MESA, AZ — What a journey it has been for the Stewart family from Mesa. They never gave up fighting for their daughter, and today, it’s paying off.
It's easy to see just how full of life 18-month-old Poppy is!
"She's all fire!" explained mom, Maggie Stewart. "This is what she is like."
Poppy's parents, Maggie and Jeremy, say that same fire is likely what saved their daughter's life.
"He [the doctor] just looked at the monitor and looked at us and said, 'Emergency! Emergency!'"
We first met Poppy and the Stewart family back in February. Poppy was only 10 months old at the time. Maggie was forced to give birth at just 26 weeks while vacationing in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. She had no choice but to have an emergency c-section.
"I was losing massive amounts of fluid," Maggie explained.
Poppy weighed just a pound and a half when she was born. A short time later, she was flown to Miami where she stayed in the hospital for almost four months. Poppy managed to survive a massive infection, holes in her heart, and was barely breathing when she was born. Poppy, "the fighter," leaped over nearly all of her medical hurdles, but her battle was far from over.
In Mexico, Poppy's parents were given a document and were told it was the only immigration paper they needed. It turns out, they were missing what's known as a "consular report of birth abroad" and it was supposed to be filled out back in Mexico. Without that, Poppy couldn't get her U.S. birth certificate or social security number.
"I was feeling pretty hopeless," said Maggie. "I just thought I would have this paperless daughter."
But ABC15 knew there had to be a way to solve this document debacle, so we reached out to the Mexican Consulate in Phoenix and also Congressman Andy Biggs' office.
"There were great folks like yourself and Andy Biggs' office that came through for us, but we had to make a lot of noise," said Jeremy, Poppy's dad.
There were countless phone calls, appointments, and disappointments, as they, and everyone else, navigated through this uncharted territory.
"We owed it to her, too. She was such a fighter," said Jeremy.
“I hope she has the same fight in her that she can become whoever she is supposed to be, and doesn’t see anything as a challenge,” said Maggie.
Fast forward to where we are today: The Mexican Consulate in Phoenix was able to track down all of Poppy’s papers, and from there, the ball got rolling.
Poppy now has her U.S. passport and a Mexican consulte and will hold dual citizenship. She also has her birth certificate and social security number.