A lot of you know who Gaby is - I’ve written a lot about her, and she’s been to a lot of my shows. Many of you have had the opportunity and good fortune to meet her.
For those of you who haven’t been lucky enough, Gaby is a friend of mine that I met in Oaxaca, Mexico, 15 years ago.
Gaby and I met on my first trip to Casa Hogar, a children’s home in Oaxaca, Mexico. A place I’d never heard of, and couldn’t pronounce.
Though I didn’t speak Spanish well, I connected with Gaby one night while we were making spaghetti. She was an incredibly capable 12 year old, and I was a 19 year old college kid who could barely boil a noodle.
We’ve been thick as thieves ever since.
Through the years, Gaby and I grew closer and closer.
-She knew me before Bryan did.
-I borrowed a skirt from her sister so that I could go to her high school graduation.
-And we used to take shifts in the middle of the night when kids at the children’s home were sick
So, when she had the opportunity to come to study in the United States, it made perfect sense that she would come and live with Bryan and me. We were already family.
Gaby moved to Connecticut in 2008.
We made a ‘no Spanish’ rule, to help her advance through her English classes more quickly...
Drove her to class until she learned the bus system....
And had Gaby as one of the few family members at our wedding.
Very often people ask me about Gaby:
“So she’s like your daughter?”
“So she’s like your sister?”
Well, not exactly.
She’s my Gaby.
That’s it. That’s the only way that I know how to explain it.
She’s my Gaby, and I’m her Kristen.
Chosen family is a phrase that I use often, and in this case, it fits perfectly.
To call each other family, just feels right.
We may not be related in the traditional sense, but we’re connected through humanity, and to me, that’s enough.
So on this, her Passport Birthday (that’s a story for another time), I’d like to wish Gaby (my Gaby!) a Happy Birthday!