The Answer for Jaime and Be The Answer for Gabriel

27 11 2010

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The Adoption Story of Our Son Gabriel Robert

I was adopted and my husband and I have always felt the calling to adopt.  We chose to adopt from Guatemala because I speak Spanish and have spent time living and traveling in Latin America.  Our son Fernando Gabriel (who we would name Gabriel Robert) was born in August of 2006 and we received his referral in October 2006.  We fell in love immediately and prayed daily for our beautiful son.  In January, we learned that Gabriel had been hospitalized over Christmas, that he had a heart defect and possible neurological issues.  Our agency asked us if we wanted to continue with the adoption – to which we answered, “of course – he is our son!”  This was a difficult time of great concern and uncertainty and reliance on our Faith in God as we were here in Iowa and our son was thousands of miles away in Guatemala.  We were in communications with local pediatricians, a pediatric cardiologist, an international adoption doctor, and our adoption agency – trying desperately to ensure that Gabriel was receiving the care he needed until we were able to bring him home.  In February of 2007 he legally became our son and we made plans to travel to Guatemala to bring him home.  We were over the moon!   But we soon learned that God had other plans.  On March 5th, just two short days before we were to board the airplane, our precious son passed away.  Our hearts were broken – and have never been the same since.  Below is the post we wrote in our blog about the loss of our son.

3/6/2007 – Our Angel Gabriel is in Heaven

We received the very sad news that our baby Gabe became very ill on Sunday and was hospitalized.  His little heart wasn’t able to sustain his life any longer and he went to be in Jesus’ arms in Heaven at 11:50pm on Monday, March 5th. Our son fought very hard to be with us and we would have moved heaven and earth to bring him home, but it was God’s plan for Gabriel to be with Him in Heaven.   Although he didn’t officially become our son in the eyes of the law until February 22nd, he became our son in our hearts the day we accepted his referral on October 10, 2006.  Our love grew for him immensely over the past 5 months and our arms ached to hold him.  Gabriel is now in the arms of Jesus, and although we all miss him and will miss knowing him, we take comfort in the knowledge that he is truly home.  He has been adopted into God’s home and is with his Forever Father in heaven – free from pain, free from suffering, and free from worry and care of any kind. We thank God for Gabe’s wonderful foster mother and entire foster family who we learned were with him at the hospital.  If this was God’s time for Gabriel to return home to heaven, we are glad that he was able to be with and comforted by the only family he has known.

Gabriel’s final earthly resting place will be in his homeland of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala – where he lived with his foster family.  We have heard that the cemetery in Quetzaltenango (or ‘Xela’ – pronounced Shay-la) is very beautiful and is located on a hill overlooking the city.

We thank everyone for their constant prayers for baby Gabriel and our family.  Our very special little guy was so blessed to have an army of people loving him and praying him home.   In Gabriel’s memory, we ask that you please continue to pray for all of the little children in Guatemala and around the world who are waiting to be united with a loving family.  May God watch over them and keep them in his care just as he did for our baby Gabriel.

We say to Gabriel ‘Te amo y nos vemos en el cielo’ which means ‘We love you and we’ll see you in heaven’.

The Adoption Story of Our Son Jaime Gabriel

After the loss of our son Gabriel, we still felt a very strong calling to grow our family through adoption.  It was very clear to us that this is what Gabe would have wanted us to do and what God was calling us to do.  Our hearts were in Guatemala and we knew that the country was thinking about closing their doors to adoption, so if we were to try to bring our child home from there, we had to act immediately, not wait.  So while working through our grief, we also worked to start another adoption.  We had to begin the entire adoption process over again – new dossier, new paperwork, new finances, new everything – but God gave us the strength and we were undeterred.  In April of 2007, we received the referral of our son Jaime Fernando (whom we named Jaime Gabriel).   The story of his name still gives us goosebumps – it’s definitely

a ‘God Thing’.  The name Jaime means “he who takes the place of” so his name literally means “he who takes the place of Fernando” (our son Gabriel’s birthname was Fernando Gabriel).  Jaime will never take the place of Gabriel.  Both of our children hold a unique and special place in our hearts.  But Jaime gave us hope for the future and we know that God has wonderful plans for this very loving little boy!  Jaime came home to us forever in October of 2007 and has blessed our lives in more ways than we can possibly count.   And three months later on January 19, 2008, our family was doubly-blessed by the birth of our biological son Carson Alexander.  (Please do not use our story to tell other families – “see, if you adopt, you’ll become pregnant!”  Yes, it can happen, but it is not common and infertility was not the reason we chose to adopt.)  All three of our sons are the most beautiful blessings to us and our family.  And Jaime and Carson bring unbelievable joy to our home each and every day.  They love each other dearly, along with the normal fighting that brothers do.  And they know that they have a brother Gabe who is in heaven.  When asked if they have a brother, they’ll proudly point to his picture among our family photos on our mantel and say, “that’s our baby Gabe!”   And one night when I was tucking our 3-year-old Jaime in to bed, he looked me squarely in the eyes and said, “Mommy, there are babies who do not have Mommies.  You are a Mommy – you can help them?”  So, God, are you planting another seed of adoption in our hearts?

Be The Answer For Children like Gabriel and Jaime all around the world by becoming a fan of the Families For Orphans Coalition Facebook Page. Once you’ve become a fan- Invite 5 of your friends to be a fan as well!

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