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.
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.’ ”
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.