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.

Giorgi Centeno-Antinori for Literature Noir

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!

Love,

Mom xo
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  • December 23, 2010
    9:17 am

    Dear Julia Anne your words regarding Giorgi, Leo and Vita are truly beautiful. Thank you for sharing this on your blog. God Bless and much love for you this Christmas season. Lol Anne xxxxx

  • December 23, 2010
    1:31 pm

    Oh my God that is heartwrenching! Vita you are in my prayers, as are your wonderful parents!Cupcakexo

  • December 23, 2010
    2:09 pm

    I also believe in the power of collective prayer. I will pray that Vita gets her Christmas miracle. It's things like this that make me SO thankful that my own little girl is happy and healthy. I don't think we realize what a true blessing that is. Merry Christmas — Cheryl

  • December 23, 2010
    5:13 pm

    Vita is in my prayers as well as her parents. I so hope that there is a pair of lungs soon for this wee fighter. She is fighting for a life at home where she should be, with her parents who love her so dearly. I also believe in the power of collective prayer and have seen what it can accomplish. Tonight, when I light a candle, it will be for Vita along with my prayers.

  • December 23, 2010
    6:11 pm

    I was born two half months early, my parents heard some of the same words. So I will definitely send Vita my strength and love from afar.

  • December 23, 2010
    7:05 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with Vita and her parents! I hope they receive the Christmas miracle that they so desperately need. I will post a link to Giorgi's blog on my twitter and facebook pages as well. Maybe someone reading can help them. Dawn

  • December 23, 2010
    7:31 pm

    I'm sure Giorgi and Leo would love to know you are praying for them. They need all the love and support we can muster right now, and Vita needs that miracle. You can leave messages for them on her blog here http://vivavitavida.blogspot.com/

  • December 23, 2010
    7:32 pm

    Prayers on the way,God bless the whole family!!!MariFer Cruz Ortega

  • December 23, 2010
    7:32 pm

    How can you not say a little prayer after reading that. I am sure your post will send a lot of healing their way.Melinda McCoy LaBarge

  • December 23, 2010
    7:33 pm

    Prayers on their way to that beautiful little girl and her family.Antoinette Voll

  • December 23, 2010
    7:33 pm

    Seeing that story makes me want to pull my 3 boys(18,16,14) alittle closer this season. I wish I could pull my husband in but he is in Afganastan…Please let the family know that they have lots of prayers from our church and will continue to for along time! Have a Verry Merry Christmas and I love to read your blogs.Tabatha Mueller

  • December 23, 2010
    7:36 pm

    You all are the best, and I know Vita, Giorgi, and Leo are surrounded by angles thanks to you. Tabatha – thank you so much for reminding us to send an extra prayer and thanks out to all the brave women and men that risk their lives for us on a daily basis. I am in awe of their valor.

  • December 23, 2010
    7:44 pm

    HiGreat! Look forward for more.

  • December 24, 2010
    7:46 pm

    I will have Vita, Giorgi and Leo in my thoughts, and yes the power of collective thought.Merry Christmas to you too, and I hope you haven't got long to wait to see Tatjana

  • December 24, 2010
    8:21 pm

    love your stories …Madeleine Gallay

  • December 24, 2010
    8:25 pm

    Not long now Amanda – she comes the beginning of January, but I haven't seen her in 5 months! I always miss Tatjana, but we both do fine apart for about 3 months. Then the phone calls and emails start flying faster and more often between us, and I ache to see her. I love the anticipation of an imminent arrival, and can't wait to throw my arms around her.

  • April 8, 2011
    6:44 pm

    I found your blog today. Would love to know how this family is doing now. So glad to hear that they have placed their trust in God. Nowhere else will they find the comfort and peace that He can give.