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Posts Tagged ‘Heather Radu’

A Mother’s Inspiration

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

From a mother's heart an orphanage took form in Guatemala.

By Kelly Shank –

A photo of Heather from the FCI archives.In 2000, a young mother went to Guatemala with a desire to help children find loving homes. With a decade of experience in orphan care and adoption, she saws the needs and knew there was a better way to help. Children thrive best in a loving home and she was determined to help children find families.

Our founder, Heather Radu, prefers to quietly work behind the scenes, but this week we want to highlight her tireless commitment to our children.

If you’ve ever worked with Heather, you understand her energy, drive, and passion for our work.

She is the heart of everything we do. From the earliest days of Dorie’s Promise, when she and her children lived in Guatemala, until today, her efforts are focused on providing the best possible home for every child in our care. Mediocre is not an option. Her passion is contagious and her drive makes the rest of us work even harder.

After international adoptions closed, Heather could have quietly stepped away from Guatemala. Instead, she chose to stay and transition to the hard work of orphan care. Her love for our children wouldn’t allow her to abandon them. They needed a family and she wanted to help. In the years since, we’ve seen our staff and children become a family, loving each other deeply and supporting our children as they heal.

Heather on the left with one of the teenagers at Dorie's Promise, Brayan.Eighteen years later, Heather’s goal and commitment in Guatemala hasn’t changed. Her primary goal will always be the well-being of our children. Every decision is based on how it improves the lives of our kids—schooling, staffing, even our missions program. Nothing will ever be more important than the opportunity we have to raise healthy, happy children. As our children get older, Heather is even more involved, guiding us through the responsibility to raise successful young men and women who break the cycle of poverty.

This year for Mother’s Day, we celebrate and thank Heather for inspiring us and giving us the opportunity to join her as we champion the children of Dorie’s Promise!

Ten-Year Employees Recognized

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

The employees who have been with Dorie’s Promise for 10 years or longer. We couldn’t have done it without them.

By Heather Radu –

Founder, Heather Radu recognizes the long term employees.One of the most joyous occasions of this spring was honoring—and saying thanks to—all the employees who have been with Dorie’s Promise for 10 years or longer.

We couldn’t have done it without them. They have stayed with us through the years and even in the most difficult of times, have been there with a smile.

Their names are Lucia, Diana, Marleni, Ingrid, Mina, Mimi, Juanita, Noemi, Lucky, Ismelda, Oscar, Abel, Doc and Ale.

Showing what kind of caring spirit they have, on their night of recognition they also thanked me for the opportunity to be part of the organization. They gave a special thanks to God too because, here at Forever Changed International, they found their real calling for life.

It is difficult to over-estimate the value of our long-term employees to the stability of the ministry, the smooth operations at Dorie’s Promise, and the security our children sense from seeing many of the same faces day after day, year after year.

It was a big moment for me, too, as the occasion reminded me of how I hired some of them in 2000, when the home just opened.

Later, when we were living in Guatemala, some of them were part of our family. Literally, since they pitched in and helped us raise our own children. Though now grown, our kids retain many fond memories of their time at Dorie’s Promise.

After these many years, it is not just the hard work or a salary that keeps those people with FCI. It is because we have become a family and, by seeing them working every day, I can tell they are passionate about what they do. Our children are lucky to have people who really care about them and love them.

It is worth noting that their efforts often lack the “glamor” of a mission trip or the excitement that many people associate with “ministry.”At the ceremony to recognize employees.

Every parent can understand the long hours, constant effort, training and worry that is part of raising a child. The same can be said of raising orphans, many whom come from backgrounds of poverty and abuse.

It requires diligence, patience of the highest order, and a willingness to devote your life outside of the spotlight, wondering whether you will ever see breakthroughs with children who struggle against enormous odds.

Why do they do it? In one word: love. Love of God and love for the children treated by many as outcasts.

