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Posts Tagged ‘Dorie’s Promise’

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


Care Concert May 24th Camas Meadows

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

Mark your calendars for a Care Concert to Support Forever Changed International.

Mark your calendars for a Care Concert to Support Forever Changed International. The concert will be Tuesday May 24th from 6-8pm at Camas Meadows in Camas, WA. If you are anywhere near the Portland/Vancouver area, you won’t want to miss this special event. Featuring performances by Caryn Jamison and the Opus Student Ensemble this concert will be fun for the whole family.

Tickets are a suggested donation of $10/person. FREE Appetizers will be provided and wine will be available. Plus, we will have lots of door prizes and raffle giveaways. (Raffle tickets will be 3 for $5 at the door.) Check out our Facebook page for updates on the great donations from our friends and sponsors for the raffle prizes. Our first prize is an overnight stay at Skamania lodge located on the beautiful Columbia Gorge.  This package includes 1 night of lodging, breakfast for two in the Cascade dining room, and two rounds of golf.  Receive two RAFFLE TICKETS TODAY by Pre-Registering for the event.

Forever Changed International is a nonprofit organization based in Camas, WA. We have owned and operated an orphanage (Dorie’s Promise), in Guatemala City for more than 16 years, providing a loving home to Guatemala’s forgotten children. As an organization we also provide: services to poor families in communities and send people to experience trips from all over the United States: church groups, community groups, schools, businesses, families and individuals are all welcome to join us on a trip.

This is a family friendly event so feel free to bring your children! It will be a great evening of live music, food, and activities for everyone. Your donation enters you into a drawing for one of many prizes we will be giving away. We look forward to seeing you! Get your tickets today.

Mario Making Improvements with Special Care

Thursday, March 31st, 2016


Please consider sponsoring Mario today — let’s continue to see his life forever changed!

Mario has been making great improvement.

By MJ Zelya –

Mario came to Dorie’s Promise in 2012. He was at a low weight after being born prematurely and had physical and neurological issues.

Once he turned 1, Dr. Castro found some abnormal arm movements and diagnosed Mario with a tic after seizures were ruled out.

Dr. Castro told us, “After observing and following up Mario’s behavior, I concluded that he was presenting a neurological syndrome called Gilles de la Tourette. As he has difficulty tolerating the noises of the children in the home, his eye contact was almost nonexistent, and he showed a repetitive obsessive behavior pattern, I suspected Mario was suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder and Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome, a common associated sign. Then with a neurologist and some psychological assistance, we confirmed the diagnosis.”

Mario started special psychological therapy that emphasized developmental stimulation and socialization behavior. He also receives personalized attention from our Special Mothers and staff — they follow specific instructions to help him cope socially at Dorie’s Promise and to help stimulate his speech and his fine and gross motor and social-personal development.

Mario has improved while he’s been with us.

He now likes to jump and can balance on one leg, catch the ball, and even imitate animal movements. He enjoys finger-painting, playing musical instruments — especially the piano — and likes to drawing large lines. He is friendly, shows affection, and smiles more often!

Among other things Mario's language has taken a huge turn for the better.Mario’s language has taken a huge turn for the better: he imitates animal noises — cows, dogs, pigs. He communicates what he wants or dislikes with phrases like “I am hungry,” “I am tired.” And he can tell when someone is being funny, or if someone is angry.

Special Mother Marleni Marroquin says, “He is such a cute boy. He likes to play with puzzles; he loves to go out and walk with the kids around the neighborhood. When we see other people out and about he tells them Good morning or Good-bye. He can count from 1 to 10 and also knows colors and shapes. He is not a picky eater — his favorite foods are meat with veggies and fruits. He is even potty-trained — no more diaper! He is a loving boy who smiles all the time and shares with our kids, staff, and visitors.”

The improvement in Mario’s development is thanks to people who support Dorie’s Promise — friends like you make it possible for Mario to receive such special care. As he gets older, he will of course continue receiving all the training and therapy he needs, as well as medical follow-ups. Please consider sponsoring Mario today — let’s continue to see his life forever changed!

Cooking Healthy Food For Our Children

Thursday, March 24th, 2016

Chef Ruth prepares food for a party.

By MJ Zelya –

Chef Ruth serving a meal at Dorie's Promise.An important part of every child’s health is nutrition and a balanced diet. At Dorie’s Promise Guatemala, we strive to help our children keep and reach good health based on the food pyramid and supported and supervised by our nutritionist and doctor, Dr. Castro.

Two people help make this possible — our Chef, Ruth, and her assistant, Mary. They always serve delicious food and snacks.

They also prepare the food for our mission trip visitors. In fact, the work they do is amazing — they cook anywhere from 40 to 70 dishes a day, plus healthy snacks and beverages.

Ruth says: I love my profession. It is a way I can show affection to the people I love. I know that the children love my food, and the most amazing experience here is seeing the new children in Dorie’s Promise look at their plate of food and see their smiles and faces light up. It’s priceless.

Some of the favorites include barbecue, baked potatoes, grilled chicken, and zucchini lasagna.

Mary helps prepare food in the kitchen.Mary remarks: I love these children — they are so special and they always put a smile on your face. I love the work I do for them, because through food we can demonstrate our love for them.

One leader from a mission team, Pastor Robert William of Community Baptist Church, shares his experience with our food: Let me tell you — the food is great! Breakfast and supper were wonderful … very good and high quality!

With God’s help, and through the support of our sponsors and mission teams, we are able to hire personnel who are committed to their work and faithful to cooking healthy food for our children. Consider helping us continue our work by becoming a Sponsor Today.

Quinceañera Party

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

Ingrid looks like a princess in her Quinceañera dress.

Alej giving a speech for Ingrid's Quinceañera.One of our customs in Guatemala is to celebrate the 15th birthday of any girl — as she is becoming a young lady. One of our girls turned 15 in February, and she was so excited to celebrate it — she had been looking forward to her Quinceañera Party for a year. But we continued to explain to her that we hoped to have the funds to do it. So she prayed and prayed: if it was the Lord’s will, He would make it happen.

In the months leading up to Ingrid’s birthday, Alejandra, our Director, and Jessica, the children’s activities coordinator, started planning. It’s always amazing how God opens doors! A company donated turkeys for the dinner, another donated the cake, and still others donated the dresses. It was unbelievable at the beginning! God proved that anything is possible, and that He is in control!

Alej says: “It was a great day for Ingrid and everyone made her feel so special … all the planning, decoration, music, lights, dresses, her hairdo and makeup — everything!”

Everyone cooperated to help make it happen.

The special birthday cake for the Quinceañera.We are grateful she is a part of our home. If she weren’t here, she may not have had the opportunity to experience all the excitement and celebration.

Jessica says that it was amazing to see Ingrid’s dream come true, to see her transformed into a fairy tale princess, and make her beyond happy. Even all the children were amazed to see how pretty she was — they loved being part of the celebration.

“It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced,” Ingrid says. “It was so magical. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to celebrate my 15th birthday in that way … Thank you all!

The special moms, staff, and children love Ingrid. This celebration was full of beauty, excitement, gratitude — we had so much fun. Thank you for helping make dreams like this one come true!

See more of the Quinceañera pictures on our Facebook page.

Cari’s Kids

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

Give a Gift to Orphans : Become a Sponsor

By Cari Burck –

Cari with her husband Bradley.I will never forget my first trip to Guatemala, when I made it my mission to get a little guy named Lester to smile. I loved on him, devoted attention to him, and acted silly. Before leaving, I snapped the first-ever picture of him smiling.

On that trip, I left a piece of my heart at Dorie’s Promise. Our support of the home gives my husband, Bradley, and me dozens of children in addition to the two who live in our own home. In a modest way, we are helping to solve the world’s orphan crisis.

As I flew home after a recent visit, I thought of ways others in North America can play a vital role in helping orphans in Guatemala. This is true even though it’s been eight years since the country curtailed international adoptions.

To start with, anyone can sponsor a child. Providing 24/7 care in a safe environment is expensive; it takes $1,000 a month per child to meet Forever Changed International’s standards. FCI asks for a minimum pledge of $35 a month, which means it takes multiple sponsors to meet each child’s needs.

Thanks to e-mail, Skype, and other modern communications, you can maintain regular contact with your child, too. You can find out what’s going on in their lives as you help feed, clothe, and care for kids like Mario, Fabiola, Yojana, Alex, and Dulce.

However, don’t restrict your involvement to instant messages or video chats. Think about coming to Guatemala. Over the years thousands have. All return home with a familiar refrain on their lips: “This changed my life.”

