Saturday, September 10, 2011

Gabby at Age Zero

Christmas in February

Mother's Day 2004

First Family Vacation Myrtle Beach

See her cute little fangs!

Gabby at Age Zero!

I find myself having a hard time remembering every detail about our sweet angel Gabby. Shane says it because I am trying to remember every detail all at once. It is almost like I am seeing her as multiple people at different ages. So I thought I would try to jot down memories of Gabby at each age. According to Gabby, if you hadn't turned one yet, you were zero. She would often say "when I was zero...." which I thought was so cute. Tucker does it now also. I was so blessed by the past 8 years. I hope those 8 years can last me the rest of my life. I do believe she really was an angel from the start.

Here are some of the many memories and highlights of Gabby's life at age Zero!

During the first 8 months of Gabby's life, she lived in Guatemala with her foster family. Gabby was born June 4, 2003. We received the phone call from our agency on June 6th at 6:07pm. For the first 4.5 months, we received pictures, videos, sent care packages, shopped, met other adoptive parents online through our agency's message boards. It was an exciting time but also a scary time. Adoptions from Guatemala had been halted since before Gabby was born. Court battles were going on to determine whether PGN (like the Attorney General in Guatemala that approves all adoptions) could halt and even disallow adoptions or not. When we got the call the Gabby was born, we jumped in and immediately accepted our referral of our beautiful daughter knowing she may never come home. Then September 2003, the courts ruled....what the PGN was doing was unconstitutional....and babies started coming Home! At that point, we decided...we must go visit Gabby.

So on October 23, 2003, we boarded the plane for Guatemala. I remember praying...if the plane must crash, please don't crash on the flight to Guatemala but on the flight back home. If I can just see my baby girl I will be the happiest person in the world. Thankfully we arrived in Guatemala safely. In the photo album I made for her, here is what I said..."I can not put into words our feeings that day. You were absolutely perfect! So sweet, so happy. All our dreams were finally coming true. You are the most beautiful baby we have ever seen. We were worried you would be scared since you had never seen us before and we spoke English with a southern accent that even those who speak English can't understand. But you weren't scared at all. You showed no signs of nervousness. In fact, about two minutes after our foster mom left you with us, you were fast asleep in Daddy's arms....I will never forget my first bottle as a mommy. You loved your formula and liked it warm. After the bottle, you fell asleep on me. I didn't want this moment to end." It was a wonderful trip. We were able to visit Gabby for 3 full days. Leaving her was one of the hardest things ever I had ever least that is what I thought then. Now I know life does get so much harder.

After returning home, we focused on getting ready for Gabby's homecoming. And in January 2004, we received word that Gabby was coming home. We again boarded the plane on January 31st. Again...Gabby was perfect in every way. She was so happy and we loved her more than life itself. She had grown so much in 3 months. Things I remember most was that she loved to be held, loved to smile, liked blowing rasberries, loved to chatter, liked to swing through the air and absolutely loved to hold onto your finger and rock back and forth. And her favorite show was Spanish.

On February 6, 2004, we arrive home at Tri-Cities Airport. We had so many friends there to greet us. It had to be the happiest day of my life. It was no long me and Shane but we finally had a family. And Gabby wasn't just part of our family...she was our family. She ruled the house. One thing our social worker worried with adoptive families is that they spoil their kids too much and we were no exception. What Gabby wanted...Gabby got.

In Guatemala, babies are normally bundled in multiple layers of clothing. And the lowest it ever gets is "all the way down to 50 degrees" according to our Guatemalan tour guide. So it was a shock to her system to see snowed very soon after we got home. We kept our live Christmas tree up until she got home. It actually moved from room to room as we were building on a play room and putting down hard wood floors. But by the time she was home, the room was done and the not so fresh Christmas tree was in place and ready to us to take pictures...we didn't turn on the light though in fear we would have to call the fire department.

Things that I remember most about Gabby at Age Zero:

  • She liked to love on people

  • She learned how to do the cutest piggy noise which Daddy was never able to do himself

  • She didn't crawl the normal way...she did a "crabby crawl". She would sit and use her hands to pull herself forward and around the room.

  • She love the Jumperoo and would jump until she was sweating

  • She loved being held

  • Her name actually fit her at this age...she loved to jabber, blow kisses, blow rasberries

  • If you said "lay your little head down" Gabby would would lay on the floor with her bottom in the air and her face on the floor

  • If we said "no" to Gabby, it would hurt her feeling so bad. She would start bawling

  • Your first trip was to Myrtle Beach just before you turned one. She loved the sand, the pool, and we had one memorable moment at the Captain's Plank Restaurant :)

Oh how I wish I could go back and give you a bottle again. Gabby, you were the sweetest little baby. How I wish so much I could go back to 2003 and do it all again. Most things I would leave exactly the same. I would just do a little more of everything that was good...and a little less sweating the small stuff...I love you with all by heart Gabby and I will miss you each and every day of my life. You were the answer to so many prayers. I cried and longed to have a baby just like you and I am so thankful to call you my daughter You truly blessed our lives each and every day.


  1. Becky - I think you are right, she was an angel from the start. Her pictures are precious and happy. Hopefully you can continue to celebrate her life and the joy that she brought to your family, I am certain that is easier said than done.

    Hugs to you and your family Becky...

  2. Wow, what a beautiful baby girl!!

    1. I have read your posts over the past year on FB. Only today did I venture here in response to reading about the race this weekend. I will continue to pray your family. It is obvious that she brought you all much joy and her memory will continue to do so until you meet again in our Father's house. Sending my love. Melanie Fagan.

  3. what a beautiful baby she was at age zero! What a beautiful recap of her story. She was truly a gift from God