The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

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
  • American sunscreens need an upgrade

    The last time a new sunscreen ingredient came on the U.S. market, the Y2K bug was threatening to destroy our way of life. Intel had just introduced the Pentium III processor, featuring an amazing 500 MHz of computing power.

    April 24, 2014

  • 20140424-AMX-COFFEE24.jpg Coffee growers' prayers for rain met with threat of deluge

    Brazil's drought made arabica coffee this year's best-performing commodity. Now, farmers are facing a downpour that is once more threatening crops.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Celebrity quack moms are a terrible influence on everyday parents

    On April 15, the actress Alicia Silverstone released a book called "The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning." It's chock-full of attachment parenting lessons and dangerous misinformation.

    April 24, 2014

  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

  • McCain 1 House Republicans are more active on Twitter than Democrats

    Your representative in the House is almost certainly on Twitter. Your senator definitely is. But how are they using the social network? Are Democrats more active than Republicans, or vice versa? Who has the most followers on the Hill?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

  • quake.jpg Pennsylvania won’t take action following Ohio ruling on quakes, fracking

    Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Graduation Salutes
Seasonal Content