The nurse wrapped the blanket tightly around the newborn infant. She picked him up and held him close while silently saying a prayer for his hard life ahead. Why would a mother abandon such a cute baby?
As she rubbed his back, the baby slowly stopped crying and began to sleep. Suddenly, she noticed something under the blanket. Once she looked closer, the nurse gasped with terror.
In 1998 a baby was born in Brazil to an unwed mother. She was a young woman with no financial means to support her child. She never expected that he would go on to inspire thousands internationally across social media.
The young mother quickly abandoned her baby and left him with a local orphanage. The staff had no idea what to do with the child but posted a picture online for adoption. 6,000 miles away a family knew they had to save this baby.
Janelle and Ron Adams already had 13 biological children. The couple lived in Salt Lake City, Utah, and instantly fell in love with the grainy image of the baby. Something in Janelle’s heart told her she had to rescue her son.
Plans were made quickly and the couple booked a flight to adopt their son. When they held him in their arms for the first time, they knew they would offer him the world. As the baby left Brazil, no one could imagine the future waiting for him in the states.
Janelle and Ron needed more information on their son’s condition. When people looked at their baby they only saw what was missing. When they looked into their son’s eyes, they only saw possibility.
After landing from their flight, the couple went straight towards The Shriner’s Hospital for Children. There was one thing the couple had not talked about and time was running out to answer a looming question.
The Adams needed a full medical examination and answers on what they could do to make the baby’s life easier in the states. While the couple had made a quick decision to adopt the baby, they hadn’t really talked about the implications of having a child with a disability.
The couple already had 13 biological children. They were taking on a massive undertaking but they knew in their hearts that this son belonged in their hearts and home. When the nurse asked the next question, the couple knew there was no looking back.
As Janelle held her son close, she felt his heartbeat against her chest. She instantly felt a connection with the baby just like her other children. The doctors had not seen a case like this before and asked what was the child’s name.
Janelle looked at her husband and realized they hadn’t discussed it. They decided at that moment to name him Gabriel, an angel of God. This tiny baby was about to be faced with a life of adversity, but would he get his strength from heaven above?
Gabe was born with Hanhart syndrome and doesn’t have any limbs. His parents were concerned about how he would accomplish even the tiniest of tasks with such a big disability.
They decided as a family to not give him any special treatment. With 13 brothers and sisters, Gabe was eager to keep up and was a quick learner. One time he was playing on the carpet and his older brother decided to test his focus.
Gabe’s older brother was only a few years older than him, and the boys would play on the carpet together. It was interesting to see how Gabe’s siblings would react to their adopted brother who was very different.
Gabe’s older brother took his pacifier away from him and then only moved a few feet away. As a baby, Gabe quickly realized he would have to take matters into his own hand. He rolled his body to his brother and then bite his leg as revenge! It seemed like the world was underestimating the fire in this baby’s soul.
Gabe was already a strong baby and was very independent. He wanted to keep up with siblings and always looked for a way that he could do the same things as them. As he grew older, his parents found out one more side effect.
Gabe had very limited short-term memory. After spending a day figuring out how to get up the stairs, the next morning he would start back at square one. What could his family do to help him learn and thrive in this lifetime?
No one in Gabe’s family gave him special treatment. While Gabe was growing up this felt mean but he realized it was a blessing in disguise. It forced him to be independent and find a solution.
After Gabe mastered the stairs he learned how to do another magical skill. It was something that no one expected from him, but when he revealed this talent he got a lot of attention. All of Gabe’s life people would stare at him. It was time to put on a proper show.
Gabe loved listening to music and wanted to find a way that he could move his body. When he was in high school, he began taking private dance lessons. His school had a dance team and he wanted to perform center stage.
Thanks to his coach he began to learn how to balance and how to keep his body in time with other movements. The day Gabe performed he decided on a new life motto. With all the challenges life was throwing at him, Gabe was about to display his true strength.
While Gabe had a dance teacher he taught himself for a lot of other areas of life. Learning how to write, Gabe found he could hold a pencil with his shoulder and ear. This skill would be how he would write, draw and later apply makeup.
Gabe had a taste for adrenaline and loved trying out new sports. To his parent’s horror he loved throwing himself on a skateboard, and also eventually learned how to swim. Gabe was becoming a neighborhood hero, and soon he would be on a world stage.
Gabe published an essay in HuffPost on overcoming adversity focusing on his dream to learn how to swim. Without arms or legs, it feels like a terrifying goal, but Gabe found a way to remain safely afloat.
In front of his entire neighborhood, he showed off his summer of learning and jumped into the water from a diving board. When Gabe broke through the surface all he could hear was the applause and support. His big goals were attracting one very famous pair of eyes.
Nikki Stone is a gold medal aerial skier and found about Gabe’s amazing determination. After winning her Olympic medals she moved into motivational speaking. She credits Gabe’s amazing strength for keeping her focused.
Nikki has published a self-help book titled, “When Turtles Fly: Secrets of Successful People Who Know How to Stick Their Necks Out”. Gabe had his own philosophy for life that shone through everything he did. Nikki has one specific fond memory of the inspirational boy.
When Nikki met Gabe she said, “regardless of the task, a smile never left his face.” This is exactly how Gabe continues to live his life. His motto for anything is “I Can Do It with a Smile on My Face” and even if it’s painful or challenging he will continue to grin ear to ear.
After radiating so much joy, would Gabe ever find someone to love him a build a life with? True love was around the corner, but it wasn’t with someone his family expected.
Gabe had already had a fulfilling and accomplished life. From being abandoned hours after arriving on the earth to leading motivational speeches, he had proved everyone in his life wrong. With the support of his amazing adopted family, a world of possibility opened up.
While Gabe knew he could take care of himself, he also wanted to start a family. He wanted to find the other half of his heart and fall in love. His perfect man was about to walk into his life and make all his dreams come true.
Gabe met his husband in 2019 and the pair got married in the summer of 2021. Adam is an incredibly supportive and emotionally connected partner. While Gabe has begun to share more of his life, the couple also creates TikTok’s together.
As a couple, they are breaking down barriers and stereotypes of romantic relationships. While Gabe gets a lot of followers for content on his marriage, this influencer is also making brand deals for one unique trick.
When Gabe pictured his wedding he always knew he wanted to be wearing a gorgeous wedding gown. His dream came true in an intimate ceremony with family. Gabe even went further to walk down the aisle to his husband.
While Gabe continues to impress his fans, he also does challenges to highlight other disabled influencers. One viral showed the true spectrum of just how much you can accomplish when you believe in yourself.
Gabe partnered with Leah Crouse who is another disabled influencer. Both of them do an excellent job radiating light and optimism. Neither one of them is held back from challenges in life or on the dance floor.
Gabe’s TikTok with Leah skyrocketed and he began to go viral on the platform. When Gabe was born he had no future or chances for the life he is living today. It continues to flood him with gratitude when he thinks of the alternative.
As Gabe has gotten older the same skills he taught himself as a baby to write have come in handy for learning how to put on makeup. Gabe documented his many different looks, tips, and tricks on his YouTube channel and Instagram.
It is truly incredible for his audience to watch his daily routines and continue Gabe’s inspiring message of positivity. With this attitude, Gabe can really do anything he sets his mind to.