A little over five months ago, our first and only daughter was born: María Gabriela. Just thinking of the day that she came into our lives gives us a feeling of deep joy. We remember that day very well, as if it were yesterday. We were in the hospital waiting for the doctors to call Sofía into the operating room because the birth was to be by caesarean section. We were both nervous and terribly scared. How funny that the most anticipated day in our married life was turning into a big emotional drama. Of course, Sofía was scared because… well, she had to live the whole moment of childbirth (clearly a very valid reason to be scared). Juan simply imagined the worst. It is not worth describing here, but he was terribly afraid and when they called him to the operating room, he just paced from one side to the other babbling “Ave Marias.” María Gabriela was born around 6:50 AM.
María Gaby, as we like to call her, is our dream come true. It is the fulfillment of our marriage vocation. Saying YES at the altar was a decision that took a lot of courage, prayer and will. It was a decision that has marked every aspect of our lives since then. It has been our greatest gift until now. Saying YES at the altar and continually saying YES has allowed us to become heirs of that precious gift to be co-creators with God.
We would be lying if we told you that being a married couple and at the same time parents has not been a great challenge for us. It is a challenge full of emotions, learning, all kinds of experiences and, above all, sacrifices. There are many sacrifices that we make today for the good of our daughter which translate into doing them for the good of our family; however, we faithfully believe that these are the sacrifices that sanctify us every day. Over the past five months, parenthood has helped us to get to know one another better as spouses and even more so as people. Sofía has decided to give her time fully to María Gaby by being with her at home. Juan has taken on new responsibilities at home and, despite his work, he makes a great effort to spend long hours with his family in the evenings.
At the end of the day, we take to heart the wise words of every father and mother: “one does everything for the children.” Our life is entirely for María Gaby. She gets everything we give her and that’s why we know that our mission is to give her all the love that we give each other as a couple on a daily basis. God will not be missing from the center of this family because it is HE who guides the way and supplies grace for our hearts. Every day after the birth of María Gaby we understand that it is no longer just two yeses that we have to give – one to God first and one to our spouse. We have a new “YES” that completes this trinity: a YES to our daughter. With these thoughts and experiences we make an exhorting call to society: a call for the YES to the family. A YES that begins with GOD and through which marriage becomes that perfect trinity of love: God, us and our daughter. This is what our apostolic mission has become: to show and imbue society with the beauty of family through our own experience. With these short but, hopefully, memorable words, we give you the excellent news that the family is the center of society. May God bless the families of today, may He reconcile those families who have been separated and may He give us many more holy families. Amen.
Juan and Sofia were born into Catholic families in Colombia, South America. They met on Juan’s Patron Saint Feast Day, Saint John Bosco, January 31st and recently got married on the 31st of July. Both have encountered Jesus in their lives and decided to follow him with great commitment.
Juan is a Political Scientist and also a great golfer. He works in the Wine and Spirits Industry.
Sofia is a commercial real estate lawyer and works at her family-owned business. They currently live in Cali, Colombia.
Juan and Sofia are increasingly passionate about the apostolic mission with the youth and young professionals. They are committed to showing the love of God and his mysteries through the beauty of the sacrament of marriage and friendship. Both have lived their conversion through different spiritualities within the Church, such as the charismatic renewal, parish groups (Emaus and Effeta), Mana (a self-founded apostolic group) and Opus Dei. This last one is currently where both congregate and receive all their spiritual formation and guidance. Although they have much to learn, they are eager to share their testimony with all the readers.