Ida was 8 months old when her young mother came to the difficult realization that she could no longer properly care for her. Ida was born with sickle cell anemia and requires specialized care. So Ida was placed in an orphanage. At just over a year of age, Ida was introduced to the woman who would become her forever mother. At that time she weighed just 11 pounds. When Justine Topel first held Ida, she knew she would do anything to bring her home.

It’s been a long journey, with the Democratic Republic of the Congo closing international adoptions for a time.  Now, at age 3, Ida is home with her family and Justine is relieved that the family is all under one roof.