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Posts Tagged ‘Special mothers’

Special Mothers : The Heart Behind Our Home

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Dorie's Promise Special Mothers

By MJ Zelya-

A Special Mother play in the water with our children during a recent trip to the beach.Everyone who does the work of a Special Mother at Dorie’s Promise has an important role in the lives of our children that will be remembered for the rest of their lives. If not by a name, it will be by a loving gesture, good manners that have become a habit, polite character, and an appreciation of how valuable life is. But the top goal of being a Special Mother is to show our children that there is a living God.

We want them to know that God is our Father, that He takes care of us, that everything in life happens according to God’s loving plan. They can feel free to talk and pray to Him. All of us want to pass on faith in God and the hope He gives for their future.

Each of the Special Mothers, supervisors, staff, and drivers are motivated by the most important thing in this world: LOVE.

Love for the Lord and love for the children. As Scripture says:

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

—1 Corinthians 13:3-8 (NIV)

The value of the work the Special Mothers and other staff do for our children is immeasurable. It’s not easy raising so many children of the same age at the same time, but because they have a foundation of love in their hearts, they can Two of our older children, Mirna and Brayan, with one of the Special Motherscontinue to work with joy despite the difficulties that are bound to arise.

When we do activities with the children, one thing that touches my heart is the way they act like a family — protecting each other, worrying about each other, looking out to make sure no one is missing out. The children at our home show the fruits of love as they grow. The love we give them they not only return to us, but also show each other. Life hasn’t always been easy or pleasant for these children, yet they find that Dorie’s Promise is an oasis where they have everything they need: food, toys, a nice bed, medical assistance, protection, and people who genuinely love and care for them.

Parenting with Love and Logic

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Special Mother with one of our children at our home in Guatemala

By Bradley Burck-

Using Love and Logic at Dorie's Promise“Their smiles are amazing!” Visitors often use this phrase, and others like it, when they describe our children here at Dorie’s Promise. It makes sense, too, because they are constantly smiling, even though many came from circumstances more difficult than most might guess. Our dedicated group of special moms are a major reason why these children are so happy, and we are forever grateful for their dedicated love.

Of course, as anyone who spends time with children knows, even the sweetest struggle at times. Our special moms do a good job of sorting through those problems, but we at Dorie’s Promise want to give them the best tools available to help them succeed. We think helping our children flourish is worth whatever investment we need to make. That is why we are so excited about Parenting with Love and Logic.

Parenting with Love and Logic is a program that will equip our special moms with the knowledge and practical experience they need to help the children break free from negative behaviors. At the same time it saves the special moms from becoming frustrated by a child’s repeated mistakes.

One of the great things about Parenting with Love and Logic is that it is taught in several different ways. This means each special mom will have the training reinforced multiple times. For instance, there are six training sessions they will each attend. They will hear what they need to do, but later this information will be reinforced by the text they are reading. They can then discuss what they read with each other in their book club. Finally, and perhaps best of all, an instructor will observe each special mom as she puts the lessons into practice. The process is private and designed to be encouraging so no one feels like they are being judged.

Special Mothers and the Orphaned Children living at Dorie's PromiseLet me give you an example of what the special moms will learn through their six sessions in Parenting with Love and Logic:

• Avoiding unwinnable power-struggles and arguments

• Staying calm when children do extremely upsetting things

• Setting enforceable limits

• Avoiding enabling and beginning empowering

• Helping children learn from mistakes rather than repeating them

• Raising children who are family members rather than dictators

As you can see, these sessions are designed to teach some of the most important skills needed to raise a healthy, well-adjusted child. We want our little ones to have bright futures, so we are eager to get started.

The total cost for Parenting with Love and Logic, including all the sessions plus the reading material, is $1,350.00–a price which includes a 25% discount.

We know that as supporters of Dorie’s Promise you don’t want our children to just survive. You want them to grow into vibrant, healthy adults. This program is designed to do just that, so please consider supporting our efforts with your prayers and a financial donation. Help us to continue investing in the lives of those who need it most.

“I Love This Job!”

