Kolodziej Family Image

Kolodziej Family Story

Our family never expected to be in a situation like the one we were in on January 31, 2022. We were scared and unprepared, the only thing that ran through our minds was, “Lord, you are in control, we put our baby girl in your hands.”

We live in Nampa, ID; where we had all the intention to deliver our baby girl. The Nampa Hospital did not have the equipment to deliver that small of a baby, but the Boise Children’s Hospital was equipped and notified we were on the way. So off we went in an ambulance flying down the freeway. Twenty-five miles later and what seemed like a never-ending ride from Nampa, we arrived ready to have our baby at any second. Our miracle, baby, Elliyannah Brielle Kolodziej, was born in Boise, ID on February 1st, 2022; at only 26 weeks and 6 days. She weighed 2 lbs. 2 oz. and was a mere 14 inches long. Filled with joy that our precious baby was born, and all the vitals were looking great. In great hands, they whisked her off to the NICU where they started her on a CPAP with just room air and no added oxygen.

The next day we were informed that Elliy would most likely have to stay in the Boise NICU until her due date on May 4th or even longer. While the news sank in, we worried that we would have to go back and forth from Nampa to Boise to spend time with our baby every day. God’s plan had already been put in motion. When a nurse mentioned the Ronald McDonald House; saying that “they hardly accept families so close. They never accept families from Ada or Canyon counties.” That night we prayed about it and thanked God for all he has done thus far. The following day we spoke with the hospital’s social worker. She didn’t hesitate to give us all the information we needed to get in touch with the Ronald McDonald House, saying “you have a baby in the NICU, and she will be here for 3 months! Hopefully less, you need to be close to her so you can spend a lot of time with her.” But a social worker personally called Ronald McDonald House to set up an appointment for us to see if they could help. She informed us that we had a 3pm appointment. Later that day we showed up to the House for our scheduled appointment. Much to our surprise, we were informed that they would have a room ready for us shortly; they were told the whole story from the social worker and replied, “a mother needs to be with her child.”

We were so grateful to be able to stay at Ronald McDonald House. They welcomed us with open arms and showed us their kindness and generosity from day one. The Ronald McDonald House Charities in Boise was amazing, the room was very spacious and clean. Our room came with a cute diaper bag with lots of items for our baby. We didn’t have anything for our baby, so it was a very nice and generous gesture. It was also very much needed. The House was within walking distance of the hospital. We would walk to see our Elliyannah every day, even multiple times a day. Even though we were homesick at times, we were grateful to be staying so close to our baby girl. We made many wonderful friends while we were living at the House. There were so many families that came and went, but the families that were in the same situation as ours were the families we talked to and spent the most time with. Not only did we make friends with the families, but we also made friends with the staff at the Ronald McDonald House. The staff would always ask how our baby was doing and would never turn us down when we would show them pictures of our precious one. When the time came when we could put clothes on our baby, they would give us clothes and tiny hats for her!

The Ronald McDonald House staff is amazing and wonderful to get to know. We had so many wonderful memories and laughs with them all. It was a cheerful sad day when it came time for us to depart the House. We will never forget our newly extended family. Elliyannah was in the NICU for 91 days, and we stayed at the Ronald McDonald House for 89 nights. We came home on May 3rd, 2022. She has grown so much since we have been home, and our hearts are filled with so much love for her. The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho made it possible to be close to our baby and be there for her and see her reach all her milestones in the NICU. We still go and see the staff, our family at the Ronald McDonald House, when we have appointments or spare time in Boise.

We know that the time we were able to spend with our precious baby Elliyannah, would not have been possible without the many generous donations to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, donations of time and talents alike, as well as the very generous financial donations. The donations of food and supplies from all the local businesses and families. We feel like the Ronald McDonald House is more than a “House,” it is a home because they treated us like a family. All the staff and volunteers bring bright and cheerful attitudes to what could otherwise be depressing situations. We are so blessed to get to know you, from the bottom of our hearts we humbly say THANK YOU!

~ Kolodziej Family | Nampa, ID | 89 Nights at the House

Help provide a home away from home for more families like the Kolodziej family!

For only $10, you can give families of ill or injured children a home away from home by providing a night stay at the Idaho Ronald McDonald House. Families are asked to contribute $10 per night, but no family is ever turned away because they cannot pay.