Their rewards come in the form of caring smiles, words spoken for the first time, and children who achieve the kind of things once thought impossible. We can’t thank them enough for their devotion.

A Great Need… Support Forever Changed International Today

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Our children need you now more than ever before.

Founder Heather Radu

By Heather Radu –

I want to share something that’s weighing on my heart with you. 

Since we started Forever Changed International, it has been our goal to see our home sustained 100% through child sponsorship. Monthly child sponsorship gives our children the most reliable source of income to fund the home and therefore provides them the most secure future possible.

Over the years, we have been diligent in asking those who support the ministry to become monthly sponsors of our children. Currently, 70% of the children are sponsored.

To cover the remaining 30%, we look to friends who give generously AND to our missions program’s donation fees. This year, our missions program is down in numbers. We are forecasting 160 less mission trip participants this year than last. Unfortunately this year, both spring and summer trip numbers were much lower than in years past. A few large teams were unexpectedly unable to participate.

This means about $160,000 less coming through our doors — funds that are necessary for us to maintain the level of care we are currently providing our children.

Honestly, we have been talking about the possibility of this kind of thing happening for years. It is impossible to know for certain that the same number of participants will serve with us as planned each year. Every time we talk about sponsorship, I want you know we are looking at our mission program and saying, “We can’t rely on this as a steady income source.”

Again, our goal is to see our homes 100% funded through our monthly sponsors. All other income would then be available for administrative and potential growth expenses. So, all of this to say…

The income we rely on to run Dorie’s Promise is down and is expected to be down for at least the next several months. WE REALLY NEED YOUR HELP!

Would you consider a special gift to the ministry today?

Give a gift today to help these boys living at our home in Guatemala.There are so many ways to help us at this time.  I have listed a few options here:

  • Give a special gift today.
  • Become a sponsor.
  • Contact Charity Danielson, our sponsorship coordinator, at 360-836-7626 or to find out how you can help us spread the word to friends and family about our sponsorship programs. Monthly sponsorship is the most secure way to care for our children!
  • Contact Naomi Beazely  to find out more about planning a future mission trip to serve with us.
  • Pray for our ministry and children — that we will continue to be able to serve for years to come.

I don’t know what you could do given the urgency of this post. Would you pray about it and give as God leads you?

Whatever you do, please know that your help is needed, and needed immediately. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Our children need you now more than ever before.

New Look of Rooms Delight the Children of Dorie’s Promise

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Maria check out her new room at Dorie's Promise Guatemala

The children gather for aribbon cutting cermony for their newly decorated rooms.Love has never been lacking at Dorie’s Promise Guatemala. The children, the special moms, and the rest of the staff all share a deep bond with one another. This is what has made Dorie’s Promise one of the best places for an orphaned child to grow up in Guatemala.

One of the amazing things about love is that the more you give, the bigger it gets. And when your love grows like the love at Dorie’s Promise has, you find creative ways to show it! That is exactly what happened when Heather, Naomi, and others began to notice a small problem around the orphanage.

When Dorie’s Promise Guatemala opened, each room was decorated with attention and love. But fourteen years and 650 children later, the children’s’ rooms were beginning to look old and tired. The décor was simply worn out. Additionally, many of the children had come to the orphanage as toddlers and had outgrown their old beds!

“We have always wanted to have a home that represented what we would give our own kids,” Heather said. Since that was becoming harder and harder with the older decorations, a major overhaul was in order. Over the next year the Dorie’s Promise team planned, designed, and bought new items for each of the Several of the staff and volunteers in the new boys cars themed room.children’s rooms. Several generous donors showed their love by covering the cost of the entire project, and mission teams were able to participate by bringing the bedding, carpet, and decorations with them as they traveled to Guatemala.

Each bedroom was decorated according to a theme inspired by the kids who would soon fill the bunks inside. The older girls received a beautiful room filled with bright colors and inspirational wall decorations. The older boys, on the other hand, were given a pirate-themed room, which perfectly matched their spirit of fun and energy.