All Smiles from Ingrid and Jennifer.It isn’t just helping the orphans at Dorie’s Promise that makes a difference. Participating in community improvement projects will help you get a better understanding of the conditions in the Guatemala City area. Making a difference in needy people’s lives will make a difference in yours.

Back home, you can take part in awareness activities. Churches have sponsored fun runs that not only raise money for FCI, but spread the message about our work. Others have sponsored garage sales or asked guests coming to their child’s birthday party to donate to Dorie’s Promise as their gift.

You can plan a fundraiser for your sponsored child’s community, too. Bake sales, yard sales, and dance marathons may seem like outdated activities. But when the purpose is helping the poor, old becomes “retro” and young people get as excited as their parents.

If your area gets blanketed by another storm this winter, why not use some of that time to read a book about global poverty or international adoption*? There are many titles that will increase your understanding of the deplorable conditions that have created the global orphan crisis.

When you take a reading break, consider jumping online to join FCI’s prayer team. Each month you will receive specific prayer requests and praise items. Prayer is an essential lifeline for this ministry. Or, if you just want to stay informed about developments, you can sign up for e-mail notifications.

Your help changes lives!Other ways you can help include:

  • Consider giving a special gift. You can check the gift registry for the latest needs, or consider placing one of the children on your Christmas gift list next fall.
  • Host a dinner. Invite good friends to your home, and after dinner make a short presentation on Dorie’s Promise. Tell others what this means to your life. You may attract another sponsor or two for the home.
  • Engage your church. Many need some kind of missions focus. Letting them know about our Reach Out Missions could light a spark among the members.
  • Tell others about sponsorship. Speak to the Rotary Club or other community organization. After all, if you sponsor a child, you’re an expert. You know what good this accomplishes and how it makes you feel.

Go ahead. Join my mission to let everyone know about the incredible things that are happening in Guatemala!

* International Adoption from Guatemala closed in 2008

Announcing the Forever Changed Care Concert

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

care concert

If you are in the Portland/ Vancouver area you’ll want to mark your calendars for Tuesday May 24th 6pm-8pm, for a Care Concert at Camas Meadows. Tickets are a $10 donation/person. FREE Appetizers will be provided and wine will be available. All proceeds go towards providing orphans in Guatemala with much needed food, clothing, shelter, medicine and loving care.

Last years Care Concert support All God’s Children International and featured performers like Caryn Jamieson, Tom Mann, and Dani Tanzella. More Information will be coming soon so stay in touch!

The Children of Dorie’s Promise Get A Boost in English

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

Paul Stickland teaching English to the children of Dorie's Promise.

Some of the Dorie's Promise students with Paul.There are always people willing to help and spend time with our children. Recently, our older ones are receiving English classes from Paul Stickland — an Englishman who has been living in Guatemala for seven years.

He heard of Dorie’s Promise several years ago after occasionally seeing the children being taken for walks and playing games. He often wished he could do something to help them — but it only became possible last year once he retired and could finally commit some of his time.

He visited Dorie’s Promise and offered to give the children English conversation classes.

Paul says: “Before retirement, I worked as a banker, and my office supported three charities for children. Each time I visited them I would meet children who were bright and happy, and see how important it is to have a loving home and a good education. I would always come away full of admiration for the people who helped them.

“I give English conversation classes on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons to different groups of children, depending on their levels of proficiency and their ages. The experience has been incredibly rewarding, as they are always very keen to learn, and their progress has been truly remarkable.

Playing a game to reenforce the lesson.“I always try to make the classes fun, so we don’t study English grammar, and I don’t set homework. In fact, sometimes in order to get the children to practice their English, I ask them silly questions and we all laugh. For example, when talking about pets and animals, I have asked them if they would prefer to have a dog, a cat, an elephant, a giraffe, a lion, a tiger — and they respond very well.”

Ana Lucia says: “I am so excited to learn English; I like the language so much, and I will learn how to communicate with the missioners.”

Abraham Cabrera says: “Paul’s class is funny. I like it because I don’t get bored.”

“For me,” Paul explains, “it is so gratifying to hear their advancement in English and how they show interest in learning new things every day. I appreciate the opportunity to teach them and be part of their lives.

