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Posts Tagged ‘Sponsor a Child’

The Path Leading Children to Dorie’s Promise

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

Have you ever wondered how children find their way to Dorie’s Promise?

By Kelly Shank –

Marcos is all smiles.Have you ever wondered how children find their way to Dorie’s Promise? We want to help you understand the process that brings children into our home.

There are many different paths our children take before eventually living at Dorie’s Promise. Some of them were abandoned as infants. Others were given up by parents who simply couldn’t provide for them. Too many were rescued from abuse. The common themes in each child’s story are loss and trauma. From the moment children enter our home, we become the protectors of their rights and well-being.

The Beginning of their Journey:

We never know when we might get a call asking us to consider accepting a new child. We’ve received emergency placements in the middle of the night before but most children come into our care as a result of the normal family court proceedings. Based on a home’s location and the level of specialized care needed for a particular child, social workers reach out to the directors of private orphan care homes in hopes of finding a placement before turning to government facilities.

When Alejandra, our director, receives one of these calls, she must determine if Dorie’s Promise is able to provide the best care for a new child without sacrificing the care being received by the children already living in our home. Our homes are divided by gender so one of the first factors she considers is if we have room in that specific house.

Additionally, we consider the age of children who enter our home. As a general rule, we take children up to 8 years old. Why only eight years old? We are committed to making long-term commitments with the children who enter our home so we try to accept children who may be with us for an extended period of time. Lastly, she also considers the special needs of the child, whether physical, mental, or emotional, to determine if we have sufficient resources for a new child.

Navigating the Courts during Their Stay:

Merary came to Dorie's Promise to be reunited with her brother Yire who was already living at our home.As we mentioned, once a child enters our care we represent their interests in court. Jessica, our Legal Assistant, represents them at all court hearings, prepares reports, and is responsible for keeping our staff aware of the legal status of each child’s case.

Between thirty-five and forty children live in our home at any time. You might have noticed that there aren’t thirty-five to forty children on our Sponsor Page. The gap occurs because we only include Permanent Placements in our Sponsor bios. Children in our sponsorship program are Permanent Placements because either their parental rights have been terminated or they have been determined by the courts to be with us long-term.

Every child enters our home as a temporary placement, similar to the foster care program. Through the court process social workers determine if the children could potentially be reunited with their biological parents or other relatives. About 40% of the children in our home are eventually reunited with their biological parents or other family members. We appreciate the deep connections our children have with their biological families and are excited when parents are able to complete the court-ordered reunification programs and establish healthy homes for their families.

Unfortunately, in the majority of our cases, biological families are unable to make the changes necessary to provide a safe home for their children. In those instances, parental rights can be terminated and a judge can declare the child adoptable. Afterward, the National Council for Adoptions (CNA in Guatemala) works to match children with potential Guatemalan adoptive families*.

Each child’s case is unique. Although the designation of temporary or permanent might sound like a simple decision, unfortunately it isn’t. Some of the children in our home have been here as temporary foster placements for many years, caught between parents who desire to be in their lives and the reality that they are not able to provide for them. In contrast, some of our permanent, “adoptable” children have also been here for many years as well. Often, older children and sibling groups are not easily matched with adoptive families.

Our Promise to These Children:

We've made a promise to all the children who've come to Dorie's Promise.Heather Radu, our founder, decided many years ago that we were committed to long-term involvement in the lives of our children. Thus, we accept younger children who may be in our care for a decade or more, giving us the best opportunity to help them become successful adults. This is also why we take some of the hardest placements, those with disabilities and sibling groups.

We believe in giving our absolute best to every child in our home, no matter their placement status. We choose to stand in the gap of their lives, love them, lead them, and help them heal.

Your monthly gift helps us continue providing the best care possible. Visit our Sponsor Page, read more about our children, and find ways to support our home.

 

* International Adoption from Guatemala closed in 2008

Finishing Well in 2017

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

Three boys ready for school. | Dorie's Promise Guatemala

By Kelly Shank –

Alejandra is full of happy engery. | Dorie's Promise Guatemala2017 has been an amazing year at Dorie’s Promise. Over the last few months we’ve shared stories about all the big things happening in our home. Our children, staff, and trip participants all experienced life changing opportunities over the last year.

If you missed our stories about Nayeli’s first year in college, Myra’s quinceañeara, or the children who moved into our home after the fire at the Virgen de la Asunción orphanage, you can find them and many more on the blog.

Even though 2017 has been an amazing year already, we believe the biggest blessings for Dorie’s Promise have yet to come. The stories we share about the big things happening in our home highlight all the work being done behind the scenes by our staff. You don’t hear about the mountains of laundry that get washed each morning or the hours our drivers spend running kids to school but these daily tasks are what make a home for our children and that is the reason we work so hard.

