The adoption process can be long and arduous, but for those desperate to welcome a child into their home, it’s all worth it in the end. However, one set of adoptive parents weren’t able to look past their new baby’s abnormalities, and they fled the hospital empty-handed.
Christina Fisher is a woman from the Fort Walton Beach area of Florida. Something remarkable happened to her back in 2016, and she quickly caught the attention of international news organizations. The story was reported far and wide.
It all began when Fisher was heavily pregnant. At the time, she was living in a trailer, and the father of her unborn baby hadn’t stuck around. Fisher already had an 18-year-old daughter, and she was soon going to welcome another child into the world.
But because of her difficult situation, Fisher made a brave decision. In the best interests of the baby, she made a call that she hoped would give the child a better life than she herself could give it. Fisher put her baby up for adoption.
Ahead of the baby’s arrival, Fisher contacted an adoption agency in the hope of finding a family who would take in her newborn. Before long, she found one in Georgia and began corresponding with them. Fisher sent the family ultrasounds and photographs to keep them in the loop.
Then, in early January it was time for Fisher to go to hospital. The adoptive parents heard that the baby was on its way, and so they headed down to Florida too. Everything was ready for the adoption to go ahead – all that they were waiting for was the baby.
Things didn’t go quite to plan, however. The adoption itself never happened. Fisher gave birth to a little girl named Abigail, but when the adoptive parents first saw the newborn, they went back on their decision to take her in. There was something about the baby that they didn’t like.
That’s because Abigail was born with a condition called Treacher Collins. It’s a genetic disorder that affects face shape. Bones and facial tissues do not develop normally, meaning that sufferers have small jaws and chins, and a noticeable cheekbone malformation.
There was never any indication in the ultrasounds that there would be abnormalities with the baby, so when Abigail was born her condition was a shock to everyone involved. “They just told me her ears looked a little small,” Fisher subsequently informed The Daily Telegraph.
Regardless of her unexpected medical condition, Fisher was still “smitten” with Abigail as soon as she laid eyes on her. But not everyone felt the same. When the adoptive mom came to see Abigail, she was heartbroken.
The adoptive mom was given a wristband so that she could go and meet Abigail in the NICU. But shortly after the woman went in, Fisher saw her exiting the room in tears. After that, she left the hospital altogether and made no further contact with Fisher.
It was clearly all too much for the adoptive parents, but seeing the other woman abandon Abigail only made Fisher feel more connected to her baby. “That is when I realized she is meant to be mine only now,” Fisher later told the Daily Mail.
And from that moment on, Fisher decided to keep her daughter. The Treacher Collins condition might have made Abigail look different from other children, but aside from than that, Abigail should live a normal life going forwards. There was only one thing left to do.
Given that Fisher was living in a trailer park and had not been expecting to keep her daughter, she needed to address her financial situation. Fisher required some supplies in order to look after Abigail. Just the simple things such as clothes and diapers, but she still needed some support.
And that was when Fisher decided to call upon the public for help. The first thing that she did was set up a GoFundMe page, appealing for financial support. Within just hours, kind strangers responded to her plea, donating cash for everything that Abigail might need.
Within a year, Fisher had raised an impressive $22,376 in hundreds of separate donations. And as Abigail has grown up, she seems to be doing well. Fisher spoke to the Northwest Florida Daily News in April 2017 and said that her daughter is the “happiest baby ever.”
“She wakes up laughing and smiling, you can’t help but smile at her,” she continued. And despite the Treacher Collins diagnosis, Fisher maintains that “there is nothing wrong with my baby.” She clearly feels sad when she thinks about the way that Abigail was rejected by her prospective adoptive parents.
“That kind of negativity is just unacceptable,” she said. Although Fisher very nearly missed out on her daughter’s life, she seems delighted to have become a mother for the second time, especially because Abigail is reportedly such an “easy baby.”
And the mother-and-daughter combination have even become local celebrities. People sometimes stop them when they’re out and about because they want to meet baby Abigail. Not only that, but over 1,000 Facebook followers are also keeping track of how Abigail’s life is developing.
Despite the heart-breaking reaction of those adoptive parents, Abigail has found a “special place” in her birth mother’s heart. “As long as I have Abigail, life is good,” said Fisher.