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

By Arwen McGilvra-

Lorena is the Supervisor of House 6 at Dorie’s Promise. Coming from a big family, the third of six siblings, she understands what it takes to love and support the children in our home. She started working at Dorie’s Promise in 2005, and, as she puts it, “I came to Dorie’s Promise to help my sister Diana, who still works here as a supervisor. The home was in need of more personnel to help take care of the kids. From the first day, I have loved this job. I know that we are making a difference in the lives of children by giving them love and care — what they need the most!”

To her, Dorie’s Promise is family, “All of us (special mothers) feel that we are a big family, with 37 kids to care for. We pray that the Lord will give us wisdom to guide them and teach them.”

Throughout the years, she’s seen many changes — kids being reunited with their families, some finding new forever families, and always others in need coming through the door.

This is the kind of work that will change your life. Lorena says she’s glad to have found a job with a deeper purpose: “Being a change in someone’s life, helping them believe that there is hope and that God loves them so much — it’s beautiful.”

Despite having been through some difficult times in her own life, being with the children is a joy and inspiration for Lorena. She continues working — watching them grow healthy and happy, with chances to learn and love that they never would have had without Dorie’s Promise. It breaks her heart to see how some of the kids have just started to walk at two years old because of past malnutrition, and to know that there are many more children in Guatemala who are in that same situation. Children who don’t have the love, support, and care of a home like Dorie’s Promise.

We know that for Lorena and her coworkers, the opportunity to work for Dorie’s Promise is a blessing. Being part of our ministry leaves their lives forever changed.

“I want to thank all the people who support this ministry,” says Lorena. “You make this cause possible! Because of you, these kids have the opportunity to have a new life, one with hope and love. God bless you all!”

From Fear to Smiles

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

 

By Pablo Villigran-
 
When two-year-old Jose Pablo Monterroso came to Dorie’s Promise in May of 2011, his fear and nervousness showed through timidity that sometimes led to an outburst of tears.
 
Jose wound up at our home because of a judge’s order. The facility where the court originally wanted to send him was full.
 
Since Jose’s arrival, the court has placed advertisements in Guatemalan newspapers, hoping to find relatives willing to care for Jose. While we aren’t certain how long he will be with us, we are committed to offering him the best possible care during his stay.
 
Miriam Morales, the Special Mother who watches Jose most closely, has observed a lot of changes since he came to our home. Initially, she says, the infant expressed himself by using words that only the Special Mothers could understand because they spent so much time with him.
 
“At first, he used to cry but now he has overcome that fear, thanks to the love that the mission groups have shown,” she says. “I think another reason he has overcome his fear is because Jose sees people coming more often to carry him around and play with him.”
 
Jose loves to play, especially around the ramp outside. Miriam says he has a special way of playing.
 
He picks up the smallest things he can find, such as seeds or breadcrumbs, then brings them to her and places them in her hand.
 
Miriam says she lets him do that because it is a good way for Jose to learn how to pick up things. However, she has to keep a close eye on him because sometimes he tries to eat the items.
 
Jose is a strong baby with sturdy legs, the Special Mother says. She notes that during the last wave of illness at the home, he was the only baby who did not get sick.
 

He also seeks plenty of attention. Jose wants to be the first for everything, such as when the Special Mothers feed or dress the infants.
 
“He acknowledges me, too,” says Miriam, obviously very touched. “When I go downstairs he immediately looks at me with his beautiful eyes. Sometimes he starts throwing me kisses. Pablo is not a child who likes to give hugs but he definitely perceives the love that I feel for him.”
 
Jose is one of the children at Dorie’s Promise who needs additional monthly sponsors, since he is only at 52 percent of full support.
 
Sponsors are vital to each child’s well-being. They have provided Jose with health care, medications, spiritual development, a home, food and education.
 
Sponsorship is a commitment. We don’t just ask that you send a check for $35 each month, but that you pray for your child, exchange notes with him or her, and get more involved in the orphan’s life.
 
If helping a child like Jose enjoy the promise of healthy development and future happiness appeals to you, contact us today.

Special Mother Nohemi

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

By Alejandra Diaz-
 
While each woman who cares for the children at Dorie’s Promise deserves the name of “Special Mother,” occasionally we spotlight a particular one to provide a close-up of those who play a key role in our work.
 
The mother of five daughters and a son who has passed on, Mirna Nohemi Pena has been on staff for seven years.
 
