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Posts Tagged ‘adoption’

God Provides A Forever Family for Sheily

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Sheily with her Forever Family

By MJ Zelya –

Baby Sheily at 3-4 months old.

Sheily at about 3-4 months old, at Dorie’s Promise.

During life you experienced many stages, that you are probably not prepared for, especially when it comes to saying goodbye. It is difficult because it’s hard letting go of what we love so much.

This month we were notified by the CNA (the Central Authority, in Guatemala the agency in charge of adoption*,) that there was a family interested in adopting Sheily (Age 2.)

In Guatemala it is really difficult to find families that want to adopt children*.  There are precious few families who adopt, and if they adopt, the child has to be healthy and in perfect condition, which makes it harder for the CNA to find a family that fulfills all the requirements.

We thought this would be the case with Sheily, because she has been diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome and attention deficit disorder (ADD.) But after a week of visits Sheily wanted to go home with her new family.

We know that God hears our prayers and that is a perfect plan for each of our children and everything is done in His time.

Sheily was so happy with the visits and the opportunity to spend  time with this family. We knew that this was an opportunity from God.

Every time a new child comes to Dorie’s Promise we are full of joy, and even though we know that the environment where they came from was full of  sadness, we are excited by what God is going to do.

Sheily with her adoptive mother during one of their visits.

Sheily with her adoptive mother during one of their visits.

When Sheily came to Dorie’s promise that in  September of 2013, she was a very small baby, that had been found abandoned in the street. She experienced chronic malnutrition, anemia, and a growth deficit. I remember that even after months with us she was still the same size and height. Her development was slow and it was difficult to get her to a normal weight for her age. After several studies our Pediatrician, Dr. Castro, determined that she suffered from a growth deficiency and fetal alcohol syndrome which can cause smaller height and speech delays.

During the initial investigation her biological parents appeared to be homeless, alcoholics and drug addicts.  Through the court process they never reappeared and the Minor’s court declared Sheily adoptable.

Meanwhile, Sheily was getting healthier, gaining weight, and improving her mobility with the help of the health support from Dr. Castro and the stimulation from the Special Mothers as part of her care plan.

It was with tears in the eyes that we said goodbye to Sheily this week. Yet our hearts were happy because Sheily has the opportunity to grow up in a forever family that will love and care for her as she deserves.

We thank God for the opportunity he gave us to care for her and for the moments that she filled us with joy, laughter, and her many hugs.

* International Adoption from Guatemala closed in 2008


A Forever Family for Maria Jose and Franco

Friday, November 20th, 2015

Maria Jose and Franco with their Forever Family

Maria Jose and Franco with their Forever Family!

By MJ Zelya –

When international adoption from Guatemala closed in 2008 it made a big impact on the older children, those ages 5-17, because now there was little opportunity for them to be adopted.

We were saddened by this change. Many of our older orphans were adopted by families in the US. Families who gave children an opportunity to be part of a Forever Family no matter their age or condition.

Maria Jose and Franco just before saying goodbye.As you may know, most of the Guatemalan families want to adopt younger children, most of them babies from birth up to 3 years old.

The children we shelter at Dories Promise, have been abandoned or suffered from neglect and abuse in their biological families. Sometimes parents or the relatives choose not to visits the children and do not show interest in making the necessary lifestyle changes to recover custody of the children. It’s sadly the reality of our country many children are abandon making them feel they are unworthy. Overcoming such feelings of lonely and sadness at their young age is difficult.

The case of Maria Jose (Age 10) and Franco (Age 9) is unfortunately such a common situation in Guatemala— they were growing up in a dysfunctional home, in which the biological mother used drugs and had multiple partners. One day she left Maria Jose and Franco with her sister. She never came back for them. Their aunt wasn’t able to support them due to a lack of economic resources, so she took them to minor’s court who placed the children in our home.

Their mother never showed up to any of their hearings. After many investigations, trying to find their biological mother without success; the minor’s court declared them adoptable in June of 2014. During their last hearing Maria Jose told the judge she wanted to be adopted. She said that she didn’t understand why her mother had abandoned them and that she would like to be part of a new family with her brother Franco.

