Emily and Joshua outside the Court House

For Emily, the road to motherhood was a long one. Not only was she trying to adopt Joshua, she was trying to save his life. Joshua has spina bifida with multiple complications and needed critical medical care in Cincinnati. Emily explains their journey:

“Joshua was originally placed with me as a foster child in July 2015 for what was planned to be short-term. However, it became clear pretty quickly it was unlikely he would be able to reunite with his biological parents and the case plan changed to adoption. It took nearly three years to get to our adoption day. It was so surreal that his journey in foster care was coming to an end and he would finally legally be my son. When the judge granted the adoption petition I couldn’t keep back tears of joy and relief. He is mine, and I am his. Forever and ever. My favorite part of being Joshua’s mom is getting to see that million-dollar smile every day!

We originally came to Cincinnati for neuromuscular scoliosis and kyphosis spinal fusion and de-tethering surgery. He had this 16 1/2 hour surgery in September. I have since transferred most his care to Cincinnati, including developmental, hematology, neurosurgery, gastroenterology, urology, orthopedics, pulmonary medicine and endocrinology.

Without the House, I simply would not be able to get my child the care he needs. Following Joshua’s surgery, he developed numerous complications, including septic shock. Knowing I was coming up on the House waitlist helped me focus on the moment and not wonder how I was going to keep going sleeping on a chair in the ICU, showering in communal showers and eating cafeteria food for weeks on end while watching my child fight for his life. I knew I was going to be able to recover at the House, nourish my body and spirit, sleep and get the support I needed without going far from the hospital and without the financial burden other accommodations would bring. The House was instrumental in my decision to move the majority of Joshua’s care to Cincinnati.

Joshua likes everything about the Ronald McDonald House! His favorite thing is when the therapy dogs come, the “yummy food,” and getting to spend his Ronald buck. I don’t think I can really describe everything I like about the House. On a practical level, the amazing food, wonderful staff, comfortable accommodations and location close to the hospital make what would otherwise be financially and logistically difficult, simple, and I can focus on taking care of my son. On a spiritual level, the relationship I have built with other families going through the same thing, the familiar faces of staff that love and care about us in a time of crisis and the countless kind gestures throughout the House keep me going.”

Thank you for supporting families like Emily and Joshua’s. You gave them the support and care they needed when they needed it most.