I wrote this post a couple days ago, and planned to publish it on Christmas Eve, but the prayers can’t wait- PLEASE keep this child and her family in your hearts and prayers!
A year ago I wrote a post about a pop-up shop. In that post I used several random pictures from fashion lines they would be offering. Several months later I was invited to lunch by an old friend from Scotland, and a posse of fascinating women.
Our first Christmas as a family
Among them was the drop-dead gorgeous Giorgi Centeno-Antinori (one of the women in my post), a talented young singer, model, and new mother who was clearly concerned about being away from her baby. Her daughter, Vita was born two months premature. She was stable, but still in the hospital. It took me right back to the first time Nick and I went out after Tatjana was born – every mother worries, so I did my best to reassure her. Vita’s condition was much more serious than I understood until today.
Giorgi contacted me with a technical question about her new blog for her daughter, ViVaVitaViDaA Documentation of a Miracle. Vita (her name means life) is clearly a little fighting miracle, and her young parents courage, love and faith are probably the most heroic and powerful message anyone could possibly read this Christmas. I know I’ve done my best writing when it comes straight from my heart, but Giorgi’s words are piercingly beautiful, and truly stunning.
My heart ached when I began to read Giorgi’s profile, “Vita was born 2 months premature with extremely underdeveloped lungs on October 21,2009. She survived 3 months in my womb with out ANY amniotic fluid. The doctors wanted to abort Vita, and diagnosed her with everything from genetic disorders to heart problems…they all said Vita would NEVER survive. Well Vita is alive and she is over a year old with out any genetic disorders or heart problems. She has never been home and is still in the hospital due to severe lung disease… and she is in desperate need of new lungs from Jesus. A full restoration.”
Nothing prepared me for the force of her words in the posts that would follow. Her anticipation and joy over learning the sex of her child shattered with excruciating decisions to face, begging God for answers, and finding faith that has carried Giorgi and husband Leo through an ongoing battle for their little girl’s life. “We Cried, We Prayed, We Begged for a God we had kept so distant in our lives to come closer.” Her words are those of a mother’s love elevated to a compelling story.
Tatjana and Julie Anne Rhodes last Christmas
As you probably know by now, nothing in my life is more dear to me than my daughter. I can not fathom what Giorgi and Leo have been through, but I admire the strength of their love and faith immensely. I believe in the power of prayer, especially the power of collective prayer. I hope you will follow their journey in ViVaVitaViDa, and it is my deep wish that you all join me in praying for Vita and her parents this Christmas, and every day, until she is healthy and happily thriving at home where she belongs – with two parents who couldn’t possibly love their child more.
To my own daughter, who will be enjoying a white Christmas with her father in England this year – I love you, I miss you so very much, Merry Christmas, and I’m so excited to see you in a couple weeks time!