Special mother Candy told this story, “One day we asked the girls, including Maria Jose, if they could ask for anything, what would it be? Some of them requested, new clothes, a big bag of candies or chocolates, but Maria Jose said, ‘Clothes get old and torn, candies get eaten and you run out of them. I wish for a family— who I can hug and share time with, going to the beach, and visiting different places, that’s what I want.’

The siblings in 2014, shortly after being decalare adoptable.It’s unbelievable how fast God answered Maria Jose’s prayers.

When the Central Adoption Authority informed us that they had a family for them, we were so excited and surprised— because it’s was only a year after they had been declared adoptable. Some children have waited more than 5 years after they were declared adoptable and no family has been found for them. Yet for Maria Jose and Franco it only took one year! We believe that God heard their desire for a family and he responded.

Maria Jose said, “God is giving us the opportunity to have a family, just like I wanted. It will give me the opportunity to be happy because I do not know if there is going to be another family interested in adopting us.”

After one week of visiting with and sharing time with her new family, she decided to go home with them. Since the very beginning was Franco so happy, he would have gone home with them on the first day!

Maria Jose and Franco had the chance to say goodbye to the kids, the special mothers, and staff. They cried and laughed. They were absolutely overjoyed to go home with their Forever Family. Although we were sad they were leaving us, seeing them so filled with joy made us happy. When God sends us blessings he not only sends what we requested, sometimes he sends much more than that. Their adoptive family let us know that they will be continuing their education at El Shaddai School.

We wish that all their dreams would come true and that the Lord guides Maria Jose and Franco and their new family.

A Birthday Party to Remember!

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Ana with her firends at her birthday party.

On Sunday, July 19, Ana turned 9 and had a very special birthday celebration with her friends — one she will always remember. Her party included pizza, cupcakes, and colorful balloon crowns that her dad made for her and all the guests. But there was something missing — birthday gifts.

Instead of gifts for herself, Ana decided to ask her friends to consider making donations to Dorie’s Promise. Having read recent letters from Forever Changed International that described how funding was down and that donations were urgently needed, Ana and her mom began to consider how they could help. So invitations quickly went out that included information about Dorie’s Promise and its website, along with a note of encouragement that a gift of charity would be the best gift Ana could ask for.

Ana made her birthday party special by asking for donations to Dorie's Promise instead of gifts.Ana herself was once an orphan* and wanted to give back to help the children who live in the same place she did as an infant. She came home to be with her adoptive family in 2007 when she was eight months old. She enjoys looking at the photos of when she was a baby living in Casa 6 and recognizes the familiar setting when she looks at the Forever Changed International website to see photos of the child her family sponsors at Dorie’s Promise.

Ana’s birthday party was filled with fun and special memories with her closest friends, two of whom were also adopted from Guatemala. It was exciting to add up all the donations that came in and share the total at the party.

Ana prays that the money will be a blessing to the children of Dorie’s Promise and is happy to know that she is helping in some small way. As the saying goes, it is truly better to give than to receive!

*International adoptions from Guatemala closed in 2008

Alejandra’s Forever Family

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

Alejandra with her forever family.

By MJ Zelya-

Alejandra came to Dorie’s Promise by court order in March 2010, when she was only 25 days old. When we received her she was very tiny and suffering from several health problems — predominantly acute respiratory illnesses.

Little Alejandra in March of 2011.We were sad to know that she had been abandoned by her mother. What we didn’t realize at the time was that she also had an older brother who was sent to another home. He was adopted by a Guatemalan family when he was 2 (he is now 8).*

Alejandra received good care at our home, and after many treatments to control her health conditions she was getting sick less often. Dr. Castro has helped her come out of the crisis, and she began to grow stronger.

A couple of weeks ago, The CNA (Central Adoption Authority) informed us that they had a family for Alejandra, the same family that adopted her brother from the other home!

After all the paperwork was completed, they granted the family and Alejandra a period of time to get to know each other. They came every day to visit her at our home and spent time getting to know more about Alejandra. When the CNA was sure that Alejandra was ready to leave, Alejandra was finally reunited with her brother and went to live with her adoptive family on August 7, 2015.

