.

But first, Emily needs a forever family to take care of her.

"With the right medical stuff, there's no stopping her, there is no stopping this girl. She'll tell you that," Gibbings said.

If you're interested in adopting or becoming a foster family, call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U during regular business hours.

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