They D Family has always had a desire to adopt and have been involved with foster care for many years. Their adoption journey all started when the family took a missions trip to an orphanage in Haiti over 3 years ago. It was there where they met Monelson (aka “Mo”) in June 2012. They instantly knew God was calling their family to adopt him. They started proceedings in October of 2012.
Jumping ahead a number of months into 2013: The adoption was almost complete…then one day in July 2013, out of the blue, Mo collapses with severe nectrotizing pneumonia. Up until that point Mo had been a super active, agile and healthy boy! This incident was certainly very strange and as a result landed him in 2 hospitals in Haiti for a month. His situation got so bad that infection started eating holes in his lungs. He went from 57 to 38 pounds in a matter of weeks and had to have 2 lung surgeries over the course of that month. In the end, Steve and and one of their daughters moved out to Haiti to help care for him and work to get things completed for the adoption. They had been told by medical personnel that Mo could possibly die if he didn’t get to the US as soon as possible for further treatments! The adoption was finally finished on Aug 6th 2013. On August 10th, 2013 they got a medical jet to fly Mo to the US…right to Hershey Medical Center where he was immediately put into intensive care. Thank goodness the US Embassy got them out on a humanitarian parole as they couldn’t have waited for Mo’s Visa. It would have been too late!
It was a miracle how everything happened and came together. Monelson spent 1 month in Hershey Med Center and has since had 2 other brief hospitalizations, BUT he is improving everyday and it now weighing in at 60 pounds (with a little help for IV nutrition!) and is almost back to being that strong and athletic boy they met almost 3 years ago. Mo is enjoying school, winter, and being the 4th child with 3 older sisters who absolutely adore him!
It was a complete honor to work with this beautiful family and to document such cherished memories for them. This family is so incredibly special and I enjoyed every moment with them. It was a tad brisk the day we did their session (ok it was freezing!!) but in the end that didn’t stop everyone from having some fun .