Thanks to this little boy, I would like to say "I saw God today." Gabe Marini has Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) and though he is two years old, he can't do hardly anything a "normal" two year old would be able to.
Let me back up just a bit. I recieved an e-mail from Gabe's momma, Rachel, a few weeks ago. She came across my blog about a year ago and has been a silent follower :D However, she introduced herself, hoping to do a shoot with her extended family. You see, her in-laws are medical missionaries in Africa and they were in town for just a bit. They don't have many opportunities to get pictures of them all together. Of course I was thrilled to have the chance to shoot them!
Rachel seemed ever-so-sweet in her emails and I looked at her blog and got to know her a little better. But oh my, I was no expecting to be so touched by this family. I think I was in a bit of a "spiritual shellshock" when I met them in person. Gabe was hooked up to about four machines with chords and lights and lots of "beeps." Rachel greeted me with a huge, beautiful, glowing smile. She is so beautiful. I definitely saw God through her smile. Children were running all around, it was too cold for Gabe outside and his monitors were low on battery, yet she was so peaceful and warm. She loves her family, oh she loves them.
She loves Gabe so much. He can't tell her "thank you" right now. Someday, though. Someday in the glorious paradise that Jesus has prepared, she will get to hear Gabe thank her. All the years, tears, sleepless nights and exhausting days will be over! She will be rewarded! Her work will have been so worth it when her baby boy is in a new, perfect body and he is enjoying heaven! What a marvelous thought!
Rachel, well done! I don't think you know how much you have affected me. I re-wrote this post so many times trying to make it right, and words just keep failing me. I so respect you and so want to be like you. I hope that as I grow older people will leave meeting me, the way I felt meeting you. You are such a light to a watching world! And so is your son, husband and beautiful little girls :D
Also, to the Grandma and Grandpa :D THANK you for what you are doing in Africa. I'm honestly speechless. I know that I don't have the character do what you do. I pray you feel the Lord's pleasure!
One last picture - this is Rachel's brother-in-law and family :D Aren't they super cute?!?!
Thank you thank you thank you for welcoming me into your home and for helping me love my Savior more! You all are so wonderful!