Heartland girl national semi-finalist for "cutest kid" - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Heartland girl national semi-finalist for "cutest kid"

Breanna is practicing writing her name and counting to ten, to start pre-school next week. Breanna is practicing writing her name and counting to ten, to start pre-school next week.

Breanna Louden is a semi-finalist in the "Cutest Kid Search" on Live! With Kelly, and her picture was featured on Thursday's episode.

"I don't take pictures," said Breanna Louden.

For a girl that says she doesn't take pictures, it's that pretty face that's landed her national attention.

"I just think she's absolutely beautiful, so when I saw on Live! with Kelly, I decided to put her picture in, and she got it," said Cyndi Louden.

Breanna Louden is 3 years old and lives in Thompsonville, Ill. with her parents Cyndi and Travis.

"We took her outside and snapped a few photos, and sent one of those in," said Travis Louden.

"I knew she was beautiful," said Cyndi Louden. "I knew all along, for everyone else to think so, is just wonderful."

But it wasn't always smiles for this cute kid.

"I got the phone call saying there was a baby girl 4-months-old and she had been severely abused," said Cindy Louden.

Cindy and Travis Louden wanted to adopt a second child.

"They called me and said she was going to have problems and I didn't care," said Cyndi Louden.

The Loudens learned someone had shaken Breanna as a baby, leaving her with broken ribs, and what doctors assumed would be brain damage and blindness.

"The surgeon told me most shaken babies, their brain, it just kind of gets jumbled up, like scrambled eggs, and he told me a lot of their brains just look like a shriveled up walnut," said Cyndi Louden.

The Loudens continued with the adoption.

"I was very worried about it, but she made my mind up for me," said Travis Louden.

"I just never doubted that she was going to be fine, and she is," said Cyndi Louden.

Now Breanna plays with her older adopted sister.

"She wanted a baby sister for years and years," said Cyndi Louden.

Breanna smiles at her highly decorated father, who recently retired from the Navy.

"We're very close, she usually wants to go everywhere I go," said Travis Louden.

Breanna is practicing writing her name and counting to ten, to start pre-school next week.

"She's very smart, she's healthy, she's happy, she's wonderful, we love her," said Cyndi Louden.

Now America does too.

"I'm glad they finally see it, we already think she's the most beautiful girl in America, and I don't know, it's pretty exciting," said Travis Louden.

A Live! With Kelly show representative said they had technical difficulties with voting Thursday, but told the Loudens they plan to feature Breanna's picture again on an episode next week.

At that point viewers can vote on the finalists.

The finalists will be announced on Live! With Kelly on September 10.

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