We knew the baby was coming, but we didn’t know when.
On a Wednesday in April, an expecting mother in Columbus, Ohio had picked us to be the adoptive family for her baby girl – a very premature baby who could arrive any time in the next few days. In fact, the baby was born the following Sunday morning, as much as eight or nine weeks premature.
That first afternoon and evening at Riverside Methodist Hospital was a whirlwind: We held our darling 4-pound baby for the first time and named her Zora. We also learned that she might need to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit at Riverside Methodist Hospital for six to eight weeks, or longer.
Then a hospital social worker told us about Ronald McDonald House.
We had heard of Ronald McDonald House Charities before, of course. Didn’t it help people with sick kids? Then it dawned on us: That was us now. We needed a place to stay, one that would let us focus on our child’s growth and development, instead of the chores of daily life. Ronald McDonald House was the perfect answer.
All of it was free of charge. But best of all, it was free of hassle. RMHC transformed what could have been the most frustrating aspects of our stay in Columbus into pure simplicity.
We also appreciate how the Ronald McDonald House made the trip easier on our older daughter. She loved seeing and holding her new little sister – for about five minutes. But at the Ronald McDonald House, she bounced from the basement play area to the upstairs princess room. In the large dining area, she struck up impromptu games with other children her age. And every time we arrived or left the Ronald McDonald House, she climbed the bench out front to give the statue of Ronald McDonald a hug. She even got to meet Ronald McDonald himself one morning – a moment that she will remember for years to come.
None of this is possible without the volunteers and contributions that keep Ronald McDonald House running.
We may never need to stay at Ronald McDonald House again. But we will always remember how much easier it made our journey, and how much it helps the journeys of so many others. Please join us in supporting Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio and make a donation today.
Theo, Jennifer, Aliyah and Zora