At BraveLove, we're dedicated to erasing the stigmas of adoption, and a big part of that involves sharing stories that honor birth mothers. As we all know, adoption impacts people forever. The journey isn't over after the decision has been made. That's why we love to stay connected with those who have shared their stories with BraveLove over the years, like Gerrianne.
Gerrianne placed her son for adoption in the mid-80's. She shared her story with BraveLove about 10 years ago (see here). So we're catching up with her and learning what her life looks like these days.
How would you describe yourself today?
I am a joyful, fun, risk-taker and passionate (about adoption) individual.
What do your days look like?
I retired at the age of 62, after caring for my dad, who passed away two years ago. My husband of 28 years also passed away three months later in 2021. It was a very rough year, and God, through His grace healed me and restored me. The year ended beautifully and totally unexpectedly as I remarried an incredible man of God and the love of my life, Bill Gabler. We knew each other from church for two years as we were both involved in the worship team.
Since my three sons are adults and have their own lives, my husband and I enjoy our time together. I am still a newlywed and since I'm fully retired, I enjoy taking care of our home and my husband. We enjoy going to see a good movie, bowling, hanging out with friends or family, or having a good meal at one of our favorite restaurants. We especially love to take road trips or just to travel. Although he's working, we have managed to take off and go to Arizona, Santa Fe, Colorado, and Florida. We have grandchildren in Washington State, Colorado, and Ft. Worth, Texas. A total of 10 children from ages 6 months to 19! We love traveling to see and spend time with them, although, I do miss being apart from them.
I am also a Chaplain and serve as Texas State Director with Soldiers of Christ Ministries. This ministry works with individuals who wish to become Chaplains who are working within a particular ministry or have a desire to serve in some capacity. Currently, I am also a board member with Breath of Life Maternity Ministries in Austin, Texas. This ministry works with women who are experiencing a crisis pregnancy. It's connected to "Sarah's House Maternity Home," which is where a young woman can live and receive counseling to help her decide the best future for her child. It is a joy and privilege to be a part of this very important and special organization.
I started a private Facebook group called, "Seasoned Birth Moms," which is designed specifically for those who are either searching or have reunited. It's not meant to share adoption stories, but post-adoption. It has been such a joy to see the women connect and relate to one another. I have received so many Thank You's for establishing this group. It thrills me to meet them and share stories.
Knowing what you know today, what would you tell yourself 10 years ago?
Get ready, G, you're going to be doing things you'd never expect, and enjoying it. God will take you places you've never dreamed. (I've visited many in jail as well as nursing homes. Been by the bedside of many patients who have died and prayed with many families.)
What do you want the world to know about adoption?
It is a selfless act! It is out of LOVE an adoption plan is made. Birth moms grieve over the loss of their child. There still needs to be more education on the emotional, legal and proper terminology.
What keeps you up at night?
Am I doing all that I'm supposed to be doing? Is there more?
What are you looking forward to this year?
Continuing the work on the board with Breath of Life in any way I can as well as Soldiers of Christ. I think there's more that can be done to explain and educate adoption to the staff, volunteers as well as their clients. If the staff and volunteers don't have a clear understanding of adoption it will never be presented to their client. To me, this is such a disservice to their client. The adoption option cannot be left out of the conversation. I believe adoption education is so important. It is still very misunderstood, in my humble opinion. I'd like to do more speaking engagements for sure! Most importantly, I look forward to enjoying more adventures with my husband!