Couple already has treasured gift in adopted child

By Staff
Melissa Dozier-Cason
Tomorrow is Christmas, and families in our area will open gifts from loved ones. But, one local woman claims to already have her treasured gift, and her name is Katie.
John and Lee Ramsey adopted Katie 10 years ago when the child was two years old. By the time Katie was three, she started having seizures, and the couple then learned of Katie's first two years of life.
Katie's biological mother is a paranoid schizophrenic, and only gave up her parental rights because the judge told her that he would strip her of them anyway, Ramsey said.
"The first thing we did after we adopted Katie was change her name," Ramsey said.
Her biological mother named the girl Thing because she saw her as a thing in the way instead of a precious gift. Her new parents named her Kathren Suzanne Ramsey.
"I wanted her to have a big name," Ramsey said. "I wanted her name to be spelled different because she is different."
Katie has a lot of medical problems. She has traumatic brain injury because her biological mother put her in washing machine and turned it on when she was three-weeks-old, Ramsey said.
Katie is the only autistic child in Franklin County, and since moving to Alabama, the Ramseys have to pay out of pocket for her much needed medical care.
Katie was on Medicaid in Michigan, and in Florida, but Alabama sees Katie's condition as preexisting and refuse to cover her, Ramsey said.
"I have talked to every person imaginable, and written letters about our situation to state and local representatives asking for help, but we are just ignored." Ramsey said.
Ramsey's husband, John, is employed by Fontaine in Haleyville. Their insurance will not cover most of Katie's medical expenses because she needs specialized care, Ramsey said.
Fortunately, Katie has gotten a little help.
Bank Independent of Russellville donated the family $1,000 for the purchase of a wheelchair for Katie.
The Sidney Grann Foundation paid for her to see a specialist at Children's Hospital, where the they learned that Katie will have to undergo spinal surgery in a few years, Ramsey said.
"We will have to pay for it all because this is viewed as special treatment or a preexisting condition," Ramsey said.
Ramsey said that she would have taken Katie in a heartbeat even if she knew about her medical history prior to the adoption.
"I couldn't carry her so God had someone else to have her but she was meant to be my baby," Ramsey said.
The Ramsey's take each day as they come. Katie will never get any better, and long term she will have to be taken care of for the rest of her life, but her parents still see her as a precious gift from God and they cherish each day they have with her.
"I asked God for a baby and he gave me a forever baby," Ramsey said.