Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Community News Network

August 16, 2013

'Miracle baby' becomes competitive gymnast, longs to be U.S. citizen

PLAINFIELD, Ind. — When Deanna French brought a tiny baby home from Chechnya, she had no idea the impact she would have on her life. The baby had barely survived her birth and was severely underweight at 11 months.

Now, 10-year-old Madina French is a thriving young lady living in this Indianapolis suburb, with Olympic aspirations and a desperate desire to become an American citizen.

"She was a premature baby that weighed 1.1 pounds," Deanna said. "She's a miracle baby."

Little Madina fought for her life but needed a lot of medical care.

Madina was born without most of her face. She has had 22 surgeries to construct a face and is still in need of more medical procedures. She will soon have surgery to construct a hard pallet.

Deanna was able to legally adopt Madina, but her country will not allow her to become an American citizen.

"And since she is not an American citizen, I cannot get any kind of help," Deanna said. "She doesn't have a Social Security number so I can't apply for assistance for her medical care. She is considered an alien in the U.S. even though she has been here since she was 11 months old."

Deanna said she has spoken to attorneys about her daughter's citizenship, but there has not been any progress.

Without a Social Security number, Madina is also unable to get medical insurance. She said leans on her church family at Plainfield Christian Church for help with Madina's care.

"My daughter has totally changed my entire life for good," she said. "But we’ve had to overcome lots of hurdles."

When Madina came to the United States at 10 and a half months old, she only weighed 10.5 pounds.

"She was wearing 0-3 month clothes," she said. "She didn’t walk until she was almost 3 years old. Her muscles were flaccid and she needed more muscle control."

Text Only
Community News Network
Features
AP Video
Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel David Perdue Wins Georgia GOP Senate Runoff 98-Year-Old Woman Left in Parked Truck Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Raw: MD Church Built in 1773 Ravaged by Fire Flight to Tel Aviv From US Diverted to Paris AP Review: Amazon Fire Adds Spark to Smartphones Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Raw: Massive Fire Burns in North Dakota Town Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Upon completion and reopening of Third Street, should the City of Knoxville wait to start the next stage of the Streetscape and Infrastructure project until 2015?

Yes
No
     View Results