Beyond Dorie’s Promise: An Update on Jonathan

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

Jonathan and his brother Gerson at Dorie's Promise in 20111

Jonathan and his brother Gerson at Dorie’s Promise in 20111

By MJ Zelya –

Jonathan at a recent school ceremony.

Jonathan at a recent school ceremony.

One of the things I love about my job is seeing God move through situations or people that enter our lives for an unseen reason or purpose. Seeing a positive change in others’ lives helps you keep going — not stopping — to daily improve and develop a better version of yourself.

When we receive children who come from abuse or neglect, our hearts hurt knowing their physical and emotional status, but we know they come with a purpose! Dorie’s Promise has the chance to help transform their lives in every aspect!

That happened with Jonathan … perhaps you remember him. He entered Dorie’s Promise in 2009 and stayed two years. He was sent by a court order from the hospital because he had third-degree burns on his hands from his biological mother. At his young age, he was abused physically and emotionally. At the time we could not imagine the lack of parenting and love that would lead to long-lasting scars on this beautiful child’s life.

Toward the beginning, Jonathan was shy and would have regular behavioral outbursts. His heart was filled with anger — toward his old life and his mother.

After working with a psychologist, we noticed he was changing … he learned to forgive his mother — God was giving him a new opportunity to start afresh, leave the past behind, and focus on his future.

Jonathan in 2011

Jonathan at Dorie’s Promise in 2011.

After two years of therapy, he was ready to go back home. The minors’ court decided he should be reunited with his mother in 2012 — after she went through parenting school and psychological help as well. His mom learned her lesson, and Jonathan learned to believe in God, and also in himself.

We continue supporting Jonathan and his brother Gerson, with a scholarship and school supplies. They visit us and play with the children. He has grown a lot — this year he started middle school and is very responsible, with excellent grades!

We are thankful that God let us be part of his life and the process of change. We are so proud of him and what he has accomplished!

We also thank YOU for your support … Please continue praying for our ministry and for all of our children’s lives to be forever changed!

Why You Should Visit Dorie’s Promise

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

Some visiting mission trippers with children at Dories' Promise.

By MJ Zelya –

Groups small and large are able to visit us at Dorie's Promise.Dorie’s Promise is a beautiful home that gives shelter to orphans and neglected kids in Guatemala City.

It’s located in a colorful, safe, quiet neighborhood that makes you feel like you are home. You will have the opportunity to spend time with our children and also meet many friendly and humble people in the surrounding communities.

I can tell you that it is an eye-opening experience from start to finish. After landing in our country, you will discover and see a completely different landscape than you are used to.

It will give you a chance to help many people in need and also get to know a little more of Guatemala and its culture.

So many of the children we receive at Dorie’s Promise come from some of the most impoverished areas in the country — some you will even get to visit.

Our staff has a special agenda scheduled for you and will be waiting for you at the airport. Over the course of your stay, you will visit the ghetto, garbage dump, and state-run orphanages.

All our visitors stay in our guest house, which has nice rooms and the capacity for 30 people in the event that you come with your church or school group. It is located next to our home, and the delicious food is prepared by our cook; transportation is also provided to and from our home.

One of the service projects that Missions Teams helped with last year was building this school in Palencia.Kathy Demers and Michelle Janssen, mission-trippers who have visited us before, share their experience:

We love the way the children are taken care of! Dorie’s does their utmost to provide a loving, fun, stable environment that is Christ-centered. We have visited Dorie’s Promise maybe eight or nine years; sometimes just for six days, other times for the entire week.

We keep coming back because of the fact that Dorie’s children are being loved and raised as well as our children back in the U.S. It’s not the mentality to “just get by” but rather to give the best to them because that is what we do for our own children, and it’s what God expects for them as well.

Generally speaking, since our first visit in 2008, it’s been awesome to watch how toddlers have grown up into young girls and boys of 10 and older. They have been loved, guided, prayed for, played with, protected, and hugged so many times by the wonderful special moms and other staff members. This is a REAL home for the kids! God bless them all!

Galatians 6:10 says: “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

We truly believe that God has helped many abandon and abused children and communities through our ministry, and we would like for you to be part of it. It will give you the opportunity to feel, and know, how blessed you are and what it’s like to be a blessing to others too.

If you are thinking of going on a mission trip, please come and visit us! You will find everything in one place, and you won’t have to worry about a thing. Watch this video to find out more: