The Washington Times-Herald

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
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Is this a commercial for batting gloves or a baseball game?

    Major league baseball desperately needs to speed up the action. Here's a place to start: Nix the mind-numbing ritual of hitters who first adjust the right batting glove, then the left one, after every single pitch.
     

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • The Simpsons still going strong

    The groundbreaking animation first hit the air Dec. 17, 1989, but the family first appeared on television in "The Tracey Ullman Show" short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987.

    August 21, 2014

  • Does Twitter need a censor?

    Twitter decided last year to make images more prominent on its site. Now, the social network is finding itself caught between being an open forum and patrolling for inappropriate content.

    August 21, 2014

  • Police chief resigns over racial slur repost to Facebook

    A repost on his personal Facebook page of a racially-charged comment by the original poster of a comedy video has forced the police chief of an Oklahoma city to resign his office.

    August 21, 2014

  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Who should pay for your kids ACT?

    Thirteen states paid for 11th-grade students in all public high schools to take the ACT college admission test this year, with several more planning to join them in 2015.

    August 20, 2014

  • Pets.jpg Why do people look like their pets?

    As much as we might quibble over the virtues and vices of Canis domesticus, however, and over whether human nature is any better or worse than dog nature, even dog fanciers don't usually want to look like a dog.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Africa goes medieval in its fight against Ebola

    As the Ebola epidemic claims new victims at an ever-increasing rate, African governments in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have instituted a "cordon sanitaire," deploying troops to forcibly isolate the inhabitants in an area containing most of the cases.

    August 18, 2014

  • Democrat? Republican? There's an app for that

    If you're a Republican, you might want to think twice before buying Lipton Iced Tea, and forget about Starbucks coffee. If you're a Democrat, put down that Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and throw away the cylinder of Quaker Oats in your pantry.

    August 18, 2014