You know that we rely on the generosity of donors for all of our needs but what you might not realize is that we rely heavily on the generosity of a few people to continue operating each year because we don’t have enough monthly sponsors. The majority of our funding is received through special donations at the end of each year which is a little bit scary when we’re paying the bills. We need your help to meet our budget for 2017.

Lester concentrates hard on a Lego project. | Dorie's Promise GuatemalaWe are trusting that once again God will faithfully provide for the needs of our children.

As we celebrate 2017 we also want to look forward to 2018. Next year Brayan will be graduating from high school and we are committed to supporting him as he prepares for his future career. Plus, we are anticipating regular maintenance needs in our homes and with our vehicles over the next year. We are planning ahead so we can make the most out of the gifts we receive.

Our dream is to double the number of children in our care. Instead of being limited to 40 kids, we want to serve 80 children but we are not in a financial position to expand yet. To do so, we need to reach 100% funding through monthly sponsorships for the children already in our care. When we can reach this goal, we can start welcoming more children.

Will you help us finish well in 2017?

Becoming fully sponsored is our biggest Christmas wish! We believe that God is calling people to become a part of our family this Christmas. If you already sponsor one of our children monthly, would you consider inviting a friend to sponsor one of our kids as well?

Jenny gives a hug to one of our volunteers. | Dorie's Promise GuatemalaWe know that God will provide and we invite you help share in the blessings at Dorie’s Promise. We thank you and our kids do too. Join the Dorie’s Promise family by becoming a monthly sponsor today or by giving a one-time donation. Thank you for making dreams come true for our children this Christmas season.

Here a just a few of the highlights from 2017:

Gymnastics Boosts Girls’ Confidence

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

The girls from Doire's Promise who participated in the gymnastic classes last fall.

By Alejandra Diaz –

Three of our students get ready for their final performance.Even though Guatemala just passed the halfway point of the 2017 school year, our girls are already looking forward to their Gymnastics Vacation Course this fall.

A dozen of our girls participated in last fall’s course. About 100 students overall were involved in the classes, which start after the school year—which begins in January—ends in October.

Our children participated for the first time two years ago, but were eager to enroll again last year because some of the girls are very talented. (To see some photos from the classes, click here.)

Although they only have the chance to take formal lessons in October and November, every time they have the chance to practice at home, they do it! Sometimes we have to caution them to watch out for other people when they do their tumbles, flips and other moves.

These gymnastics classes have made a huge impact on our girls, improving their school work and self-confidence. We have seen big changes in their outlook and attitudes.

They have shown themselves they are able to do great things. The girls felt so good when they made their presentations at the final show and everyone congratulated them.

After all, taking part in the gymnastics classes requires a lot of effort and self-discipline. These sessions demanded a lot of practice and meant they had to demonstrate a daily commitment to improve.

Not only do these classes show the kind of achievements that are possible with hard work and dedication, they emphasize the value of child sponsorship.

Several of the girls from Dorie's Promise performing iat the end of their gymnastic class.It is only because of the support of so many generous donors that we can take the girls to these vacation courses. Indeed, we would really love to find a way to give them the opportunity to participate in gymnastics year-round to allow them to further develop and use their talents.

Since the costs of shelter, food, clothing and other necessities require so much of our resources, it is only when children receive full sponsorship that monies are available to sign them up for additional opportunities.

Our goal is to meet all our ongoing monthly expenses through child sponsorship, which will enable us to be much more flexible in our operations.

If you would like to help our children take part in things like the gymnastics course and other character-building and educational exercises, consider becoming a child sponsor today.

A Connection with Merary

Monday, May 8th, 2017

By Alejandra Diaz –

Merary at Dorie's Promise GuatemalaWhile numerous donors have visited Dorie’s Promise, a couple of our most avid supporters have yet to come to Guatemala. However, Christina and Patrick Wallis are saving for the mission trip they plan to take with their five children.

The couple started following FCI after sensing a strong attraction to missions and short-term possibilities where they could serve as a family.

After discovering Dorie’s Promise in online research, they signed up for email updates and started a mission trip savings account.

Then, a few years ago, Patrick found himself repeating “Merary” at work. Later, the couple discovered several references to this name in the Bible and recognized the Holy Spirit was speaking.

“One day we got an email about a new girl at Dorie’s, whose name was Merary,” Christina says. “We both immediately knew that was the Merary we had been praying about. Immediately, we began to give and help support her.” (Learn how you can sponsor Merary too.)

Christina, Patrick and their children—Carissa, 17; Grace, 14; Elyse, 13; Hannah, 11; and Levi, 6—pray for Merary regularly. After learning her name means “bitter” or “sad,” their prayers included the request that she would know joy and happiness.

