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Merrimack Valley

July 22, 2007

One year after adoption from Lebanon, child is thriving

SALEM, N.H. — When Laura Gabriel pulls out her suitcase and lays it on the floor to pack, she knows exactly what her 19-month-old son, Logan, will do.

“He gets in and pulls a blanket over him,” she said.

In Lebanon, where Laura traveled to adopt Logan, there was no crib in their hotel room. She believes Logan remembers the flipped-open suitcase she fashioned into a crib for him by filling it with soft bedding — the first bed he would sleep in as a member of his new family, the Gabriels.

It’s been a year since Logan arrived in the United States after a nail-biting trip home that captured the hearts and prayers of the entire country.

Laura was stuck in Beirut with Logan, who didn’t have a passport, when gunfire and bombing broke out last summer. Countless phone calls and news articles later, mother and son arrived home safely.

Today, Logan and his adopted family continue to enjoy a sort of celebrity status. His parents have received calls from people all over the country, and even Canada, who want to adopt Lebanese children.

Many people who followed media reports of the family’s struggle to leave Lebanon quickly recognize Logan’s thick crop of dark, curly hair and the wide smile through which he now flashes new, white teeth.

On a recent day at his North Salem home, Logan wore a navy blue sunsuit emblazoned with an American flag and blue Skechers sandals.

He eagerly snacked on kibbee, tabouli, hummus and Syrian bread. And he impressed visitors by blowing kisses.

His parents beam with pride as Logan does “Happy Feet,” dancing outside the door to his bedroom.

“He is such a ham,” said Laura, 32. “I know I’m going to get calls from the principal because he’ll be the class clown.”

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