GRM Memorial Down Syndrome Adoption Fund
This year my sweet baby girl would be turning five! We had a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome and severe congenital heart defects when I was about 22 weeks pregnant. Our little Gabby was our 3rd child and was born in July of 2009...amazing, beautiful, and perfect. She touched so many lives while she was here on Earth. She was adored by her big sisters who helped care for her every day. I was so thrilled to be her mother and her advocate! I knew I could never deserve such a gift, but I was determined to do all I could to try. Gabby was very loved by friends, family, and church family. She taught us all so much about unconditional love and acceptance.
Sadly, severe and rare complications developed after her open-heart surgery. She died in my arms, two days later. She was almost 4.5 mos old. My life was forever changed by her life and by her death. Since her passing, I have spent many hours advocating for babies and children with Down syndrome and heart defects. I have counseled many expectant mothers facing a possible or confirmed DS diagnosis. I have provided them with info about resources available to them.
Having struggled with many years of infertility and the loss of a child, I have an extreme appreciation for the gift of life. Many expectant mothers with a confirmed Down syndrome diagnosis choose to terminate. Many also choose adoption. Many families are waiting to adopt children with Down syndrome. This is something so near and dear to my heart. There were never any fundraisers for my daughter even though I had wanted to take her to a better hospital for her surgery and could not afford the medical care out of state. My family has been through a lot. I have gone on to have two more children and I continue to be a strong advocate for babies and children with DS. Adoption is also something I have considered so many times over the years....more specifically Down syndrome adoption. In memory of my little Gabby and in celebration of her 5th birthday, I am starting the Gabrielle Rae Merrick Memorial Down Syndrome Adoption Grant Fund to help aid families that want to adopt a child with DS but have some financial challenges. Please give in memory of my baby girl. This would be an amazing way to keep her memory alive and help some wonderful families and babies at the same time.
I have been praying for you and for your adoptive family. May God continue to bless this fund!
I have not forgotten you! I have been very busy, trying to work and take care of all my little ones. But I am keeping you in my prayers. I am praying that this fund will grow and that God will help us find you and your forever family. I can't help but miss my Gabby when I think of you, Baby G. I miss her smile, her giggle, her soft hair....so many things about her. But those memories inspire me to keep praying and keep believing that God will use Gabby's story to help you, Baby G.....and hopefully many more babies that have "designer genes."
I love your story ! I do not even know you but as a mother of 4 who is also fostering a 17 yr old and saving for adoption of a beautiful baby with ds I am so touched by this and am now following you in fb although I'm saving for my own adoption fund please expect a donation in a few days ! My parents adopted me and my twin brothers 20 yrs ago I have spent my life volunteering my time with my children for special needs events and have started fostering for the first time at 22 and 27 my husband and I have decided we want to adopt a child with special needs because God has blessed us so much with our children we want to bless another child !! Don't give up ! Your story is.still being shared and your daughter still touching lives ! God bless your family !
So thankful I got to spend so much time with Gabby. I think somehow she knows how much we loved her and maybe has memories of her earthly GOOD times. No memories of anything unpleasant, of course, just all who loved her and cared for her and took time to cherish her. I know she's playing in Heaven everyday. Her now 3 year old brother, Lincoln, told me last week as we were discussing clouds, that he'd like to get up to the clouds and go see Gabby. :-)