She was so excited! She knew she was going home with her Forever Family. She took her backpack and the gifts she had received from school and said good-bye to the Special Mothers and the children at Dorie’s Promise.

As you know, our home is a place where children who come into our care and protection will never be the same. Whether they were with us for a short time or a long time, there is always a change — a change that will remain with them as they become adults. We know each child was rescued from their previous situation for a reason and that God has worked everything together according to His plan. That’s why we’re called Forever Changed!

Alejandra in June 2015; shortly before being adopted.When we know one of the children is leaving Dorie’s Promise, it fills us with sadness — but also with a sense of satisfaction. Such is the case with Alejandra. She’s been with us almost since the day she was born. We will miss her a lot, but we know that having a family is her heart’s desire.

Lucky, our home’s teacher, says of Alejandra, “She is a very smart girl. At first it was difficult for her to adapt to school. We needed to work hard on her motor skills and language. The hard work paid off, because we’ve heard great comments from her school. The teacher said that Alejandra was always willing to learn, help, and share with her classmates.

“Something that was very impressive for a girl of her age is that Alejandra always wanted to do homework. If she did not bring homework home, sometimes she cried because she wanted to do something. She enjoyed doing pages of letters, painting, and cutting.”

When we see our children so happy to learn, being responsible, and grateful to God, the purpose of this ministry shines through. It’s a challenge, a responsibility, and a big commitment. But I have always thought of it like we are helping God here on the earth to do His work, taking care of His flock. That’s why we joyfully receive the children who come here — because God has a purpose for their time with us!

We wish Alejandra a happy life full of love with her new family!

*International adoptions from Guatemala closed in 2008

Amelia Home With Her Forever Family After 8 Years at Dorie’s Promise

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Amelia with her adopted family the Rachors of Flint, Michigan.

By Heather Radu –

The Rachor’s visited Amelia many times over the years.The subject heading of Cinda Rachor’s recent e-mail said it best: “She’s coming home!!!” “She” is eight-year-old Amelia, who spent most of her life at Dorie’s Promise until Cinda and her husband, Jim, secured the approval of Guatemalan officials to take Amelia to their home in Michigan.

Although it was a bittersweet moment, at a farewell dinner on Amelia’s final night (May 29) at Dorie’s Promise, she and her mother offered their “thank you’s” to the Special Mothers and staff who cared for her.

Director Alejandra Diaz was pleased to see this moment arrive, saying as Amelia matured and grew more aware of her situation, she displayed more anxiety.

“We know that she is going where she belongs,” Ale says. “She was so original and different that we are going to miss her. She was always so kind and full of love for the Special Mothers. Each of those moments will remain alive in our hearts.

“For the other children, it is difficult to see her leave and know that they need to stay. However, they are so happy for her, especially the older ones who really understand what this means.”

Cinda says that while Amelia’s adoption proved quite challenging, the Lord continually provided in the midst of situations that appeared desperate and daunting.

“We’ve seen Him meet us at so many times when we thought we were at a dead end,” Cinda says. “God always said, ‘I’m in charge. I just need for you to keep following. Allow Me to lead and I’ll keep leading. I’ll allow Amelia to get home and I have a bunch of cool stuff to show you in the meantime.’”

Cinda and Amelia during a December 2013 visit.This “cool stuff” included Cinda and Jim Rachor getting a first-hand look at Dorie’s Promise, which in 2008 inspired them to start bringing mission teams to Guatemala twice a year.

Made up of mostly teenagers from their church (Central Church of the Nazarene in Flint, Michigan), when some of the teens reach college age they return with classmates and friends. This helps spread awareness of our work far beyond Michigan.

In addition, as interest at Central Church grew, Cinda persuaded their youth pastor to lead a trip. A team of 30 will arrive on June 14, followed by another team of 30 led by the Rachors a week later.

The story of this family’s perseverance over so many years inspires me and other staff members at Forever Changed International and Dorie’s Promise.

