From Left to Right, Rafael (Papai – Brazilian for Dad), 7 year old Gabriel and Court (Daddy).
The Gondim-King family story started when two flight attendants at the United Airlines Flight Attendant Training Center in Chicago discovered they had quite a bit in common. Turns out, it was enough to keep Court and Rafael flying back and forth between San Fran and NYC for the better part of 6 months, until they decided to stay ‘grounded’ together in Queens.
About 7 years ago, Court and Rafael decided to open their small two-bedroom apartment and big hearts to the foster care system in NYC. On what they thought was an ordinary June afternoon, they received a call that would forever change their hearts and family. A social worker rang them to tell them about a 6-week-old boy in need of a home. With an excited “Yes,” Court and Rafael welcomed Gabriel, and they became a family of three. Two brilliant years after that, after various hearings and ample time spent with case workers, Court and Rafael officially adopted Gabriel.
Together, this adventurous open-hearted trio have set off on many adventures being a family: hosting epic build-your-own crêpe breakfasts and travelling the world on a 46ft Nautitech Bavaria Catamaran. That’s right! Adventurous is not a term used to lightly to describe this family. When the opportunity presented itself recently, the Gondim-Kings decided to “follow their dream” by selling their home, quitting their jobs as public educators, and sailing the world!
“We decided to travel the world with our son to give him a wider world perspective. It is our belief that the best education is the one the world has to offer. Sailing as a family has given us a new way to look at life. We cannot imagine living a better more fulfilling life. Says Rafael.
In fact, we caught up with the Gondim-Kings to conduct this interview while they were travelling the coast of North Africa.
When I asked the Gondim-Kings about their most cherished family memory, Court told me it was the day they adopted Gabriel. For the Gondim-Kings, life is simple. Sharing sunrises, time together, a good meal with great people, and an ocean breeze all hold the magic of a good life.
During the interview, we also spoke with 7-year-old Gabriel and asked what “love” and “family” meant to him. He replied, “[Love means] I will never forget you. You’re my best friend. Someone I really like.” To Gabriel, family is “Dad, Papai, and grandparents. People who love and care about you.” Very wise words indeed from young Gabriel.
On that note, we’d like to thank the Gondim-Kings for sharing how when you follow your heart and keep kindness and compassion at the forefront, all the rest is smooth sailing.
You can continue following the Gondim-King’s incredible family adventure around on Instagram @thewinexpedition