Gabrielle was forever having babies. She would disappear for a time and return with a baby; perhaps three or four times a year. She would then, with a great deal of pain and for quite a sturdy envelope of bank notes, hand the baby over to the adopting couple.
She had managed twenty to thirty babies over the five years since she started having them. Those adopting thought she was the real mother. Officially she worked for the Central American Children’s Foundation. This charitable body was responsible for getting babies with a “condition” – usually a heart condition – and taking the baby for a time to have heart treatment in a more sophisticated country.
“Of course,” said Gabrielle to the personable person next to her in the plane, “we don’t let the parents come. They don’t understand. The first thing they would do if they were in the hospital would be to pull the tubes out of their poor baby. That’s why I’m travelling alone on this plane with the baby but without the parents. When the baby is well we return it to its parents.”
Upon arrival in the more sophisticated country the baby would miraculously get better, and the adopting parents would gratefully hand Gabrielle a tidy sum. Thus far, Gabrielle had helped babies “get a better life” from seven different countries.
“It’s so rewarding being able to help people in this way,” said Gabrielle.