In order for Gabriel to be allowed a second year of Nurturing, "each family member, including Lily, had been required to sign a pledge that they would not become attached to (him), and that they would relinquish him without protest or appeal when he was assigned to his own family unit at next year's Ceremony".
As a result of Father's "plea", Gabriel "had been labeled "Uncertain" and given the additional year". Gabriel was small for his age, and had trouble sleeping through the night. Ordinarily, a child who could not adjust in this manner would be "labeled inadequate and released from the community".
Father, as one of the Nurturers at the Center, had taken a special interest in the little boy. He had been bringing Gabriel home with him at night to see if he could help the child adjust more quickly, and had gone before the committee to petition on his behalf. Surprisingly, Father's request had been considered and granted; Gabriel had been allowed a second year of Nurturing. During this time he would continue to be nurtured at the Center during the day, and would spend his nights with Jonas's family. It was hoped that with this arrangement, Jonas and his family could give Gabriel the special help he needed to gain weight and learn to sleep soundly enough at night to enable him to be placed in his own family unit (Chapter 6).