“It is a privilege and opportunity to bless the children and myself,” says Nohemi, one of our supervisors. “I feel like a part of each of them. I am committed to give them special service, which I offer with happiness and responsibility.”
 
Nohemi says working with the children is a source of health and happiness. Not only do they make her smile, but seeing them grow into healthy young people stirs feelings of joy—and tears.
 
Not surprisingly, she likes everything about her job, particularly when she sees the blessings children get from visiting missionaries and the smiles that cross their faces whenever a team arrives.
 
This Special Mother’s favorite experience involved a young boy named Miguel, who later was adopted.
 
When he arrived, his tough background made him difficult to control. However, thanks to Mama Nohemi teaching him about Jesus Christ and good moral values, when he left he had a better basis for life.
 
This is happening with another boy at the home she is guiding, a task that gives her purpose. Brayan was also difficult to control when he came to Dorie’s Promise, but now recognizes rules and instructions. This progress and the positive role she played in Miguel’s life represent special memories.
 
“I felt a strong connection with Miguel,” Nohemi says. “He is one of the kids that I remember with love. One of my wishes is to see him and be able to talk to him. When he was adopted, I was sad he was leaving, but at the same time I felt happiness. I met his adoptive family and they were a great family.”
 
As a partial fulfillment of her wish, she recently got to watch a video of Miguel singing and playing music, which brought her happiness.
 
Nohemi’s dream is to continue serving at the orphanage, since she works here for more than a paycheck. She wants to leave an indelible mark on children and comply with God’s purposes for her life.
 
“Another dream is to see my kids growing and having a better future,” she says. “I want to see them grow and know that they are doing great things with their lives.”
 
Please pray for Nohemi’s family and that she will enjoy a long life. She hopes to have the opportunity to see her grandchildren grow up and be able to continue supporting her father.
 
Pray for Dorie’s Promise as well as we carry out this vital work among Guatemala’s needy children.

Parenting with Love and Logic

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

By Alejandra Diaz-

Our program of caring for and guiding children at Dorie’s Promise includes continuing education for staff members who work with them.

Currently we are using material that helps our Special Mothers better understand their responsibilities and how to instill discipline and respect in youngsters.

Designed by a trio of teachers and parents with a combined total of 75 years of experience, the Parenting with Love and Logic curriculum teaches parents to hold children accountable for their actions. This includes establishing consequences for their actions and following through.

Says the Love and Logic Institute: “Many parents want their children to be well prepared for life, and they know this means kids will make mistakes and must be held accountable for those mistakes.

“But these parents often fail to hold the kids accountable for poor decisions because they are afraid the kids will see (them) as being mean. The result is they often excuse bad behavior, finding it easier to hold others—including themselves—accountable for their children’s irresponsibility.”

As an example, when a child leaves his or her bike unlocked, meaning it gets stolen, a parent can express sympathy.

However, holding the child accountable includes letting him know that he can only have another one after saving up the money to pay for it.

This year we are training our Special Mothers by reviewing this material at monthly meetings. Each will read a chapter the week before the meeting. At the session, they will have time share and express different ideas or questions about each lesson.

We believe this is one way we can help our Special Mothers be on the “same page” when it comes to expressing love for the children while also—when necessary—disciplining them in the right way.

Because so many of our children come from abusive homes or other dysfunctional circumstances, it is easy to take pity and never enforce rules with them.

However, this would be going to the other extreme. No matter how badly they have been treated in the past, children still need loving guidance. As Proverbs 22:6 puts it, “Train up a child in the way he should go…”

The Love and Logic philosophy is a way of raising and teaching children so they can grow through their mistakes, take responsibility for their actions, and live with the consequences of their choices.

We like the way it emphasizes respect and dignity for children while allowing those who raise them to grasp simple approaches instead of trying to learn difficult counseling procedures. As any parent knows, raising children is a tough, often thankless task that takes years of effort.

With God’s help, while we are acting as these children’s substitute parents we will do our best to raise them to be happy, responsible, respectful adults.

A Special Christmas Connection

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Matthew and Todd

By Ken Walker-

We welcomed two special guests this past week from Bethel Memorial Church in Princeton, Indiana. They brought Christmas gifts for residents of the ghetto, our Special Mothers, and our children.

