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Journey to Adopt Joshua Gabriel

Guatemala Adoption Story:
Journey to Adopt Joshua Gabriel

A perfect child.  A normal child.  What is perfect?  And what is normal?  Who of us is perfect or completely normal?  Who is the judge of that?  My name is Tracy Adams.  My husband and I are the parents of nine children.  We have three biological daughters and six beautiful boys through adoption.

adopting from guatemalaThis is our story of how we came to adopt from Guatemala.  My husband and I had thought that after our last adoption God was through blessing us with children.  But, then a year and a half ago he began to prick our heart once more.  My husband and I felt very strongly that this time our child would have special needs.  Does “special needs” mean the child isn’t perfect?  I don’t believe so.

This is the story of how our son, Joshua Gabriel came into our lives.  His adoption was completed on June 12th 2007 and he arrived home to the USA on July 1st, 2007.  He was diagnosed with dwarfism, but as of yet we don’t know what type it is, as there exists over 200 varying types of dwarfism.  He is two years old and he is perfectly beautiful, perfectly amazing, a perfect delight, a perfect blessing and perfectly ours.  A perfect fit to our family.

Our journey to adopt Gabriel began as I was online at an adoption group that I had recently joined.  A family that was in the process of adopting Gabriel changed their minds and sent out a plea online for a new family to adopt him.  Apparently, if Gabriel didn’t have a family soon, the attorney would be forced to return him to the orphanage.  I immediately contacted Sandy Roberts at Kids To Adopt and told her that we were the family for Gabriel!

For months we received many beautiful pictures of Gabriel.  During this time, I thought and thought about how I could help him face this big world with his short stature with pride and self confidence.  In April I decided to travel to Guatemala and visit my little boy.  They placed Gabriel in my arms and I thought my heart would break in two.

It seemed that Gabriel had other issues other than his physical delays.  He was 20 month old and could not roll over, crawl, or even raise his head up, much less get up on his hands and knees.  He could barely sit up for more than a few minutes before falling over.  He did not know how to eat off of a spoon and had a mouth full of teeth that he didn’t know how to use.  Most of the time he looked off into space as if there was nobody in the room.  It was very difficult to get him to grin and he only smiled when he heard a very loud noise, something that would frighten most young children.  We had not been given any indication that Gabriel had any other problems and I became a little frightened on what this meant for his future and ours.

Did this worry change our minds about adopting him?  No.  He had already found a place in our hearts and was there to stay.

Although the first day visiting Gabriel was very difficult, the next few days improved drastically.  I worked with him on how to eat with a spoon, and noticed how he began to focus more and not gaze off into the distance as much.  We watched children’s television, and slowly his eyes followed the characters on the screen.  I saw reactions to colors, and he began to bounce in tune to music.  Slowly it became clear to me that the mental delays I thought were so serious were due to an environmental lack of stimulation and what Gabriel needed to thrive was a loving family and home.

Soon it was time to leave, which was very difficult.  I had a hard time leaving the country and not taking my little boy home with me!  But, God is good!  We were able to return to Guatemala at the end of June and bring him home July 1st.

Gabriel has been home with us for two months now.  It is amazing to see his improvement from when I saw him in April.  He now rolls across the floor to get where he wants to be.  He also can lie on his stomach and push up on his hands with his head in the air.  He can support his body weight on his legs if he is holding onto our hands.  He has learned to sign “more” when he wants more food.  He has learned so many new sounds.  He has definitely found his voice!

picture of adopted boy from guatemalaI cannot tell you how rewarding it is to see him accomplish so much and to see how excited he gets. I feel so honored to be his mother.

It has been a wonderful experience to work along side Kids to Adopt. And we are so thankful for the foundation who granted scholarship grants for the boys that allowed us to bring them into our family.

Lastly, I implore anyone out there whose heart has been touched for these very special children, but are afraid to take that leap of faith.  Don’t be!  God will not give you more than you can handle if He has put this on your heart.  I cannot imagine missing out on the blessing that is Gabriel.  And I cannot bear to think of what would have happened to him if he had been sent back to the orphanage.

We still have one more son, Eli, in Guatemala, that we are in the process of adopting.  He has a bilateral cleft lip and plate.  He is an amazing boy as well and we cannot wait to bring him home.  But, that is a story for another time.  Any prayers you can send up for our adoption of Eli would be wonderful!

May God bless all the families who may read our story! ~ Tracy and Larry

Adoption Story submitted by Tracy and Larry