Gigi of Families Blossoming
Gigi Khonyongwa-Fernandez

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Personal Stuff:

What should you know about me other than I believe deeply in the dynamic capability of people (i.e. you) to change their lives for the better?

I suppose you should know that I’m warm, personable and a good listener (to both what you say and don’t say), likes hugs over handshakes and value good eye contact, genuine connections, honesty and a belly-shaking laugh! My immediate family consists of  my amazing and funny son, born extremely premature at 24 weeks, who is legally blind and my life-long teacher as well as my European husband (Spain) who can make the most mundane thing animated.

I have also mastered the ability to go to the gym every day in my dreams without ever leaving my bed! Fluent in English, conversational in Spanish and terrible in Braille. Although I work with a number of organizations, individuals and groups, my specialty area is preemie and special needs parents, what I call a ‘special parent’. If you’re reading this, it’s highly likely that you are a special parent too. This makes us connected in a way that’s difficult to explain…yet easy to feel.

Being a Coach for Special Parents

As a Professional Coach (click here to view my Professional credentials and memberships) ~ and most importantly as a ‘special parent’ myself, I help other special parents find their voices ~ and themselves ~ again.

Using proven coaching techniques, sprinkled with a little dash of ‘Gigi-ness’, I support parents to start thinking and living outside of the box of prematurity that life has put them in and become less anxious and more empowered both as a parent and person.

My style is warm, friendly, open, honest & positive – with a big dose of laughter – and I am passionate about supporting other preemie and special needs parents along their unique and often challenging journey. I listen well, both to what you say and what you don’t say and will gently challenge you to move you towards who you truly want to become and where you really want to be.

Together we will walk YOUR walk and create the life you want to live both as a person and as a parent, in the midst of the many challenges you face. Your story as a special parent will be the foundation and source of your transformation. Special parents can easily lose themselves as they care for their child. I know this and so do you….but it doesn’t have to be.

So if you are ready to change directions and start to fully embrace, re-energise or maybe even re-write your viewpoint on your life again, I am ready too. Contact me here today.

Find the Support You Need: Free Monthly Tips | Coaching 1:1 | Special Parents ~ Special Solutions | 20min Chat

Being a Special Parent

Being Alejandro’s mother gives me a unique perspective, shall I say a ‘knowing-ness’ and sense of empathy that is essential to understanding you & helping you move forward.

My story began in 2006 when our son Alejandro entered this world at 24 weeks gestation weighing a whopping 645 grams (a little over a pound)! He was the size of my hand and simultaneously filled my heart with deep love and strong fear. I felt completely and utterly lost, alone and overwhelmed.

After almost 6 months living (literally) in the NICU, a host of post-op surgeries, NICU readmissions, setbacks and steps forward, Alejandro is an amazing and happy little boy. He’s had and continues to have a number of challenges from being a micro-preemie, but the main one is that he’s legally blind due to him developing progressive Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) while in the NICU, which was non-responsive to treatment. He also has mild to moderate developmental delays…but Alejandro explores and truly embraces life despite of or maybe because of these special needs ~ all with an infectious giggle. He truly is the inspiration behind me creating Families Blossoming LLC.

Alejandro

Professional and Personal Roads That Lead Me to Coaching

Professionally, I hold a credentialed ACC Certified Coach status from The International Coach Federation (ICF) ~ a designation earned by having hundreds of hours of coaching clients’ experience and successfully passing a rigorous examination. ICF is the recognized leading global organization committed to advancing and preserving the high standards of the coaching profession.

Prior to that, I had other professional lives ~ initially as a Neuro Occupational Therapist and worked in this field for several years in the USA (several states) and UK (London), holding both clinical and management roles. I then began doing project management, still within the healthcare field in the UK, as well as continued to further my education, obtaining my MSc in Health, Population and Society from The London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE).  Lastly, I received my Diploma in Personal Performance Coaching (Distinction) from The Coaching Academy (UK). I am a member of the Washington D.C. metro ICF Chapter and, as mentioned above, a credentialed member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

Personally, aside from now being primarily known as Alejandro’s mum, I am also married to an incredibly wonderful man. He and I ~ and our marriage ~ were tested on every level with Alejandro’s prematurity and  subsequent special needs and everything else that came along with it.

My life’s view had been to always look at the glass half full rather than half empty but Alejandro’s extremely early birth via emergency C-section challenged this view in every way. We had entered this strange, abnormal and surreal world of prematurity – a place few parents even know exists, let alone think they will go there. Alejandro’s and our journey has been both frightening and heartwarming and characterized by huge highs and incredible lows on a minute by minute basis, which gradually changed to a daily basis……. and then back to minute by minute! We soon realized though, that these extreme highs and lows continued long after you have left the NICU – sometimes they were directly related to your little one – but often times they were in reference to yourself, your relationships, your ability to cope, your work, your inner feelings and beliefs, your own anxieties, your overall health, etc. You never really get over the effects of becoming a special parent but you learn to live through it.

I’ve always had a strong desire to help other people get better in a myriad of ways, and this continues in my desire to help you not just live through prematurity and special needs, but to shine and thrive through it.My goal is helping you move forward with hope, clarity and direction! Contact me today ~ I’m looking forward to beginning your amazing journey with you!

 

Gigi Khonyongwa-Fernandez

“I know God will not give my anything I can’t handle. I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.” – Mother Teresa

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