I knew Cinda was special the day she called repeatedly to see if we would take Amelia, who had been in foster care.

The agency handling her adoption wanted to send her to another orphanage. However, after hearing from a fellow church member about our home, Cinda insisted Amelia be sent to Dorie’s Promise.

After hearing the urgency and concern in her voice, I couldn’t refuse her request, even though at the time we had little space available. I knew she would leave no stone unturned to bring Amelia home, even though that required eight years and four different attorneys.

Amelia in May 2014 shortly before going home with her Forever Family.The Rachors visited throughout the year, coming on Christmas, Amelia’s birthday every October, and with mission teams. They built thick books of documents and photo albums to verify their interest in providing a home for this little girl.

Cinda and Jim finally experienced a breakthrough last September when they found an attorney willing to argue their case with Guatemalan government authorities as well as officials at the U.S. embassy.

“For the first time someone who had power said, ‘We’ll help you get her home,’” Cinda recalls. “Before it was always: ‘We’re sorry but there’s nothing we can do.’ In front of my children I had a meltdown and cried tears of joy. This attorney said, ‘I can help you, but you have to have the support of the U.S. embassy.’”

The Rachors obtained that support despite many difficulties, including a lack of proof of Amelia’s background. Although she arrived here as an infant, no one knew how she entered the foster care system. Not even private investigators could find any traces of her family.

However, that is all behind us now. Amelia is home, with a younger sister (Hope, 7) from Guatemala whom the Rachors adopted six years ago. Amelia will have five other siblings, ranging from Annagrace, 13, to Steven, 21.

“When we first saw Amelia’s picture, we said, ‘That’s who God has sent to be our child,’” Cinda says. “Like your own children, they don’t have to earn it. They’re your family. They’re a gift. It’s your job to advocate for them and protect them, the way Christ advocates for us.”

Without a doubt, the story of Amelia’s adoption is one of the happiest we have seen in many years.

Saying Goodbye to Five

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Jazmin with her sisters.

By MJ Zeyla –

Saying good-bye is not easy, especially when you care deeply about a person. Whether you were on a study tour, a business trip, a mission trip, or visiting with family and friends, it’s a difficult thing to do. (Even if we know bigger and better things are ahead.)

For us at Dorie’s Promise, it is difficult saying good-bye even though some of the children may only have lived here for a short time. We feel it so strongly because we love them, but we know that they are going to a place where they will be loved and cared for, and that their new families will provide what they need to be happy.

When children leave Dorie’s Promise, we always pray that the Lord would be with them, taking care of them wherever they are — and that as they grow up they would trust in Him as their Savior.

This month has been full of good-byes. We had several leave for a better life: Jazmin, Maria de los Angeles, and the Villegas siblings — Jackie, Jessy, and Vanessa. This is the life that every child deserves, one that is essential for every human being as the base of society — the family!

Four of them left through international adoption* and were reunited with families in the United States, after long waits for the courts to clear their paperwork. The other was adopted by a Guatemalan family.

We are filled with feelings of both happiness and sadness — joy and gratitude. We know that their forever families will provide them a place to belong, be loved, and be safe and secure … yet we miss them.

Dorie's Promise Guatemala - Maria with her adoptive family.MARIA DE LOS ANGELES

Entered Dorie’s Promise: 4/4/2011

DOB: 12/2010

Maria came to us by court order after she was abandoned in the hospital. Her parents never showed up to claim her after she received medical treatment for dehydration and intestinal issues. As a result, the minor’s court took charge of her case. She was housed with us while they attempted to locate her parents. After many hearings and ads in the newspaper, nobody claimed Maria. Her adoptability was declared in February 2013. CNA, local adoption officials, found a family for her in April 2014.


Entered Dorie’s Promise: 2/13/2013

Jacky’s and Jessy’s DOB: 9/2005

The Villegas Siblings with their adoptive mother Susan.Vanessa’s DOB: 10/2006

They were sent to us because their case was stuck in the courts after international adoptions closed. We were their fifth home while they waited for their case to be finalized. After a long seven-year wait, they were released to their mother in the United States. Their mother told us:

This is GODS MIRACLE! I am just the mommy! I was told to go away, the case was closed, you will never get them – but I believe that when God places something on your heart He will carry you through, sustain you, and give you wisdom and discernment . So when there appeared to be NO WAY another door would open.

