Orlando Mom Reunites with 2-Year-Old Daughter after 5 Months of Separation Due to COVID-19
Amanda Simpson-Rojas opened up about holding her 2-year-old daughter for the first time in five months. The novel coronavirus pandemic had kept them thousands of miles apart, but now Amanda finally feels "complete" again.
The mother of two, Amanda Simpson-Rojas, had no way of knowing her two-year-old daughter would not come back from Panama as initially planned. Intuition tugged at her at the time, but she brushed it off.
Amanda and her husband, Alex Rojas, a cruise ship engineer, had planned for their daughter Kaiya to visit family in Panama.
IT DIDN'T GO ACCORDING TO PLAN
It took them over a year to get all the details ironed out, and 2-year-old Kaiya was going to fly with her grandmother Grace Rojac to Panama before returning home in Orlando, Florida with dad Alex a month later.
Grace and Kaiya's flight to Panama was on March 1, and Amanda recalled that she felt in her "gut" that she wouldn't see her 2-year-old daughter again. She didn't give the feeling a second thought and instead dropped them at the airport as planned.
At the same time, the novel coronavirus started spreading throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world. On March 16, Panama closed its borders for international travel, leaving the young Rojas family split between two places.
AMANDA TOOK IT HARD
Kaiya was only supposed to be in Panama for one month, but the closing of the borders changed that to an indefinite time in the future.
Left alone without her husband and her 2-year-old daughter, Amanda had to take care of their 1-year-old daughter Evie by herself. The moment Amanda realized she had no idea when she would see her family again, it hit her hard, as she recalled:
"My heart went to my throat; I couldn’t even talk."
GETTING HER FAMILY BACK
During the five months that followed, Amanda pleaded with American and Panamanian authorities to allow her daughter to return home to her in Florida. And then earlier this month, everything changed.
On August 12, authorities arranged for the 37-year-old mother to grab a humanitarian flight to Panama City to reunite with her daughter.
Upon arrival, Amanda had to quarantine for two days in her hotel before she could hold Kaiya again. When the moment came, it overwhelmed them both as Amanda recalled:
"Then she looked at me and said, 'Mommy.' She touched my face, and it was really sweet."
THEY ARE BACK IN THE U.S.
Amanda and 2-year-old Kaiya flew back to the United States on August 14, and the reunited pair reportedly received quite the welcome party upon their arrival.
Even though they got home fairly late, Kaiya and Amanda had balloons and welcome home signs, and even a car parade waiting for them.
ANOTHER REUNION CAUSED BY THE PANDEMIC
Bev Boro and Doris Crippen from Nebraska share the same father, but they haven't seen each other in 50 years. Boro was put up for adoption when she was 6 months old, so they basically never knew each other. But that all changed earlier this year.
Crippen fell in her apartment in May, but she also contracted the novel coronavirus, and she ended up checking into Boro's place of work to recover. Others who contracted the respiratory disease became figures of hope for countless people amid the pandemic as well.
In April, the story of a 90-year-old New Yorker amazed people worldwide. Even though she contracted the novel coronavirus, Anna Fortunato spent thirteen days in the hospital before she recovered and got discharged to complete her recovery at home.
ⓘ We at AmoMama do our best to give you the most updated news regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, but the situation is constantly changing. We encourage readers to refer to the online updates from CDС, WHO, or Local Health Departments to stay updated. Take care!