Once the new decorations arrived, it was time for the team to get to work.

The excited children left their rooms and slept in the guest quarters while everything was being done (though many of them could not resist trying take a peek at their new rooms). Still, the wait was worth it. Boy pirate themed bedroom at Dorie's PromiseNothing compared to the unveiling of their new rooms. The children joyfully inspected every detail as they settled into their new rooms, quite pleased with the new look.

Not only were the children pleased, but the adults who worked on the project were pleased as well.

“Color and life were brought back to the rooms,” said Heather. “Everything looks as good as it did the day we opened fourteen years ago.”

The rooms truly look just as good as they did back then, but the redecoration project revealed something else: At Dorie’s Promise Guatemala, the love keeps getting bigger.

See the pictures on our Facebook page…


Improvements to House 6

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Updates to House 6

By Heather Radu-

Updates to House 6After 13 long years of wear and tear, it was definitely time to bring the “cozy factor” back into House 6. Here are some of the exciting changes that were made during my fall trip to Dorie’s Promise:

  • The entire home was freshly painted, including the ceilings. There was a large moldy closet off of the large girls’ room that was treated and repainted. It will become a walk-in closet for the six girls who are in that room.
  • One of our teams bought a new TV for the children.
  • We purchased new couches and chairs. It is so great to be able to now seat all of our kids comfortably in the living room. Plus, it’s much more open for when teams want to join our kids in the home.
  • We added carpet in the living room.
  • Curtains were added to both living and dining areas.
  • The wood staircase and some damaged furniture, doors, and baseboards were repaired.
  • We put little tables and chairs on the deck of House 6 so that the teens had a place to relax/do homework away from the younger children.
  • Pablo, Abel, and Jessica helped us plant 10 flower boxes so that each home had some on each deck. The special moms were so excited about the flowers! It really brightened up the dining room. Additional flowers were planted up the driveway.
  • The bars were removed from most of the windows in both 5 and 6. It no longer feels like a jail.
  • Child safety locks were installed on the sliding doors to the decks
  • The old couch/chair and love seat from House 6 are being recovered to be used in House 5.
  • The backyard looks great. We have a team coming in April that plans to build a playhouse for the kids. This is the same team that built the play structure.

Updates to House 6Whew! That was a lot of work for such a short time. I want to thank everyone who helped us, especially Ashley and her team. She has a work program for young men and has developed it nicely. They were a great help with this project.

You can’t imagine how excited the moms and kids were to have the homes transformed. It really was high time for the changes. This was by far one of the best and most productive trips I’ve made in a long time. Our staff and kids are doing great. We had some tough changes this summer, but during this trip I was able to see how the Lord really does “work all things together for good.”

If you want to help us continue to improve the home environment for our children, CLICK HERE for our gift registry. Among what’s needed, we are praying for a new van, security cameras, upgraded Internet service, and new roofing for House 6. You can help in big and small ways; we also have listed clothing, toys, and educational materials that the children need.

As always, thanks for your continued support of the ministry.

Beautiful Backyard After One More Try

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

By Bradley Burck-

You need to have a look at the pictures of what we’ve done to the backyard. After years of trying to grow grass and failing, we brought in landscaping professionals. The results – FANTASTIC! Have a look at these pictures.

Abel who has spent a lot of time over the years watering the grass (and dirt) of our yard with a hose said, “I love the fact that we put in sprinklers. This will make sure the roots take hold and the grass continues to grow.”

In addition to the grass and in-ground sprinklers, we’ve also put bark chips around the play area and created a small garden area. The bark should make any hard landings and the falls off the play set a little easier to handle.

The back yard is finally where we have always wanted it. The grass we planted should stick this time because we chose a variety with a very deep and aggressive root system. We also grew the grass from seed instead of laying down turf. We’ve been very careful to let it grow and take hold before letting the children play on it,” said Heather Radu.

