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As a young child, Adanech lived in a hut in Ethiopia with her ailing grandmother. One day, on the way to the market, Adanech was struck by a train. Her right arm was severed, and her right leg was crushed and amputated. Adanech's grandmother was too sick to care for her. That's when Yonus, an aide worker, came to the rescue.

Yonus brought Adanech to Atlanta where she was treated for her injuries and fitted with a prosthetic leg. The Spratlins, friends of Yonus', agreed to take care of the 7-year-old while she was in America. Three months after meeting this special little girl, the Spratlin family fell in love and decided to adopt Adanech with her grandmother's blessing.

Since moving to Georgia with her new family, Adanech has adjusted remarkably well. She has tried out for the school play, won a student council election and swims competitively.

Her inspirational story has touched many people—including Jay. "You know, you inspired me," Jay says. "I still don't know how to dive and after watching you swim, I'm so embarrassed. I'm going to go home and learn how to dive now."
FROM: Jay Leno Introduces Us to Amazing Kids
Published on October 14, 2005