For one Arizona mother, life hasn’t always been easy. When she was diagnosed with PKU (Phenylketonuria), Kristi Smith was made aware that her body is not able to process a specific protein known as phenylalanine. Due to her condition, Smith and her husband continually discussed the pros and cons of having biological children—and decided against it. With Smith’s condition, there were dangers of birth defects. Since she had always considered adopting, Smith and her husband researched what life was like for children in China who were suffering from PKU. Unfortunately, what they discovered was very sad. Without access to adequate healthcare, many of these children were abandoned. If PKU is not diagnosed early on, it can lead to a plethora of horrifying health conditions for kids. Those suffering from the condition need to consume special protein shakes that do not contain phenylalanine, and these supplies are often not readily available.
Once Kristi and her husband Matt were made aware of two two-year-old Chinese boys who needed to be adopted, they set their plans into motion. Once they were settled with their toddlers, Smith heard of two other boys who were in need of homes. Opening her heart to them as well, she says that she has seen her children truly blossom. Since she and her husband were already accustomed to the low-protein lifestyle, they have been able to adjust with as much ease as possible when there are four children in the house! Bringing awareness to the plight of children with PKU all over the world, Kristi Smith has truly made a difference.