We met Zoie Senait for the first time on July 7, 2008 in Addis Ababa at the AWAA Transitional Home. We had been told by many staff and families that had traveled to Ethiopia before us that our daughter was VERY tiny. Nothing could have prepared our hearts for what we would see.
Our precious daughter was indeed tiny…
at 6 months old, she only weighed 8 pounds. All I could say when they placed her in my arms was…she’s so tiny. Her head and legs and arms and tiny feet were the size of a newborn infant. I had brought a beautiful flower head band to give her, but it looked massive on her tiny head.
She had no strength or energy due to her health issues. We were so happy that day and in love with our sweet girl, but we knew we were facing dire circumstances. She had pneumonia, dehydration, a severe upper respiratory infection and fever. Her tummy was swollen, due to malnourishment, her tiny chest was sunken and her breathing fast and labored, even her head veins were bulging
All she could do was stare at us with her enormous beautiful eyes. She needed our help!! Our second night at the hotel with Zoie, we knew we were in trouble. She stopped breathing several times and in our panic and fear we made the difficult decision to take her to the hospital. The Hilton Hotel staff were incredible and they helped pile our family in a van in the middle of the night. The head nurse from the Transitional Home (our angel!) met up with us and we searched the night for a hospital and doctor who would help our tiny girl. We drove around the city for hours, but could not find any help and in desperation prayed to God for His protection. At 6AM, we finally made a connection with beautiful Dr. Sophie and she met us at her clinic. It was one of the most painful, challenging, uncertain nights of our journey. We started to unravel and doubt and fear what was going to happen next. Zoie Senait was fighting for her life!
We started feeding Zoie the same formula Tom Davis is donating to the AWAA TH. She ravishingly ate every 2 hours and we watched a miracle happen before our eyes. Within 24 hrs we could literally see our daughter healing. We started healing. We believed and trusted and rejoiced and celebrated our tiny miracle!
Zoie had been in the best care and showered with love at the Transitional Home in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The staff and nannies are our heroes!! However,they are desperate to have baby formula that will help the children waiting for their families heal and grow and thrive. At the time, the staff did the very BEST they could with the nutritional resources they had. When we heard they came close many times to running out of formula, it broke our hearts.
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