The grass, bark, and the garden area are just the next phase in the work we planned for the backyard. Stay tuned and see what’s coming. In the next year, we should have a playhouse built for the little girls.

Pablo Villigran who works with missions teams said, “This backyard is perfect for the children to play and run and work out their wiggles. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun back here with the children and our mission teams this summer. I’m dreaming of some good kickball games!”

For all those who donated their time and gave generously over the years to specifically see the backyard turned into a wonderful play area for the children – THANK YOU!

May God richly bless you for all your hard work and generosity.

The Board of Directors

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

By Bradley Burck-

Did you know that Forever Changed International has a board of directors? It isn’t something people often think about, but the board is the body that makes decisions about the future of the organization and approves the organization’s budget and major expenses. Board members are unpaid workers. They are essentially super volunteers who spend their time, treasure, and talent helping the ministry grow and thrive. Let’s introduce you to the three board members for Forever Changed International and tell you a little about what they do for the organization…

Cinda Rachor

Cinda lives in Michigan with her husband Jim. She is the mother of six children. Her connection to Forever Changed International is deeply personal. The Rachors have a daughter who is stuck in the adoption process in Guatemala. Cinda and Jim continue to pursue all avenues to bring her home. Through all of this, they have made Forever Changed International a priority for their giving, advocacy, and support.



Barb Quinn

Barb lives just outside Seattle, Washington, with her husband Tom. She is the mother of three adopted children from Eastern Europe. Barb has been connected to Heather Radu for more than 20 years through the adoption of her children and the founding of Forever Changed International. She is passionate about orphans and making sure they are loved, trained, and provided for until they reach adulthood.

Heather Radu

Heather is the founder of Forever Changed International. She has been a passionate advocate for orphans for the last 20 years. Her goal in every presentation is to get everyone she can to passionately serve the world’s forgotten children. She believes that when you reach out to serve those in need, you will see your life forever changed. Heather lives just outside Vancouver, Washington, with her two children.



What does the job of a member of the board of directors entail? Here is a brief overview:

  1. Giving to the ministry
  2. Owning the financial health of the organization
  3. Ensuring ministry opportunities are in line with the stated vision of the organization
  4. Helping execute ministry activities — based on the needs and requests of the staff
  5. Participating in short-term and long-term planning
  6. Reviewing and evaluating financial reports on a regular basis
  7. Bringing credibility to the ministry
  8. Contributing to the health of the organization by introducing potential board members to the current board

The board of directors is meeting in Guatemala City in early March. Please put these women on your prayer list. Ask God to give them wisdom as they plan and lead Forever Changed International into the future.

Results for You!

Monday, December 31st, 2012

4405858264_b6327b033b_oI want to give you an update on the education fund we have been writing about for the last few weeks.  Over the weekend we hit our goal!  We actually exceeded it by nearly $2,000.  We plan to use these additional dollars to help our teacher Claudia work with a few of the children who need extra help.  Thank you to everyone who gave and prayed for this.  We are so excited about what this means for our children in the coming school year.  THANK YOU!

As we are at the end of 2012, I want to ask that if you haven’t given a special gift yet to consider doing so right nowOur medical fund is severely underfunded for 2013.  We are short by $15,000.  This causes me concern going into the next year, and I want to ask for your help.

If you have already given this year, thank you.  Just disregard this email.  If you haven’t yet, please consider doing something special.  Give so we can maintain the quality medical care we provide our children. 

All gifts received before 12pm tonight will be regarded as 2012 gifts for tax purposes.   Let’s end the year well by knocking out this last $15,000.


Heather Radu

Forever Changed International

P.S. If you missed the great video Pablo put together to showcase our children in 2012, I encourage you to watch it.  It melts my heart each time I see it. 

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Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23rd, 2011


2011 Year in Review Video

Monday, December 19th, 2011