Dani Lierow – The Girl in the Window

April 17, 2014 | 0

Bernie and Diane Lierow are certainly humble and unpretentious people who lead an unassuming, simple life. They work, attend their regular church meetings and visit their neighbors regularly and spend time with their dogs. They do not have luxury inclinations but are still content with themselves. . Although they had everything they ever wanted, one thing they missed having, was a daughter.

Bernie and Diane always enjoyed nurturing a large family. When 4 of the their 5 boys were grown and moved away from their home, they felt that they needed to add the company of a daughter but this time by adoption. They attended an adoption event that had more than 100 children, expecting to meet prospective foster parents.

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Surrounded by dozens of children, the attention of Diane was drawn by the grainy black and white photo of a girl who could not attend the event that day. Diane said that when she saw the picture pinned on the bulletin board that day, she was drawn by something about the face and expression of the girl. But the more they asked questions about her, the officials at the adoption center presented a grim story about the child who had suffered years of abuse.

Bernie and Diane were witness to a horrific story of how the feral child Dani had suffered a really worrisome childhood.  Detective Mark Holste was one of the detectives who discovered the abuse of Danielle. It was in 2007 when detective Holste and his new partner were dispatched to a location of an alleged neglect of a girl. The Lierows were told by detective Holste how the child had been neglected and the pathetic condition she was living in.

Detective Holste had found Dani living in abject conditions, surrounded by cockroaches and gnats and the overpowering stench of old clothes, dust and worn-out equipment in a home that could masquerade for a walking closet.  The parental rights of Dani’s biological mother were instantly seized.

Despite the negative and chilling story of Danielle from the detective, Bernie and Diane still supposedly knew that Danielle had to be part of their family. They were determined even in the face of  astonishing and disturbing information, that they wanted to adopt the child. As the adoption process was going on, Danielle attended school and was placed in special education. This was the first time Bernie and Diane came in contact with Danielle.

Diane said that their confidence was developed during their initial visits to the school where every time they came to visit her, she could do something new that she had not done before. There was something curious about the child that touched the hearts of the couple.  Those eyes according to Diane, told a heart-touching story.  The couple adopted Dani on October 29, 2007, and now the girl had a family, she could be happy with.

Dani, for months, after being adopted, was anything but a normal child. She would scream and steal food and cry loudly when someone touched her, even lovingly. But with continual patience and love,  Bernie and Diane made sure that they gave all the affection to the girl.

The story of the ‘Girl in the Window’ made it to the headlines and was read by people online. Dani and her parents even went to the Oprah show and the teenager’s popularity increased even more.  More than $10,000 poured in for Dani’s care. Bernie and Diane even published a book called Dani’s Story – A Journey from Neglect to Love.  You can check out more about her at www.danisstory.org:

How is Dani Lierow now?

Today, the Lierows are even more content living in their 26-acre farm to the east of Nashville.  Dani Lierow is now 13, is in the 6th grade and is taller than even Bernie.

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 Dani Lierow pictures

Dani Lierow now pictures Danielle Lierow now Dani Lierow now

Dani Lierow girl in the window today Dani Lierow girl in the window

 

detective mark holste

detective mark holste

Bernie and Diane Lierow adopted parents of Danielle

Bernie and Diane Lierow adopted parents of Danielle

Dani Lierow home, when she was discovered when she was 7 by the detective.

Dani Lierow home, when she was discovered when she was 7 by the detective.

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