This is the 5th orphanage the girls were in. Wow!!! What a difference!

Dorie’s Promise not only feeds and clothes their children, they feed their hearts and souls. They have created an environment that truly gives the feeling and security of a home and family. I am so grateful to the Special Mother’s and everyone who loved my children as their own.


Entered Dorie’s Promise: 2/4/2009

DOB: 9/2007

Jazmin with her Forever FamilyWhen Guatemala closed international adoptions, the court ordered Jazmin transferred to our home. Her adoptive father, Jeff Denbleyker, made a special visit to our home to make sure his daughter was in a safe place. Advertisements were put out to find relatives who might want Jazmin, but they received no answer. Finally, the courts approved Jazmin’s adoptability, and then, after a longer wait and more hearings, allowed her international adoption to be finalized so she could go home. Below is a note from her adoptive father.

Jazmin’s smile and bright eyes first captured our hearts in late 2007. We had no idea what the adoption process would turn into, but there was no doubt that God had put her in our hearts and asked us to take the step forward. As Guatemala’s adoption laws changed, and the interpretation and implementation of those laws evolved throughout 2008, Jazmin’s future was filled with uncertainty. I still remember that phone call in early 2009 where we were told that the adoption was over and Jazmin would likely be placed in a government orphanage. You can imagine the heartbreak; but that desperate time was followed by a phone call a day later that Jazmin was placed, through the truly miraculous hand of God, at Dorie’s Promise. Little did I know at that time how significant this blessing would be in her life.

While the subsequent five years have been an incredibly difficult journey, it was such a blessing to know that Jazmin was being cared for at Dorie’s Promise. While orphan care typically focuses upon physical needs, Dorie’s Promise also took care of her spiritual and emotional needs in an extraordinary way. Amidst our angst in fighting for her adoption, she was in a place where she experienced and knew love … something so rare in this world. Yes, we regret that she was not able to spend those five years in our home with our family, but we owe an enormous debt of gratitude to all who make Dorie’s Promise what it is and made such a positive and amazing imprint in her life. God truly had her in His hand. THANK YOU!



*International adoptions in Guatemala closed in 2008

Bringing Chelsea Home

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Guest Post By Tim Sainz-

Chelsea and her dad during one of his tripsA few weeks ago, Heather Radu asked me to write something about my experience with Dorie’s Promise.

“Something brief,” she said. “Or something long. Whatever you want.”

The long version is way too long, so I will take a stab at a short one.

I have visited Dorie’s Promise about 15 times in the last six years.

The first time I went, it wasn’t called Dorie’s Promise, the oldest child living there was nine years old, and my daughter was three weeks old.

When I went a month ago, I chatted with that same young lady, who is now 15, and after the trip and a long legal battle, I also took my daughter home. She’s now six.

A few things strike me about the reactions friends, family, and strangers have had about Chelsea finally coming home.

First, a lot of them comment about what a good thing it is that I stuck with this for so long — and they say this with a combination of curiosity and surprise.

Chelsea now six years old.It’s not for me to analyze whether these reactions are commentaries on what folks think of me or whether they are reflections on themselves.

Whatever they are, they provoke only one thought in me. I never had the choice of giving up. I went into this seven years ago with my eyes open.

Adopting isn’t like shopping. There is no return policy. At least not for me.

My wife and I agreed before we even started an adoption process that no matter what happened, we would stay the course. That included things like developmental or physical handicaps. We never imagined legal roadblocks and the associated financial burdens, but it included them too.

Don’t get me wrong. Even though I kept them pushed away in my dark recesses, I had my doubts about the outcome of this adoption. My faith was tested. It just wasn’t lost.

Comments that were intended to comfort me — for example, “God has His own timetable” — proved much more annoying than comforting. I had to work at not allowing this trial to take my faith and turn me into a misery for the people in my life.

The next reaction I get is the knowing look that is a combination of worry and pity coupled with the question, “How is Chelsea adjusting?”

Let me just say this.

Chelsea was home maybe 10 days before she started complaining, “Why are you always asking me for help putting away my clothes?” It’s completely lost on her that I helped by washing and folding them. Sounds like a normal adjustment to me.

Chelsea with one of our special mothers at Dorie's PromiseThe biggest surprise, however, is the reaction I never get.

People focus on my wait. No one ever wants to hear how Chelsea managed through the last six years.

For me, however, it’s important to remember that at the end of the day, the adoption of my daughter has nothing to do with me or any unforeseen benefits I may have received from having my resolve tested.

The people at Dorie’s Promise, Chelsea, and her birth mother are the heroes here.

Imagine you have a boyfriend and that he loves you. Then imagine you get pregnant and all of a sudden he no longer does. You are a societal pariah, and overnight you lose the support of your friends and family.

Now imagine that you are a six-year-old girl who owns her own underwear but not a whole lot of anything else. You have seen other children go home, but you don’t really know what that means. Some foreign guy who speaks broken Spanish visits regularly. You know him as your papa, but you don’t really know why he won’t just take you home. Life is pleasant — it’s all you really know — but there has always been something that’s not quite right.

And finally imagine that you start a foundation to help unwanted children find homes. Other people exploited the system and ruined it for all of the unwanted children. You had to come up with an entirely new operating plan so that you could continue to shelter the kids who were already under your care.

I wasn’t really looking for something to test my faith when I started the process of adopting Chelsea. Candidly, I had no idea what a test of faith was.

Chelsea and her family have been Forever Changed.On reflection, it seems to me that test of faith is a misleading term. It’s not so much a test as it is a search for stronger people who inspire me to continue down a challenging path.

It wasn’t fun fighting a legal battle and watching the growing frustration in Chelsea.

It was nothing, however, compared to giving my child up in hopes of her having a better life.

Nothing compared with living in an orphanage without “my own mama and papa”.

And nothing compared with the constant pressure of more than 50 children and employees depending on me.

Dorie’s Promise is undoubtedly the greatest thing that ever happened to Chelsea and every child who has ever, and will ever, live there. It’s certainly the best thing that ever happened to me.

The place is full of people who keep the faith — active faith, it seems. Not so much blind faith. And with this, they change lives. Not the least of which are mine and Chelsea’s.

For that, my family and I are and always will be grateful to everyone involved.

Thank you.


Elyel Is Adopted

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

By Pablo Villagran-

Among the stories we love to share most are those about children who find loving, caring parents. That is the case with six-year-old Elyel, who came to Dorie’s Promise as an infant in 2006 and was adopted in late July.

According to staff members who have called to check on him, Elyel is happy and everything is going well.

“His parents said that he had a hard time going to bed the first few nights but with time he got used to it and now is sleeping very well,” says Director Alejandra Diaz. “He has adapted well to his new school and family.”

Elyel lives on a farm, which is a perfect setting for a boy who loves animals. To make it even better, he now has a horse to call his own.

Since adoption rates in our country are typically low, we are encouraged by what appears to be more interest in adoption by families here. We regularly see couples who are looking for a child like Elyel or Carlos Enrique, who was adopted earlier in 2012.

Dorie’s Promise played a key role in facilitating Elyel’s adoption. Teacher Claudia Roncal suggested that the prospective parents spend time with Elyel to get to know him better.

They accomplished this through a series of 10 meetings, which each lasted four to six hours.

Claudia says the idea came from a process we followed with Carlos’ adoption. She suggested it to some psychologists, who agreed.

They chose the teacher to supervise the meetings, which were held in our pre-school classroom. “This established an effective link with his future parents,” Claudia says. “We did this through games, including them in Elyel’s daily activities and directed interaction.

“This not only made them feel included, it made possible the positive transition from Elyel’s environment here to his new home. It also allowed other children to get a positive outlook on the process—and prepares them to one day possibly pass through it themselves.”

It particularly benefited Elyel, who had spent almost his entire life at Dorie’s Promise. During the period of transition we helped him adjust to living elsewhere and promoted closer interaction with his father.

This helped establish confidence in Elyel, who struggled through a period of anxiety. Fortunately, Claudia says the family made a great effort to attend all scheduled meetings and patiently gave him space to remove distrust and anxiety.

“This is one of the happiest endings to a story I’ve ever seen,” Claudia says. “It was an honor to present people to Elyel who would always be there for him and assure him that he would be going to a good home. It was one of the most significant experiences of my life.”

If you would like to play a role in helping other children to experience the kind of joy that comes when an orphan is adopted, click here to learn more about helping Dorie’s Promise.

Birthday donations

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

By Pablo Villagran-

Birthday parties are a special occasion for any child, but former resident Maria Jabin marked her happy day recently with a unique twist.

In place of gifts to Maria, who just turned seven, her friends made donations to Dorie’s Promise.

“She also asked her friends to bring princess costumes or accessories for the little girls at Dorie’s Promise,” says her mother, Kay. “We sent them to Guatemala, along with some gifts for the Special Mothers.

“We included pictures and a letter that our oldest daughter wrote in Spanish, updating them on Maria and how she is doing here in the United States.”

Maria is the youngest of six children the couple are raising; five are adopted. They first adopted Vanya from Bulgaria in 1995 through All God’s Children International (AGCI.) That process brought them in touch with our founder, Heather Radu.

Part of a large group of families from Cincinnati, Ohio who adopted through AGCI, the Jabins helped organize reunion picnics and hosted Bulgarians during visits to America. After adopting Vanya, the Jabins adopted three boys through the foster care system in Ohio.

“In 2004 we decided to adopt through AGCI again,” Kay says. “Their program in Guatemala was running well and we were interested in adopting an infant.”

Aside from their oldest, (natural) daughter, Rebekah, all of their other children were three or four years old when they joined the family.

So, the Jabins looked forward to welcoming another infant. They completed their paperwork in Guatemala and secured approval in the winter of 2005.

Throughout this period, the Jabins had been praying for “Baby Maria” even though they had no idea how long it would take before they got another child.

In the spring of 2005, Tim and Rebekah spent a week here helping to paint, move furniture, and spend time caring for and playing with the children.

A few days after returning home, the Jabins received an e-mail from AGCI, saying they needed a family to accept a referral for a baby girl who could potentially have a health problem.

“When we received the e-mail we quickly realized that Rebekah had spent almost an entire day with this baby,” Kay recalls.

“We had literally been looking at some pictures of our daughter holding Maria when we received the e-mail. We couldn’t help thinking that some kind of divine intervention was taking place.”

The Jabins responded immediately with a “yes.” As it turned out, Maria never developed a health condition. Tim and Kay call that a sign that God simply wanted this little girl in their family.

In the summer of 2011, Rebekah returned to Dorie’s Promise with a couple of college friends on a mission trip.

During their visit, Rebekah was able to do morning devotions with the Special Mothers who had cared for Maria.

“The Special Mothers told her that one thing that made them sad was not hearing from adoptive families and about how the children were doing after they left the orphanage,” Kay says.

However, in this case the story is known—and what a happy one!

Elyel’s New Family

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Elyel Garcia Gramajo

DOB: 05/15/2006

Entered Dorie's Promise: 05/17/2006

Recently, Elyel left Dorie's Promise to be united with his new family.

Elyel's biological mother entered the Promise of Life program to give her baby up for adoption. However, after she delivered Elyel, she disappeared. She has not been present and it has been difficult to find her in order to continue with the adoption process. Eventually the biological mother was notified by the court to continue with the process to allow Elyel to be adopted. On 03/03/2009 the court declared Elyel adoptable.

The Central Adoption Authority (CNA) found a Guatemalan family interested in adopting him. Through a process that take approximately 3 weeks, Elyel and his new family got to know each other. Elyel leaves Dorie's Promise, the home that has sheltered him since he was a newborn. We wish Elyel the best and pray the Lord keep him safe and happy in his new life.