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Burned Chinese orphan meets new family, will get surgery in L.A.

December 24, 2011 |  8:51 am

 A 9-year-old girl who was abandoned on a Chinese street as a toddler with severe burn injuries arrived in Los Angeles on Friday evening to meet her new adoptive family and receive treatment from the Grossman Burn Foundation.

Karen Ying Ling of Fullerton told KTLA-TV at the airport that when she looked into her new daughter's eyes and they saw each other, she "just knew" that it was right and that the girl "was supposed to be our daughter."

The burns left Cami Ai Liu disfigured when she was 2 years old; her face had blended with her chest, making it impossible for her to close her mouth or chew properly. And now, the scar tissue is beginning to pull and tear her skin around her eyes, said Carol Horvitz, executive director of the Children's Burn Foundation.

She will soon undergo reconstructive surgery for her burn scars, Horvitz said.

It's been a yearlong effort to bring the girl to the U.S. Liu was discovered at an orphanage home in Maoming, China. Karen and Doug Ying Ling first offered to be the girl's host family in the U.S. while she received reconstructive surgery, but those efforts stalled when the Chinese government denied the girl's medical visa.

The couple then offered to adopt the girl.

"And now she's got a new family forever," Horvitz said.

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-- Ruben Vives

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