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I am told that our adoption story is somewhat unconventional. To me it is the same as every other story written by our God when His people answer a call He has placed on their life – an exciting, epic tale filled with grace, love, sadness, faith, frustration and hope.

Before our home study was even completed here in Indiana, we were chosen to be the parents of twin girls through Adoption by Shepherd Care, which is an agency in Florida that Gateway Woods partners with. God works fast when He needs to, but our family wasn’t quite ready for Him to work that fast, especially in the area of finances! In less than one week, God provided $25,000 and the wonderful staff at Gateway Woods finished our home study quickly. We traveled to Florida and met our new daughters, Macy Jean and Gaby Hope.

Gaby’s story is a long and detailed one that is still being written even as she now lives in Heaven with Jesus. Our entire journey with Gaby can be read at our family blog,www.brownstreeintheforest.blogspot.com, but I would love to share a little of it here with you. We are blessed that Macy is now a healthy, happy little girl and she brings our family much joy as we see God working in her life, even at such a young age. Gaby was born on January 19, 2010, and entered the world physically fighting to live. She was seven weeks premature, had congenital heart disease-hypoplastic right heart, lung disease, gastrointestinal issues, and many other medical complications. But these conditions were just what she fought against, not what defined her.

Gaby was a stubborn little girl. She only liked those she chose to like and yelled at everyone else. Thankfully for us, she loved her family. She was precious. Her delicate hands were probably my favorite thing that God created on her little body. They were so sweet. One of our family’s treasured items is a mold of her hand that some sweet nurses at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Indianapolis made for us. Looking at it and touching it makes me smile.

Gaby spent six of her seven months on earth in hospitals. Our family came to know and love many special people during our times at those facilities. In the end, God blessed us with 37 busy, hectic and crazy days at our home in Fort Wayne with Gaby. Looking back, I wish I had cherished them more. They were special days filled with family, fun, and love.

Gaby went from my arms to the arms of Jesus on August 12, 2010. Our family of six is now working through the grieving process of losing a daughter and sister. We covet your prayers of protection over our entire family. There are many dark days behind us, but we continue to cling to the eternal hope we have through Christ, eternal life in Heaven with Him and our Gaby! Until that time comes, we will honor the One who gave her to us and continue to thank Him for the gift of Gaby Hope.

-Shelley Brown, Adoptive Parent