We are doing our best to keep the latter a secret, since the children’s Christmas party is Dec. 23. The Special Mothers opened their gifts today (Dec. 21.)

Special Mother Recieve GiftsThe Christmas gift project was the idea of Matthew Sandusky, a 17-year-old high school senior who is homeschooled; and Todd Hinkel, the father of a friend of Matthew’s.

The two were part of a 20-member mission team that worked here last summer. After arriving last Saturday (Dec. 17) Matthew and Todd visited the ghetto to distribute food bags, Bibles, and presents for the kids in those areas.

This all started with a “Forever Friend” gift exchange last summer. Each member of the mission team selected a child and purchased gifts based on their age, gender and height. They presented them the second day of their visit.

“They were shocked at how much stuff we got them,” Matthew says. “We didn’t think it was really anything. Bradley (Burck, communications director) joked that we should do this for Christmas. After we got back, I felt God was telling me that we needed to do more to impact these
kids’ lives. A couple other team members felt the same thing.”

After an informal discussion at Bethel Memorial, the missions board chairman asked team leaders if the children at Dorie’s Promise ever received gifts because he was searching for a Christmas project.

In September, Matthew and Todd approached different committees and the church board to secure their approval. In October, they presented the project to the congregation.

Handing Out Gifts in the Ghetto“All the pieces fell into place and they kept going well,” Matthew says. “I asked the staff to give me a list of kids’ sizes and what they wanted for Christmas. We asked for things that they would usually not ask for or receive. I then created pamphlets with each child’s background and what he or she wanted for Christmas. Families bought presents for each child, including the babies. The toys they will receive are specifically what they asked for.”

Director Alejandra Diaz says she has been blessed and encouraged to work with both men. “I love Matthew’s excitement and passion for serving,” she says. “It’s people like Matthew and Todd who encourage me to continue to work and serve. Because of their support we are able to move forward as individuals and as an organization, and share the love of Christ.

“Often our actions speak louder than our words,” Alej says. “At times people want to know they are loved and valued. That’s what Matthew and Todd have done.”

“It’s awesome that it all came together,” Matthew says. “It feels great to be able to do so much for so many people.”

Bidding Farewell

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

By Desi Stephens-

After 11 years that seemed to pass like weeks, we recently bid farewell to Special Mother Diana Chanchavac, who left our staff for another opportunity in the United States. We thank her for her time and service.

We wish Diana the best as she starts a new chapter in life, and pray that God will continue to bless her efforts.

Founder Heather Radu is excited for Diana, saying that each staff member and child at Dorie’s Promise loves her.

“Her smile always brightened everyone’s day,” Heather says. “She has shared abundant amounts of love and joy with all of us for over 11 years. Diana, you will forever be missed by all of us!”

When Diana came here as a young woman, she had no background or experience in caring for children, except for her Sunday school class at church. Soon after starting, she realized Dorie’s Promise was much different.

“These children needed love, care, attention and many other things,” says Diana, most recently the supervisor of House 5.

“They come from such difficult situations, such as abuse and abandonment. I was just 21 years old when children first started calling me Mom. I felt special when I heard them call me that.”

It is no wonder Diana was loved, since she was an excellent worker with a good attitude and a wonderful person to be around, says Director Alej Diaz.

“She was an example to the other Special Moms what it means to be a good person and share her love with everyone,” Alej says.

Other Special Mothers admired Diana, including her sister Lorena Chanchavac. Lorena says her sister is an example of everything being possible if you do it right and with a positive attitude.

“She always had a smile on her face,” Lorena says. “She was responsible, humble and dedicated to her work. I will miss her a lot, but I know God has a purpose in all things.”

Mahaly Lemus says Diana was not just a supervisor, but a friend who taught her a lot and encouraged her on sad days.

“She is a very special woman,” Mahaly says. “I will always be grateful to her.”

Other staff members learned a lot from Diana. Driver Oscar Merida says she taught him passion for his work and to love everyone,
while cook Dolores Zapata recalls how the two of them often laughed together.

“She taught me, no matter what, always stay positive and give your best,” Dolores says.

Diana parted with a special thanks for the Beazley family, especially Heather and Hanna.

She says it was hard to leave because of her love for the home and our children.

