Omaha Teen Wins Miss Amazing Title
Photo: Video by kmtv.com
Omaha, NE -- With a quick hello and wave, it's time for Juli Knoebel to get to work. She's part of a work base learning class in Omaha. The goal is to give the students with special needs the experience of a real job. Today, she's tearing down boxes at UNO. It's a long way off from where she came from, an orphanage in Romania. Geri Knoebal is Juli's adopted mom.
"I went to Romania saying I would never adopt and be a single mom and came home the first time trying to adopt three cousins." That didn't work out but Geri knew she had to keep trying. Finally, she met Juli. It was an instant connection with a tiny five year old. She weighed just 25 pounds, the size of american two year old. "They said, oh she has some learning disabilities she's a little slow and she's cross eyed and that was all, that was their diagnosis," said Geri.
It wasn't until they were back in America where Juli was diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. It was a surprise to geri who was trying to the youngster adapted to her new life. "We were at a McDonald's in Bukarest and someone dropped a french fry and that girl was on the floor and had it in her mouth before we even knew she was out of her chair because at the orphanage whatever falls, whoever is the fastest gets it," said Geri. Today, Juli is 18 and life is obviously different. She recently won the national title of miss amazing teen. Her laugh, her smile and quick whit charmed the judges.