This beautiful warrior is one of our amazing little minis since I can really remember. I have admired her mama and babe for so long and I am so excited for you to get to know her better...
Meet Valentina Rose 🌹
My sweet and courageous VALENTINA ROSE (Vi) will be 5 next month. Each day I watch Valentina grow into confident, independent, smart and happy young girl and my heart explodes with pride and joy.
Valentina was born a warrior from Day 1. After numer‐ ous doctor visits and ultrasounds we never saw any signs of her missing a limb. Vi had a scary entrance into this world. She was born so fast and face up. When the doctor told me something was wrong I pan‐ icked. He said she was missing her left hand and had major bruising on her forehead. The next thing I know they are calling a code blue on her. Thank God they got her to breathe on her own. Valentina was quickly trans‐ ferred to a hospital an hour away where she stayed
4 days in the NICU to make sure everything was ok. As soon as the ambulance left with her I googled the meaning of Valentina and it was "strong and healthy". The emotion that set in thinking how when I was 10 weeks along and came across that name Valentina and knew I wanted it if I had a girl to that moment where my little girl had the perfect name for what and who she was going to be was so overwhelming.
Valentinas hand difference was given the medical term Symbrachydactyly (sim-brak′′e-dak ́tĭ-le). This occurs during normal embryonic development. When a baby’s hands begin to form in utero, they are shaped like mittens or paddles. Then the fingers divide. In babies with symbrachydactyly, the fingers (and sometimes
the hand and arm) don’t fully form during this time. This may happen because the area doesn’t get enough blood flow or because of some other problem with
the tissue. It’s not caused by anything the mother
did or did not do while she was pregnant. This hand disorder characterized by abnormally short fingers that are sometimes webbed or conjoined. Most children with symbrachydactyly have the “short finger” type in which the thumb is essentially normal but the remaining fingers are short, stiff and may be webbed. In other cases, only the thumb or the thumb and little finger are present. In more severe cases, all fingers are missing and small nubbins of skin and soft-tissue (little stumps) are located where the fingers would have developed. Research continues into further understanding why this happens.
This limb difference occurs in every 30,000 to 40,000 births. It’s not passed down in families (inherited). If you have a child with symbrachydactyly, you
are not at any greater risk of having another child with the condition.
Valentina has shown me that anything is possible and to never give up. She is my ultimate inspiration along with many others in her life. She has the confidence that I could only hope to have. She has opened my eyes to never take little things for granted let alone life. She has taught me patience and to enjoy life
no matter what comes your way. One of my favorite
characteristics about Vi is that she does everything 110 percent. The perfection she tries to achieve when painting her fingernails brings an instant smile to my face. Watching her play with barbies which is her favorite toy right now along with LOL surprise dolls between her two feet and uses her right hand to dress them shows me again how anything is possible. Her love for Starbucks and Target is strong and she is so persistent on changing her outfits atleast 10 times a day. She enjoys playing soccer and with her friends.
The one advice I would give to a parent is to come
up with a name with your child for their missing limb. Valentina picked the name Dory from when she just started learning to talk. She didn't want to name it Nemo because she said that was a boys name so that's how she came up with Dory. We let this be a tool to motivate and encourage Valentina and she will say, "come on Dory you can do it". A couple months ago Valentina wanted to throw Dory a birthday party and that's just what we did.
I hope parents make it a priority in life in teaching their children to accept everyone for who they are and that everyone is different. That it is not polite to point and stare at anyone no matter their differences. To respect other people and know your boundaries and don't touch someone because you are curious. I understand Vi looks different and were used to how people will take a second look and that's ok. It's ok to
ask questions. Valentina can answer for herself now and tells people that's how Jesus made her.
Valentina has a normal daily life like any other 5 year old. Of course there are some road blocks and things she can't physically do like the monkey bars at the play ground. There are things like tying her shoes that she gets frustrated that she doesn't know how to do but I tell her she is only 5 and that it takes lots of practice. She just accomplished zipping up her own coat and that was such a huge achievement for herself. She gets the occasional double takes and the mean kids comments but she has became a strong minded little girl. I know her future is bright and there will be hurdles along the way but she is a warrior and I can't wait to see what this brave little girl will do.
The Lucky Fin Project has been one of the greatest organizations who represent people with limb differences and someplace I can turn to for support. The founder had a daughter 12 years ago who was born with a hand difference and when she tried to find support systems there wasn't many out there. This so‐ cial media account Lucky Fin shares people and their stories and accomplishments from all over the world. Valentina will get so excited when she sees videos of other girls with limb differences put their hair in a pony tail and she knows one day that she will be able to.
Another organization we admire is SheLift. This organization was started by Sarah Herron. Sarah hasa limb difference and was previously on the Bachelor. She has used her platform to empower girls with physical differences to discover confidence through outdoor adventures and body-positive mentorship. Valentina and I will be attending her camp this summer in Park City, Utah. I can't wait for Valentina to be around other positive and inspiring girls and women and make lifetime memories.
Valentina Rose will forever be a fighting loving warrior and will continue to be my strength and happiness in this world. I will leave you with a final quote and hope others can find it inspiring as much I do
“A child being born with a limb difference is not tragic. It’s extremely important to show our children how capable & wonderfully made they are. If we treat them as flawed or limited that is who they will believe themselves to be- and that would be the tragedy.” -Molly Stapelman, founder of LuckyFin.