Abbotts open hearts & home to another girl with Turner syndrome.
Photo: Nicole Hamel
Ashley Abbott and her husband Chet talked about expanding their family through adoption, and once the Oxford mother saw a little orphan girl online with Turner syndrome, her heart melted.
“I immediately felt a connection and felt like this was our child,” Ashley says of seeing the child, whom the Abbotts affectionately call Calley, on the Rainbow Kids website, which features children available for adoption throughout the world.
Calley is 11, the same age as their daughter Bailey, who also has Turner syndrome, a condition affecting one in 2,000 girls and women. Turner syndrome is caused by the absence of all or part of the second X chromosome females have, the sex chromosome, in all or some of the body’s cells. Physical features of girls with Turner syndrome include short stature and lack of ovarian development.
The Abbotts prayed and talked to their physician, close relatives, and daughters Bailey and Tenley, 15, before proceeding with the international adoption of Calley, which was approved in early July.
“We officially signed the paperwork saying she is our child,” Ashley says. However, due to COVID-19, there have been travel delays and the Abbotts are hopeful Calley will be part of their family by Christmastime or before the end of the year.
The adoption agency has provided the family with recent photos and videos of Calley singing and riding a bicycle.
“It melts my heart whenever I get those. She is happy and she is thriving,” Ashley says. “Bailey is excited to have somebody else in the house to relate to, and I’m excited for their bond, friendship, and even as sisters as they grow up.”
Ashley adds she felt a “proud mom moment” when her oldest daughter expressed mature and encouraging words about adopting Calley. “Tenley said, ‘I feel if anybody can give her a good home, we can because we know about Turner syndrome. We can give her the services that she needs to have a good life and she’ll be able to relate with Bailey and Bailey can relate to her.’”
The Abbott family has made it their mission to spread the word and the awareness about Turner syndrome. Their nonprofit organization, Baileysbutterflies.org, advocates for girls, women and families touched by Turner syndrome.