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Jacob modeling at the Gabany Photography studio - February 2005

Jacob at Sunday School - November 2004

Journey to Jacob

Daddy gives Jacob haircut - June 2004

Mama shows Jacob how to hit - December 2003

Another Gabany Photography shot - February 2005

On "Mickey's ears", Katy Kips Gymnastics - October 2004

Hair still not grown back in yet - September 2004

Looking out the window - September 2004

Playing in sandbox with friend, Victor's Casa Garcia - October 2004

At vacation bible school - July 2004

Jacob in his new pool - October 2004

At the playground - February 2005

"I want this big pumpkin!" - October 2004 

Jacob at Katy Kips Gymnastics - October 2004

Our “Journey to Jacob” seemed inevitable from the start. Wayne and I always knew we would have a son someday. Our son is named after his paternal grandpop and is the only one to carry on this branch of the Gabany family tree.

After committing to Victoria, we decided our family would not be complete without a son and so began the official “Journey to Jacob”.  We were given three referrals of infant/toddler boys that we declined before God brought Jacob to us. From the moment I saw his picture and video, I knew he was going to be our son. He was just four months old in our video and six months old when we were given the referral.

It is amazing how the connection happens when you see the child you know is yours. It was as if he was placed in my arms in the delivery room. Wayne, on the other hand, had a few reservations. I mention this so that those adoptive parents who happen to have questions can see how we resolved ours.

Wayne was concerned about Jacob's health. He thought Jacob appeared small in our video and (due to the poor quality of the video) appeared dark in skin tone. After much discussion and prayer, we decided to have a doctor in Russia give us their opinion. Fortunately, Jacob was in Moscow City and we immediately contacted Dr. Downing. Dr. Downing is a Canadian doctor living in Moscow and an expert on children in orphanages. We arranged for Dr. Downing to visit Jacob at baby home #23. However, Dr. Downing sent his associate, Dr, Natalia Belova to see Jacob.

We were extremely impressed with Dr. Belova and highly recommend her. She was able to do a thorough physical on our son and gave us a detailed report including his measurements taken monthly from his date of birth. She also included several things about his personality such as he was very social and attentive and very handsome! Dr. Belova was able to address Wayne's concerns and provide us with a lot more information that we may not have had an opportunity to get. Her assessment of Jacob was right on target in all areas. Click here for Dr. Downing's website.

We were able to meet Jacob while traveling through Moscow with our daughter (en route to the U S Embassy). It was both the best time in life and the worst time. Here we were celebrating the arrival of Victoria and Jacob, taking pictures and enjoying our children. But the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life was to leave my son in the orphanage. Imagine giving birth to your child and having to leave him in the hospital for six months without being able to visit him.

We had hoped to have both court dates coordinated while making one trip. However, the politics of adoption were not working in our favor. Jacob was seven months old when we visited him in January 2002. We were told that the babies had to be nine months old to be eligible for international adoption in Moscow City. So we had to leave and begin the terrible waiting and waiting. As March 6 finally arrived, I was on the phone with our agency. Unfortunately, things do not move as quickly in Russia as they do here.

Finally, we are told things are in order and anticipating an April travel date. Then we find out “the official in charge” of our case was on vacation for the entire month of April. Then comes May in Moscow 2002 when everything was shut down for the whole month while they try to sort out some new rules for adoption. The Tuesday after Memorial day we got THE CALL to make our flight arrangements for the next Sunday-four days notice!

Jacob's court day was the day before his first birthday. He came home at 12 months weighing 17.7 lbs and 27 inches tall. Just yesterday (October 27) we were at the doctor and he weighed 36 lbs in a sweat suit and was 35 inches tall. This is just a year and four months later.

I will share one more thing about motherhood. Don't ever let anyone second guess you. You know your child (adopted or bio) better than any doctor. We took Jacob to two pediatricians and told them he had been hospitalized in Russia with ear infections. He had multiple ear infections here. The doctors (and Wayne) all said give him time. He has only been here a few months. He heard only Russian for the first year of his life. Boys speak later than girls etc. I knew it was something else.

By January we saw an ENT and put tubes in Jacob's ears. The ENT commented that this baby certainly needed tubes. Since that time, we have had Project Tyke (Early Intervention in KISD, Katy, TX) working with his speech. Between Project Tyke and the tubes, Jacob's speech is completely caught up and he is actually ahead now. So, keep this in mind and better yet, after visiting your local IA doctor, take your child to an ENT for a complete evaluation.

We are so blessed to have added two children to our family that are bright, very intelligent, full of personality, loving and well bonded to us. There is no question we were always meant to be a family and God is present in our family and we are filled with love and blessings. We know what it means in Psalms 23 because our “cup runneth over”!

Riding bicycle - December 2003

Jacob going to his office - February 2005

At Chuch E Cheese on his 3rd. birthday - June 2004

Driving his Kubota tractor - January 2004

Playing at home - September 2004

Hair all gone! - June 2004

All wet at the church picnic - October 2004

Jacob in the Pumpkin Patch - October 2004

At High Star Christmas Tree Farm - December 2004

For more pages about Jacob follow the links below: