Saturday, June 29, 2013

Bicycle Bicycle Bicycle

Jens Voigt, a professional German bicyclist once said "When my legs hurt, I say: "Shut up legs! Do what I tell you to do!""

I think that Jens Voigt statement is a summary of Gabe's life.  Nothing physical that Gabe does comes easy but he doesn't complain, he doesn't stop he just continues to persevere.  Standing, walking and riding a bike come so easily to most but for Gabe it's a fight.  It's a fight to get his brain to cooperate and learn the motor planning, it's a fight to get his muscles to work against his tone and move in a useful manner.  It's a battle that Gabe is winning. 

You may just see these video's as a little boy learning to ride a tricycle.  But me, I get lost in watching him place his feet on the pedals, point to air planes and keep his balance and doing an activity that other little kids do.  Like so many other times when I look at Gabriel I see God's goodness and grace all over him. 

Gabe bike from Meredith LaGorga on Vimeo.

Riding a Bike from Meredith LaGorga on Vimeo.

It's hard to watch these videos and not be inspired.... it's also impossible for me to not hear the Bicycle Race lyrics from Queen in my head [Smile].

Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle

I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like

*And yes I know Gabe needs a helmet :)

Friday, June 28, 2013

This Boy

This boy here, he keeps me on my toes, laughing and loving life.

Playing Angry Birds with blocks and mini-Toy Story figurines.  I have a love-hate relationship with these blocks.  I love them because they're fun and educational.  I hate them because Gabe could play Angry Birds for 3 hours and still ask to play again. 

To add to the laughter, Gabe now calls his mini-Toy Story figurines "piggy Buzz," "piggy Jessie," and "piggy Woody."  Be sure to note, if we're not playing Angry Birds, you can not call them piggy.  It just doesn't work that way. 

Gabe recently found his Buddy doll.  He hasn't played with it since we moved from Texas and it was way too precious to see him introduce "Buddy baby" to "Buddy" from Dinosaur Train. 

Their meeting was filled with hugs, kisses and a lot of muffled laughter from this mama!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Adoption & Life Song for Orphans

This months moment from Life Song for Orphans is about adoption.  Nothing gets my heart beating faster than a way to help orphans find their way into forever families.  Read on to hear more about what Life Song for Orphans is doing to help orphans and their adoptive families:

13-6 MM Email

"God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure." Ephesians 1:5 (NLT)


Adoption. One of the most beautiful pieces of the Gospel. An all-powerful and loving Father God chose us, in our sinfulness, to be His sons and daughters. Does it get any better than that? The fact that we, as Christians, can replicate this relationship in our own families to tell the Gospel through our lives is an complete honor and joy.


"WE SAID YES TO ADOPTION"   Andy & Laura's Story

Andy and Laura, adoptive parents of Eli from Ethiopia shared how God provided every step of the way, crushing fears and showing that HE is faithful to finish what He starts.

Part of God's provision came from Lifesong and its partner, Legacy 685 Adoption Fund, helping this family financially with a matching grant and funding support.



Meet Volodya and Lyliya, one of the many Ukrainian families blessed by Adoption without Borders, an initiative that intentionally links like-minded families and churches in the USA with Christian families in Ukraine who are seeking to adopt.  

awob pictures MM

"(Adoption is) the deepest evangelism we can provide, to dedicate our lives to bringing children to the Lord. Our biggest dream is that all of our children would commit their lives to God." --Volodya & Lyliya, adoptive parents of five Ukrainian children 



Because of your support, the families above have been able to give a forever family to a child in need. Are you looking for ways to join the cause? What you could do:


How Could We Not? -  Erik & Erin's adoption story is unique, but beautiful as they stepped in to help a family member in need by providing Austin with a stable and secure family. Read Full Story

Worth the Wait - Guest blog post from Jeff & Rachel,  adoptive parents of Kate from Ethiopia. Read Full Story

God Creates Family from Strangers - Sharon, adoptive mom, shares her heart of on an ordinary day four months after bringing Asrate into their forever family.  Read Full Story

US Churches impacting Ukrainian families! - Three US churches wrap around a Ukrainian family to ensure home repairs where finished soadoption could be complete. Read Full Story

"I know you guys!" - Read as Robert & Alexis share about meeting their son Jacob for the very first time. Read Full Story

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Saying Goodbye

A few weeks ago we said goodbye to someone who is an integral part of Gabriel's miracle.  The fact that we forwent doctors in Texas and flew back to Ohio every 3 months to see him is a testimony to what a fabulous doctor he is.  Dr. R is so fabulous that the Cleveland Clinic has given him an assignment to be part of a team of doctors starting a clinic outside of Dubai.  They want to bring the world renowned care of the Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute to people whom have never had access to good eye care.  We are so proud of our Dr. R but so sad to see him go.  Like hugs and tears kind of sad at Gabe's last appointment.  Dr. R is a one in  million doctor and I'm struggling with the fact that someone else will be in charge of Gabe's eye care. 
Gabe has come along way since his first appointment with Dr. R.  He was 2 weeks old, slept through most of the appointment and screamed through the rest. 
He's come along way from here: 

 Dr. Rychwalski, 
We were so blessed to have you on Gabe's care team from Day 16 to now.  It's rare to find a doctor who truly advocates for what's best for your child, even if it's not the norm.  You will be missed.  

The slight silver lining of the situation is that Dr. R will probably come back every 3-4 months while they're getting the clinic started.  He has 4 "special kiddos" as he calls them who's cases are so unique that if at all possible he will see.  Thankfully Gabe is one of those 4, so our goodbye may be temporary for now. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Gabe's 1st Sleepover

Gabriel had his first 'sleep over' this weekend.  My BFF and her hubby had a wedding to attend so we had the privilege of keeping their little guy, Eli aka Eyi aka Gabe's BFF for the weekend.  So while Gabe's cousins have spent the night this was his first official friend sleepover.  However, I'm not entirely sure if it constitutes a true sleep over if they slept in separate rooms, Eli was in bed by 6:45 and Gabe fell asleep on the floor shortly after, about 7:10. 
Nevertheless, we had so much fun. After a few hours of good old fashion train table, dinosaur, block building fun, we headed to watch Gabe's cousin Caleb's baseball game.  Gabe and Eli enjoyed some fresh watermelon, playing with rocks and some giggles. 

A brief stop at Home Depot led to some cart/buggy races and then we headed home.  Trying their hand at golf, blowing bubbles and playing on the slide took up the rest of the afternoon until supper time. 

After supper was more train and dinosaur fun, then it was time to get ready for bed.  Gabe was  thrilled that his pajama's matched Eli's.  After a quick hug, some book ready (and too many attempts to get a cute picture of these silly boys, it was time for Eli to go to bed.

Usually Gabe goes to bed at 8:00.  After a few minutes of the play room being a little too quiet, Matt and I looked in there and saw this:

Gabe tuckered out on the floor, glasses still on.  Playing with Eli all day certainly wore Gabe out!

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Today is a day that will forever be burned in my mind.  

When Miss Shannon (Gabe's physical therapist) asked me to come back into the therapy room I was excited to see what he was going to show me.  I could have never anticipated what I witnessed.  I am so thankful I had the fortitude to decide to video it. 

Gabe walking!! from Meredith LaGorga on Vimeo.

I was texting Sondra after showing her the video and we were both in tears over Gabe's walking.  Here's my text to her "Honestly, I thought it'd be years before he'd take steps independently, if ever.  It was so beautiful and He is so good."

Oh ye of little faith. 

But here's the caveat... if Gabe never walked independently, that would be okay.  As his parents, all we want for him is for him to love Jesus and grow up to be all that he can be.  It's his drive and never-stop-working attitude combined with awesome therapists and God's amazing grace that allows us to continue to witness these miracles. 

My heart is so full.  Another Gabe sized miracle just knocked me off my feet.  God and Gabe.  They sure showed us.  BAM!

June 20, 2013...  I will never forget this date.

Sweet Gabriel boy, I hope you know how proud Daddy and Mommy are of you.   We hope you're proud of yourself too.  You are the strongest, bravest boy we know and are amazed at how hard you work.  We love you.  Always. And to infinity and beyond.

Thankful Thursday Volume 8

Today I am thankful for a stranger.  A gentlemen whose name I will never know but broke the rules and allowed Gabe to have fun.  Fun that I firmly believe, every child despite their abilities should be able to participate in. 

Let me digress.  Gabe loves slides.  When we lived in Houston we were at the park multiple times a week, if not daily, to climb up the climber and slide down the slide.  His love for slides hasn't changed despite the fact he's not on one everyday.

Enter the Fish Festival.  There were quite a few activities for kids to do on Sunday when we were there but not many Gabe could actively participate in.  He wasn't interested in winning prizes and honestly, his motor skills probably would negate any prize except for the obligatory consolation prize.  And we do not need any more junk in this house!  Gabe became interested in one of those large trampolines to jump on but upon hearing the hydraulics that allow the child to jump higher, I knew that would not sit well with Gabe. 

Then we saw the slide.  He'd done a slide like that at the Cuyahoga County Fair almost 2 years ago and had loved the large slide at the I-X Indoor Amusement Park this past winter so I figured he'd like it.  We walked over and then I saw the sign.  The sign that said only people that could climb up the stairs themselves would be allowed to slide down.  I felt like I was sucker punched.  Gabe can climb stairs; sturdy stairs at home but I couldn't imagine him being able to make it up the bounce house type steps that led to the top of the slide. 

I nudged Matt and asked him to go talk to the man running the slide.  I have no idea what Matt said to him but the result was this:

1st time down the slide:

 Smile after 1st time:

2nd time down the slide:

3rd time down the slide:

I didn't get his name but I will always be thankful that Gabe was given the opportunity to be just like every other child at the festival; time just to be a kid!