By Cathy Harasta
The Texas Catholic
PLANO—Four-month-old Jacob Vargo reached toward a soft toy duckling on his parents’ dining room table during a bright morning in early November.
Since Sabina and David Vargo adopted Jacob in July, their Plano home has brimmed with joy, they said as they took turns cuddling Jacob. Sabina periodically carried him outdoors, where she held him tenderly as he experienced the fresh air and reached toward the sky.
November, which is National Adoption Awareness Month, also will be special because it will feature Jacob’s first Thanksgiving and the first for Sabina and David as parents, they said.
“It’s such a joyous occasion to be a parent,” David said. “The birth mothers are a blessing to waiting couples who want to start a family.”
Through Catholic Charities of Dallas’ Infant Adoption Program, Jacob’s birth mother chose the Vargos as his adoptive parents about six weeks before his birth on July 2.
David and Sabina, who were at the hospital to greet their son’s birth, said that they thank God for the “open” adoption process and what they consider a match made in heaven.
The Vargos, who are parishioners at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Frisco, said that prayers guided them on their path to parenthood.
“After we had exhausted all our fertility options, I got the closure that I needed when we decided to go to Catholic Charities,” Sabina said. “I was at peace. In July of 2011, we attended an orientation meeting.”
That meeting launched the process and, three years later, they brought Jacob home.
They said that they drew inspiration from their case worker at Catholic Charities, Carolina Salazar, and the concept of open adoption, which emphasizes a “triangle” of the adoptive couple and the birth mother in a positive collaboration that focuses on the child.
“Open adoption is based on trust,” Salazar said. “The moment that Sabina and David met the birth mother, they knew it was right. The birth mother chooses the couple, and she had no hesitation when she met them. They were loving people eager to become parents. Adoption is such a beautiful choice. I think God plays a role.”
A week after Jacob’s birth, his birth mother joined David and Sabina at Catholic Charities’ St. Michael the Archangel Chapel, where Msgr. Lawrence Pichard, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi, presided over an entrustment ceremony to bless the new family’s creation.
Sabina wrote a book about how their family came to be and the blessing of open adoption.
She said that she intended the book as a way to explain their family to Jacob’s young cousins, but also as a testament to the great love that created their new family.
“I wanted Jacob to know that everybody loved him,” Sabina said. “His birth mother is a brave and very strong girl.”
Salazar said that Jacob’s birth mother, 20, knows that she is welcome to visit Jacob and share milestones in his life.
Sabina, 44, and David, 47, grew up in the Houston area and met as students at the University of Houston. They parted and pursued their careers for several years before reconnecting and getting married in 2003.
David, who trained and worked as an architect, earned a graduate degree in computer design from Southern Methodist University. He is a designer in the computer games industry.
He and Sabina settled in the Dallas area in January 2011 after career-related moves to several parts of the United States.
Sabina, who holds a Bachelor of Science in biology and teaching certification in Special Education, taught school and now volunteers as an Algebra tutor in a ministry at St. Francis of Assisi.
The new family has delighted Sabina and David’s friends.
“It was a miracle and a prayer that was answered,” said Yanira Nelson, a family friend who met Sabina at a bible study group at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Plano in 2005. “Sabina is a wonderful mother, and David is a very caring father. To have Jacob come into a marriage with such a strong bond is beautiful.”
During the three years of the adoption process, David said that he and Sabina trusted in God to have perfect timing.
“I would tell people waiting for a child, ‘There is a child for you,’ ” David said. “When you go through the process and the adoption happens, it’s such a blessing. We’re amazed every day.”
This Thanksgiving will be a family celebration unlike any in their 11-year-old marriage, Sabina and David said.
“I cannot ever thank God enough,” Sabina said. “Every day, I thank God.”