Placing a baby for adoption is never an easy task, but for Christina Fisher, a 36-year-old second-time mother out of Fort Walton Beach in Florida, it became even more difficult when her daughter’s adoptive mother rejected her baby at first sight. The reason?
A facial deformity caused by a genetic condition called Treacher Collins syndrome.
Abigail Lynn was born in January 2016 and immediately displayed signs of the syndrome, which is genetic, at her birth. Treacher Collins can vary in severity, but Abigail’s condition has caused no major health complications for her so far, aside from a small feeding tube. She may need cochlear implants to help her hearing when she gets older, but she is expected to have a completely normal childhood.
On her GoFundMe page, Fisher explained that Abigail’s condition was completely unexpected. “She was born with Treacher Collins syndrome to our surprise,” she wrote. “It was not detected in the amniocentesis or in the ultrasound.”
According to the Northwest Florida Daily News, Fisher made the difficult decision to place her daughter for adoption based on the circumstances in her life at that time. She had not been in a relationship with the baby’s father, nor in a stable place in her life when she found out that she was pregnant. The trailer park she had been living in closed down, and Fisher described herself as “basically homeless.” With another daughter, Debra, who had just turned 18 and no longer lived at home, Fisher made the decision to place Abigail for adoption to give her the best start to life and was quickly paired with a couple through an adoption agency out of Georgia.
Things, however, didn’t exactly go as planned.
After being admitted to the hospital early for preeclampsia, Fisher went into labor and called the adoptive mother as planned. “I let her (adoptive mom) take the other wristband into the NICU,” Christina told the paper. “She came out crying, looked at Debra and left the hospital. We never heard from them again.”
Although heartbreaking, Fisher saw the adoptive mother’s rejection as a sign that her baby had been meant to be with her all along.
“That is when I realized she is meant to be mine only now cause of her needs,” she wrote on her fundraising page. “I was not fully prepared for her but now I can no longer see my life without either one of my daughters.”
Fisher made the decision to keep her daughter and raise Abigail on her own, reaching out to others for help through her fundraising page. Adding that she wasn’t in a position to work full-time at the moment, Fisher simply asked for help to keep her daughter fed and clothed.
Abigail, whom Fisher has called her “little angel” and “princess” has captured the hearts of people all over the world with her story, which has evoked intense emotions of outrage and sadness that anyone could reject a baby based on her looks.
But Fisher is not disappointed in how her daughter’s journey has turned out. “I can’t imagine my life without her,” she told People. “I’m not a religious person at all, but I know when something is smacking me in the face,” she said. “I just knew I would never be able to give her up. I would always be wondering if they were taking care of her properly.”
Fisher and her daughter are currently living with a friend, and she is working at a local fast food establishment to support her new family.
Oksana Peery, the local photographer who snapped the now-viral images of Abigail and her mother, blogged about the experience of meeting the duo. “I can’t even begin to describe the amount of love that filled my little home studio when this beautiful little girl and her momma were together,” she wrote. “I was and still am in awe of the bond that those two ladies share, anyone who has seen the two of them together would strongly agree. Christina is such an incredible woman and I honestly don’t believe there’s a better mom for baby Abigail, they are one.”
While I was writing up this story, my 6-year-old was sitting next to me working on an “article” of her own. I showed her the picture of Abigail Lynn and watched her closely. Not a glimmer of any shock, surprise, or puzzlement crossed her features.
“Aw, Mom,” she said. “She’s so cute.”
Our thoughts exactly. To support Abigail and her mother as they start a new life together, you can learn more and donate through their GoFundMe page.