A limbless 2-day-old baby boy who was abandoned by his mother was later adopted and became an inspiration to his friends and family after growing up. For those around him, they’ve witnessed him demonstrate “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
At birth, Gabe Adams, now 20, was abandoned by his biological mother in Brazil, and then adopted by a Utah couple, Janelle and Ron Adams.
“I kept thinking about this baby far away in a hospital with no arms and no legs—I couldn’t get him out of my mind,” Janelle told People. Janelle and Ron Adams, both 58, have 13 biological children, most of them grown.
“For most of his life, he’s faced huge battles,” said Janelle, a receptionist. “It took him a whole year to learn how to walk, but he didn’t give up. It’s the same with dancing. He just kept trying.”
But none of the difficulties have stopped Gabe, who suffers from a rare disease called Hanhart syndrome, a congenital defect that caused him to be born with no arms and legs. He learned to eat, write, and move up and down stairs by himself. He also learned how to swim and even jump off a diving board.
When Gabe was 12, he even secretly taught himself dance and later had a performance at his junior high school talent show.
“After Gabe’s performance, everyone jumped to their feet and gave him a standing ovation,” recalled his adoptive mom.
“It felt great,” said Gabe, who was practicing dance several hours a day by this stage. “From then on, dancing became my way to express myself. I was determined to keep learning everything I could.”
Gabe joined his high school’s dance team with another 28 girls when he was a sophomore. After he performed in front of the whole school during half time at a basketball game, everyone cheered.
“He’s such a huge inspiration to all of us,” said his teammate Tori Nybo, 18. “Whenever I’m struggling in and out of dance, I look to Gabe and realize that we can do anything. Just being around Gabe sends good vibes to the whole team. He’s humble and kind and has learned the most important lesson in life: how to be happy.”
“We thought we were rescuing somebody and giving him a better life, but in fact, it’s been just the opposite,” said his adoptive dad, Ron. “He’s rescued us and given us a better life. Having him around has been so inspiring and motivating. He’s always pushing himself to be the very best he can be.”
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As for Gabe, he refuses to be restricted by his wheelchair. “I’ve just always wanted to be something more than the kid in the wheelchair,” said Gabe.
Gabe, who wants to inspire people to be tolerant of others, appeared on The Maury Show in October 2017 to give a live dance performance. Afterward, Gabe was asked to share some words for others who may be facing some challenges because of how they look.
“We’re all unique and special, and all born as blank canvases. We go through our own experiences in life, and we get different paint strokes on us from the experiences we get in life, and everyone’s paint should be shown,” Gabe said. “Never let anyone tell you you can’t.”
Gabe says that his confidence received a boost ever since he became a dancer. According to St George News, he is pursuing a career as a motivational speaker. He is also looking forward to starting college soon, where he will fulfill his dreams of becoming a psychiatrist or interior designer.
According to the Metro, he said: “I’ve been doing speaking for almost four years now and it’s pretty crazy with all the places that I’ve been able to go to and meet so many amazing people and hear their stories and hear how I’ve been able to help them.”
“I have been able to accomplish so much and I think it is funny when people say, do you wish you had prosthetics, and my answer is always, no, because I have already come so far in my independence without them that I wouldn’t want them now and have to re-learn everything just for those prosthetics,” he further added.
Gabe has grown to like his body the way it is and is proud of what it is capable of. His story inspires us to look at the challenges of life from an entirely different perspective and never hold back.
It just goes to show that determination can indeed overcome any obstacle and pave the way to success. And for Gabe, his willpower and determination have surely shown him the way.
See Gabe on The Maury Show below: