"God created each of us in His own image." ~ Genesis 1:27
When Lynette learned she was pregnant, she knew it would be impractical for her to raise another child. The 36-year-old woman was practically homeless and the birth father wasn’t part of her life.
Determined to give her baby a better life, Lynette contacted a Christian adoption agency that promised to find her child a loving home. Together, they agreed on an infertile couple living in another state but who remained in close communication throughout the pregnancy.
Everything lined up flawlessly; multiple ultrasounds came back perfectly normal.
As the big day approached, Lynette grew excited about the parents’ arrival. She had no regrets whatsoever, having viewed her situation as kind of a long-term babysitting one.
With the birth imminent, Lynette was admitted to the hospital with preeclampsia. A 5-pound baby girl was delivered five days later after 15 hours of labor and a C-section.
An eager pair of adoptive parents arrived early with a photographer to document the special day. But when they visited the newborn in the NICU, they instantly noticed that the newborn looked much different than they’d expected.
The infant was born with Treacher Collins, a rare genetic condition that stunts the development of bones and facial tissues. The condition hadn’t shown up in any prenatal scans.
The couple fled the hospital in tears and abandoned the baby due to her deformity.
Despite the diagnosis, Lynette thought the baby was absolutely beautiful. “I was smitten at first sight,” she admitted. “It was a sign that she was supposed to be mine.”
She named her Abigail which in the Hebrew Bible means “gives joy.” When Lynette looks at her sweet child she doesn’t notice her deformities. She sees her baby as perfect and without any reservation, decided to keep and raise her little “princess.”
Abigail’s condition doesn’t affect cognitive functioning and won’t prevent her from having a typical life. It may however, require some reconstructive surgery in the future.
Lynette left the hospital without a suitable place to live. Her 18-year old daughter created a GoFundMe account to help raise money since she’d never had a baby shower. When the Daily News did a story on Lynette and Abby, readers from everywhere took interest; donations poured in. The page raised nearly $25,000 from 579 different people.
Lynette said she’s saving the money for “whatever Abigail will need it for,” health, education or otherwise.
Today Lynette and Abigail are living with her friend in a two bedroom apartment in Florida. Local nonprofits have provided everything from clothes to diapers.
Lynette harbors no bitterness towards the couple who “rejected” Abigail. “I feel sorry for them because they missed out on getting to know what a truly amazing angel she is.”
Lord, though we don’t know the reasons You allow a child to have a birth defect, we DO know that every child is created in Your image, is loved by You, and has an important purpose in helping change lives for eternity. Amen