“I will be back,” Diana says. “I don’t know when our paths will cross again—but they will!”

Thriving After Leaving Dorie’s Promise

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

By Ken Walker-

The mothers of two children who left Dorie’s Promise last spring say they are thriving in their new surroundings, adapting to their extended families, and starting preschool this fall.

After a gradual transition to his new home and a different language, Evan Alejandro Anderson started preschool this week in the system where his mother, Laura, works as an occupational therapist.

Laura and her husband, Scott, waited three years before their first child finally arrived in Rochester Hills, Michigan last April.

However, Laura says the delay proved to be worth it. Traveling to Guatemala 14 times to see Alejandro, they got to know the staff and appreciate the role they played in starting him toward a fulfilling life.

“It’s an absolute miracle,” she says of their son’s long-awaited arrival. “We always knew God would come through.”

Paul Kvinta and his wife, Becky Kurtz, are also full of joy after waiting for more than three years before Nubia Marcela arrived at their home in Washington, D.C. last May.

“Marcela is loving life in the big city,” says Becky, who works for the federal government.

“Among her favorite things are the elephants at the zoo, the butterflies and dinosaurs in the National History Museum, and the carousel on the National Mall.”

Like Alejandro, Marcela will attend preschool this fall after a fun-filled summer. In recent months the Kurtzes have visited playgrounds, swimming pools and the beach. On visits to North Carolina and Texas, Marcela met all of her aunts, uncles and cousins.

“She really treasures spending time with her extended family,” Becky says. “They all warmly welcomed her.”

Laura is especially pleased with the way her large extended family has welcomed Alejandro, and the way she believes his story will shine a light on God.

“They felt like they knew him through pictures and videos, but to meet him and play with him is huge,” Laura says. “People have said, ‘To see you remain faithful for so long has touched me.’

“I’m so thankful for the Special Mothers at Dorie’s Promise,” Laura adds. “I knew he was loved, hugged, fed and allowed to grow. To watch him flourish now is amazing. He knows how to spell his name, where he lives and wants to know everything.”

Becky has similar feelings, saying because of the wait, they feel more connected to people at the home and other places in Guatemala.

“Marcela is a wonderful little girl,” she says. “The best part is just all being together. We both love it when she crawls into our bed in the morning, puts her arms both of our necks and proclaims, ‘la familia!’ It’s hard to beat that joyful expression of belonging and love.”

Newest Child Maria

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

By Desi Stephens-

The newest child at our home came to us from the government orphanage where FCI’s mission teams serve. Maria was placed there two days after her birth when her 19-year-old mother abandoned her.

Special Mother Ismelda Sumale is caring for Maria, who was born Apr. 14.

“Before coming to Dorie’s Promise she didn’t smile a lot,” Ismelda says. “Now she is always smiling. She really enjoys her bottle and I love spending time with her. She is so cute.”

Unfortunately, it isn’t shocking for the court system to refer babies to us who have been abandoned at the hospital. It happens often in Guatemala City.

Before a Guatemalan family can adopt Maria, certain legal steps must occur. For a child to make the adoption registry, officials must first investigate to determine if extended family members want to go through the legal process to obtain custody.

If no family expresses an interest in adoption, the child can be moved to “favorable” adoption status.

Currently, only domestic adoptions are taking place in Guatemala.

While we wait to see what happens, there are two major ways that supporters can pray for Maria.

One is for healing, since she is sick—pray that God would watch over her and provide her with good health. The other is that individuals would sponsor her so that all her needs would be met, from medicine to food.

It only costs $35 a month to sponsor a child. Our children benefit greatly from donors’ generosity.

With Maria joining us recently, our home has 38 children, just six shy of capacity. As a private home, we feel the impact of international adoptions being closed. Our prayer is that we will be able to expand our home to continue serving the children of Guatemala.

In addition to expansion, we have three major projects that we are trying to accomplish:

1) The first is getting our four homes well established. Pray that new donors would join our mission.

2) We need about $5,000 for improvements to our backyard.

3) We are hoping to raise funds to buy a new van. Our children are growing and we need more reliable transportation for them, as well as our mission teams. A new van will cost $25,000.

As we like to say here, no gift is too small and all gifts are appreciated.

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