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Posts Tagged ‘Special mothers’

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.

Can you Give Today?

Mama Nico

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

By Alej Diaz

On June 6, Nicolasa Sumale celebrated her tenth anniversary with Dorie’s Promise, an occasion that put smiles on everyone’s face here. “Mama Nico,” as she is known, is one of the reasons we call the women who care for our children Special Mothers.

She likes being a Special Mother because she knows it fulfills God’s purpose for her life.

In addition, she can share with the children and give them love. A very active person, Nico does not like to be doing the same thing for a certain amount of time. Working at our homes gives her the opportunity to multi-task.

“Every day is a challenge,” she says. “You never know what to expect. Children can be very active or they may remain quiet for most of the day. The changes are one reason I like my job.”

There are others. Nico enjoys everything, although she does admit she faces a fight regularly—trying to keep the closets in order so she knows whose clothing belongs to what child.

Her rewards are numerous. She loves to see children happy, healthy and knowing that they feel loved.

It touches her heart when young children call her, “Mama” or just say, “Gracias.” “Sometimes they become your own children,” she says.

The most challenging task is to educate the children. All come from different backgrounds, so sometimes she struggles to do the right thing and use the right words at the right time.

That is something only God can do, Nico says, because as humans we always make mistakes.

Still, she considers teaching the children how to follow instructions and to respect others as one of her most significant responsibilities. She wants the children to learn how to be good men and women.

One of Nico’s favorite memories over the past decade is of a boy named Esteban, the first baby she ever cared for. His mother had gotten pregnant while her husband was working in another country. Her mother-in-law threatened to tell him if she didn’t get rid of the baby.

Since Esteban cried a lot, Nico would put him on her back at the same time she watched other children. An American family adopted him when he was five months old. Although Nico has never heard from Esteban or his adoptive family, she still prays for him.

“It is a blessing for me to work here,” she says.

“I know that all the mothers feel blessed, too. My dream is that we can keep working and helping other children. I want to see them keep growing and walking on the right path.”

Celebrating Special Mothers

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

By Alej Diaz –

Our 32 Special Moms are more excited than usual this week. Last night we held our first Mothers Day Celebration for these special mothers at a wonderful restaurant in Guatemala City.

Founder Heather Radu was our guest speaker. The message she shared really touched the mothers. “It takes special people to change diapers, bathe five three-year-olds at once, help kids with their homework, and fold mountains of laundry,” she said.

An artists drawing of what the backyard will look like when completed.

Heather also announced plans to turn the backyard into a giant playground area.  Everyone was so excited at the news and we all lingered over the plans as they were passed around the room.

Our special mothers really appreciated the night out.  They dressed to the nines and were treated like royalty.

“I feel like I’m a little girl on this day,” says Mahaly Lemus. “I feel so special. I often feel like I’m always serving everybody, and on this day someone else serves me. I really enjoy what happens.”

Having others wait on her makes Diana Chanchavac feel special, too.

“That shows me they care for me and like my work,” Diana says. “It means they are thinking of me. On this day we can just relax. Another reason it is so special for me is because I don’t have any kids of my own. So it’s special for me that Heather gives me a day of celebration, as if the children I take care of at Dorie’s Promise are like my own. I love my kids.”

“I really like the food—it tastes wonderful,” says Ismelda Samale, who particularly enjoyed last year’s festivities at a park and playing with water balloons. “Also, just spending time together as Special Moms makes me feel closer to this wonderful community that I am part of!”

Adoptive parent Paul Kvinta has developed bonds with the Special Moms.

A resident of Texas, he moved to Guatemala last November to be close to his daughter, Marcela. Paul expects to soon take her back to the U.S. Although a handful of the children have adoptive parents waiting, for most the Special Moms are the only mothers they will ever know, he says.

“Since I moved here Momma Nico has told me more than once, ‘Pablo, we will be glad when Marcela can join you in America, but it will be very sad for us. I have raised Marcela since she was born. It is difficult for us to see these children go,’” Paul says. “Nico and the other mothers feel this way because they care so much for these children.”

Indeed they do, which is why we like to celebrate them and all they do for Dorie’s Promise. Remember on Mother’s Day to thank your mom for what she has meant to your life.