Kajal Zaidi, a 5-year-old blinded by child abuse and abandoned by her parents in a train station in India, was rescued by a small shelter home in Allahabad, India. In 2007, churchgoers in Nashville, Tennessee brought her to the U.S., for specialized eye-surgery and attempted to find her an adopted family. Her journey was fraught with complications and heartbreak.
Kajal Zaidi, age 5, at the Snehlayam Shelter Home.
Kajal goes down the slide at the neighborhood park with the help of her children from the Snehlayam Shelter Home run by the Society of Underprivileged People Friday, March, 2, 2007 in Allahabad, India.
Kajal falls asleep curled next to her "sister" Madhu, right, at the Snehlayam Shelter Home Monday, March, 5, 2007 in Allahabad, India.
Kajal walks with the help of fellow children from the Snehlayam Shelter Home to the neighborhood park Monday, March, 5, 2007 in Allahabad, India.
Kajal and Grace Zaidi settle in at a host home after arriving from India Wednesday, March 28, 2007 in Nashville, Tenn. Kajal often asked Grace if it was day or night during her first few days, as her internal clock adjusted without benefit of sight.
One-year-old Lexi Quillin, reacts shyly to an inquisitive Kajal, during a party held for Kajal at the Wang Institute Friday, March 30 2007 in Nashville, Tenn.
Kajal sleeps amongst a pile of stuffed animals at a host family’s house during her nap Tuesday, April 10, 2007 in Franklin, Tenn. On Kajal's arrival to the US she was showered with toys.
Karthi Masters, left, feeds Kajal at the dinner table with her children Davey, and Elijah in Franklin, Tenn., Wednesday, May 30, 2007. The Masters, who want to adopt Kajal, have already adopted Davey from India several years ago.
Kajal laughs as she runs down the middle of a quiet suburban street in Franklin, Tenn Wednesday, May 30, 2007. Despite the twists and turns of her difficult life, Kajal can be an exuberant and fearless child.
Karthi Masters gives Kajal a high five after she helped with the dishes Wednesday, May 30, 2007 in Franklin, Tenn. Kajal had developed a bond with Karthi and the Masters family.
Kajal undergoes eye surgery at HealthSouth Surgery Center Monday, May 14, 2007 in Nashville, Tenn.
Dr. Ming Wang reacts to Kajal’s condition post-surgery May 14, 2007 in Nashville, Tenn. The damage behind her cornea was so unusual and severe, he cannot restore her sight.
Kajal wakes up uncomfortable and crying post-surgery at HealthSouth Surgery Center Monday, May 14, 2007 in Nashville, Tenn.
Melinda Sutton, a volunteer host for Kajal, cries as Karthi Masters meets with Kajal in a Nashville mall to tell her that she will not be able to adopt her August 7, 2007. The adoption fell apart due to conflicts between the Masters family and her guardians, the Zaidis.
Kajal stands in front of a window at a second host family's house in Bellevue September 13, 2007. Her future uncertain, Kajal's journey in the U.S. has been fraught with complications and heartbreak.
Jenna Ray supports Kajal as she floats away from the shallow end during her birthday pool party August 26, 2007. Ray was instrumental in bringing Kajal to the U.S., and was the main coordinator for her one-year stay.
Kajal celebrated her 6th birthday in the U.S. with a pool party. She gets ready to blow out the candles on her cake August 26, 2007 in Nashville, Tennessee.
An adult lifts Kajal so that she can feel for the sound of windchimes August 26, 2007. Kajal has not shown signs of sight since her surgery, although Dr. Ming Wang said he will continue her course of surgeries in the hopes of improvement.
Kajal plays in her room at a new host family's house while guardian Grace Zaidi emails her husband in India November 15, 2007. The Zaidis co-founded S.O.U.P, the Society for Underprivileged People, the organization that rescued Kajal.
Kajal leaves for India Monday January 14, 2008, in Nashville, Tennessee. Despite discussions about a second round of surgery and a return to the U.S. for adoption, she has never returned.