Love In The Time Of SARS

It was love at first site at the orphanage for Betsy Appleby and baby Kate. CBS

There is no match for the power of love, including the fear of SARS. CBS News Correspondent Barry Petersen reports on an American couple who are braving the epidemic in China to adopt a little girl.



It's late night at Beijing airport. It's the first time Betsy Appleby has been out of America. This is a trip she and husband, Dale, started in Atlanta. They are braving the SARS epidemic for love of a little one-year-old girl they've only seen in snapshots.

"She's got a great smile," said Betsy looking at pictures of the child.

No way would they let SARS get in their way -- despite comments by worried co-workers that the Appleby's might bring back the virus.

"They just said 'you might want to stay out maybe a week or so, when you get back. ' That's what I've been told," said Dale.

"Every now and then you'll get a random reaction -- you know, somebody will go 'you're going to China now?"' said Betsy.

The Applebys are among many Americans who come to China to adopt a baby girl. The country's birth control policy allows only one child per family and in this culture boys are favored. So girls by the thousands are abandoned at orphanages.

"We're going to name her Katherine Lou Appleby and call her Kate," Betsy said as she held her daughter for the first time. "She's beautiful. She's perfect, and she's going to be a genius. She looks great, she's really cute."

On Mothers Day millions of moms got flowers and presents and hugs. Betsy Appleby's got the best gift of all -- she became a Mom.

"You couldn't ask for a better Mother's Day gift," said Betsy.

SARS, frightening as it is, did not stop Dale, Betsy and Kate from making their own little miracle -- becoming a family.

"Kate's going to be the best thing that ever happened to us," her mother said.
  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

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