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Taking Care of Business

By Pablo Villagran-

When Maria Jose Ramirez walked in the door of Dorie’s Promise, she got a sense of déjà vu. After responding to our job ad, she remembered that she had seen the home before when it was featured in a report on a U.S. TV station about adoptions in Guatemala.

“It was very exciting,” says Maria, 31. “It looked familiar to me. Definitely God grants you what you want, because at the time I saw that TV report I thought that I would like to work in a place like Dorie’s Promise. And here I am.”

The manager of our legal, financial and maintenance issues, Maria handles everything related to those three departments.

She loves the work that the orphanage does for children and is proud to be a part of an important cause. Not only does it give kids a better place to live, fulfill their necessities, and give them love and care, Dorie’s Promise has been a blessing in Maria’s life.

“With the organization, I feel committed to do my best for the children,” she says. “I love to see the metamorphosis they go through after they arrive. They come here with sad faces, often dirty and unhealthy, but then become happy children, full of energy brought on by improved health.”

As much as she enjoys her work, Maria admits there are challenges with every department, starting with legal. She often has to push Minors Court authorities to set a hearing date for children to establish their adoptability, and other agencies to find a family willing to raise them.

Finances are another hurdle, since factors beyond her control often affect the outcome of the budget, including maintenance.

“It’s hard because every week prices fluctuate,” Maria says. “But thank God and all the people who are supporting us so we can care for the kids and give them what they need.”

The highlight of her time came soon after she joined the staff four years ago. In 2007 Guatemala closed most international adoptions, putting many cases already in process into legal limbo.

Five of them dragged on for two years, but thanks to Maria’s efforts the first one came out in 2009. “That was so exciting for me, that finally one child was able to join her family,” she says.

Director Alej Diaz says Maria is a great worker who knows that tasks need to be completed in the right way. She says there are two kinds of people needed on our team: 1) those who spend time with the children and 2) those who devote their time to the office to make sure backstage details are covered.

“For me, Maria is that person,” Alej says. “She is very precise, organized and passionate. When the Bible says in Romans 12:4-6 that we are one body but have many members, she is a great example of that. We are all doing different tasks here, but as part of the same body.”

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