7-year-old visit Health First's Holmes Regional Medical Center, where she was born before joining her forever family.

Seven-year-old Ripley cherishes the story of her adoption – even keeping a book about it next to her bed, which she leafs through often.

For some time, the New York girl has been asking her parents, Chuck and Kim, to take her to the Florida hospital where she was born. Since they were curious, too, the couple happily obliged. They recently took Ripley to visit Health First’s Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne – the place where she was welcomed to the world, a week before they officially became a family.

“Visiting the hospital Ripley was born in is something I have always wanted to do,” Kim said. “It’s so nice to fill in this missing puzzle piece. I wasn’t with her the first seven days of her life, so seeing this is comforting. I couldn’t picture it before, and now I have a visual of it – and that’s awesome.”

The story of Ripley’s adoption is one the family has embraced and talked candidly about. Seeing where it all began was a meaningful experience for the three of them.

“It’s so great to come here and see where she was born,” Chuck shared. “I am so glad she wants to know more. We have always been open and honest about her adoption.”

Ripley, who will soon turn 8, loves playing the piano and participating in gymnastics, ballet and theater. She’s even acted in a couple of television shows.

Touring Ripley’s birthplace was the perfect next chapter in the life story of the little girl whom Kim and Chuck dreamed of so much.

“I always wanted a girl, and we got really lucky with that,” Kim said. “We are so happy to come here together to see where our daughter was born.”

Health First

Founded in 1995, Health First is Brevard County's not-for-profit, community healthcare system. The fully Integrated Delivery Network (IDN) includes health insurance plans, hospitals, a multi-specialty medical group, and outpatient and wellness services.