Gracious May absolutely loves featuring the beautiful Finley in her AFO customized Fringe Boots, and today we are even more thrilled to be bringing you her Adoption Story!! Finley is a radiant example of the reality that, no matter what the different-ability, each little life has been lovingly knit together by the Lord and placed on this earth for His purpose! We hope you enjoy getting to know Finley as her lovely mama, Christina, shares a little bit of their story. ❤
Gracious May: Welcome, Christina! Thank you so much for joining us today! For readers who don’t know your little family, please take a quick moment to introduce yourself.
Christina: Well, I was born and raised in Southern California and am a strong believer in Christ. I’ve been married to my high school crush for almost 5 years. We have a beautiful home, one daughter, one dog, and one puppy-zilla. I like to think we are pretty normal, I enjoy karaoke apps in my spare time and my husband loves to garden- he’s quite the green thumb. Our daughter has Mild Cerebral Palsy, so our everyday life looks a little unique to some.
Gracious May: What brought you to your decision to adopt? and was special needs adoption something you chose, or something that chose you? Please take a little time to tell us how it all unfolded.
Christina: After a full year of naturally trying for baby, we received fertility testing results that I have what’s called “diminished ovarian reserve”. This condition is a known side-effect of accutane (a serious acne medication). The news was devastating. After the “dust settled” we had a real sense of peace about the situation. The Lord kept presenting us with Adoption. You know how people keep bringing things up to you and you are like, “Ok, this isn’t just a coincidence”. It was a God-thing. I never would have imagined I would have a special needs child (not sure most do). Finley was perfectly healthy in the womb and that’s all we knew when we were chosen to be her parents. She was delivered 9 weeks early because her birth-mother had preterm labor complications. Finley developed brain bleeds as an infant and because of this we knew that it was a possibility she could be diagnosed. When we googled “Brain Bleeds” Cerebral Palsy was always in the search results. Before our adoption was finalized, we knew that Finley might develop special needs. Honestly, we felt she was ours from before she was born and nothing was going to change that.
Gracious May: There is absolutely no denying it, Finley is one contagiously-happy little girl and it doesn’t look like anything is holding her back!! What are some day-to-day lifestyle adjustments you’ve made to overcome the various challenges that Cerebral Palsy poses?
Christina: Besides the typical schedule and lifestyle changes that are made when adapting to life with a toddler, I haven’t really made “adjustments”; my life is very normal to me. My life is, however, is different in many ways from that of my friends with toddlers. Because of Finley’s poor balance, I cringe if someone sets her down on a tall chair and walks away. I’ve even had her fall out of a friend’s arms because they underestimated her physical abilities. I carry her everywhere and assist her with every task. Potty training, dressing, swimming, getting on and off of things; everything requires assistance. This is our normal. Our communication with each other is amazing because Finley relies on me for everything. My back is gonna hate me later, but my heart will be so happy.
Gracious May: There may be parents reading this who are facing fears over a diagnosis their little one has just received. If you could encourage them with a word or two from your experience, what would you say?
Christina: Oh sweet friend, I’ve been where you are and you are not alone. I promise you, it will be okay. You will learn to not focus on words the doctor’s use. Instead you will look to your little one to be your guide. Take it one day at a time. Find others that are going through it too, to lean on. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to connect with other parents in your shoes.
Gracious May: Finley certainly holds a special place in our hearts; but can you take a moment to tell us what Gracious May means to you, and why you/Finley enjoy our shoes so much?
Christina: Well, Gracious May is my game changer / life saver! Words will never do justice to the intense gratitude I have for their customized boots. Finley has the widest foot ever, so with the braces there are no shoes that fit her. Thanks to her Gracious May Boots, my daughter is able to be her fashionable self! I absolutely adore that they are using their huge following they to do the Lord’s work and spread Scripture. And the boots are the best; they zip on and off so easily! Finley loves them too! We get stopped everywhere we go, because everyone wants her boots!
Gracious May: Thank you so much for sharing, Christina! Can you tell our readers how they can keep up with you and Finley from here on out?
Christina: Thank you so much for having me! Y’all can follow along on our journey via our Instagram @fifiandmo. I typically post everyday and update my profile links based on all activity regarding Fifi. We have a YouTube channel and are hoping to get it up and running soon! “Fifiandmo Video”. If you are a fellow special needs mama, please feel free to send me a direct message on Instagram or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This was so much fun, thank you Gracious May!
Would you like to have your story featured on the Gracious May Blog (birth, adopotion, NICU, etc.)? Email us with 2-3 sentences that describe the experience you want to share about and we might feature you!