Recently, the Wallises learned they can correspond with the girl and plan to start writing her letters. As adoptive parents, the Wallises would love to take Merary into their family. Since Guatemala has closed internal adoptions they realize that isn’t possible, but they want Merary to know that she is loved.

Merary loves to color.Through the Special Mothers, Patrick has sent her pictures of the family and money to buy special gifts. In turn, we have sent them photographs of Merary enjoying the gifts.

Christina says they have read her profile online and watched videos of her, as well as keeping Merary’s picture on the refrigerator and their phones. “I know she likes most food, but not onions,” Christina says. “She loves jokes and to make people laugh—very much like our family does.”

The spiritual connection that originated with the Holy Spirit leading Patrick to repeat Merary’s name has dramatically affected the Wallises faith, which continues to grow.

“I think of how specifically, how personally, and with great detail the Lord worked to make sure Merary knows she is loved,” Christina says. “There is a God that loves her and He took great effort to communicate with a family across the world about her very existence.

“She can also know there is a mom, a dad, and siblings out there who know her name, who care what is happening to her, and love her because she is precious.”

Needless to say, these kinds of stories are an incredible blessing to us!

Child Sponsorship Needed

Monday, April 10th, 2017

The smiling faces of children whose lives have been Forever Changed at Dorie's Promise.

By Bradley Burck –

Orphans from fire in Guatemala

Marbely is a survivor of the fire at Virgen de Asuncion. She is now at Dorie’s Promise.

The current situation at Dorie’s Promise underscores the importance of Forever Changed International’s child sponsorship program.

As you may have read on our blog, the home recently accepted four children from the Virgen de Asuncion orphanage in Guatemala after a disastrous fire there in early March. The death toll at the state-run home recently reached 41, with several dozen others sustaining injuries.

In addition, we recently accepted three other children from desperate circumstances, which increased the number living at the home to 44, which is several above capacity.

Given the needs in Guatemala, sponsoring residents through FCI is an excellent way for people wanting to help to respond.

News reports outline the seriousness of the situation. Although designed to accommodate 400 people, the week of the fire the New York Times reported that 750 were crammed into the aging structures at the state-run orphanage.

The newspaper also reported that, although they had been removed from their homes for their own safety, many were victims of sexual assault and other abuse by staff members. The situation prompted criminal cases and complaints with the country’s human rights commission.

Alejandra Diaz, the director of Dorie’s Promise, says that feelings of frustration are common around Guatemala. This situation could have been avoided if the government had provided the care that the children at the state orphanage needed, she says.

Children like Elvis are in need of sponsors.

Children like Elvis (Age 5) are in need of sponsors.

“We are accepting the challenge to take more children, which has filled us beyond our capacity,” Alejandra says. “But we cannot stay indifferent to the need of a safe place for so many children.

“I wish we could have more space and resources to take more children so we could offer them the opportunities that we have provided to the children who have been with us for a long time.”

This situation cries out for prayer, which Alejandra says is one of the most important things that supporters in the United States and elsewhere can offer right now.

  • Pray for emotional relief for our newcomers
  • Pray that they would have a smooth transition
  • Pray too for the nation of Guatemala—that that positive changes can be made for so many children who live in poverty and serious circumstances

“The other important thing we need is their commitment to support us,” Alejandra says. “Not just now during this emergency, but ongoing support so we can offer as many children as possible a future and the opportunities to forever change their life.”

To read more about children who need sponsors, visit this page. Monthly sponsors provide ongoing safety and security for children and are needed now more than ever. Or give today, a special one time gift, to help the children who survived the fire at Virgen de Asuncion.

Meet Abraham Emanuel

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

 

Abraham Emanuel is now 8 years old.

By MJ Zelya –

Abraham Emanuel playing at the playground of Dories' PromiseAbraham Emanuel was sent by minor’s court to Dorie’s Promise because of the neglect and abuse he had experienced at home. He was living with an aunt after his mother passed away. The judge was looking for relatives to take care of him; Abraham’s biological father showed up but was unable to keep him because he lacked the resources.

When he arrived at Dorie’s Promise at the age of 4, he was a sad, passive, introverted boy who never smiled. The road to self-esteem and happiness for him has been a long one, but with the support of our psychologist, special moms, and others, his emotional health is improving as he learns to leave the past behind him.

Now he feels protected and loved in a healthy environment. He likes to help others, play soccer, go for walks around the neighborhood, read books (he loves stories about pirates, David and Goliath, and Jonah), and play with superhero toys (his favorite is Captain America!). He loves to eat pizza and salad.

He is very smart, is respectful of his teachers and classmates, and does a good job with his homework — his favorite subject in school is math. He gets happy when it’s time to go to church.

Abraham would love to know a special friend — someone just like you — is on this journey with him, as he continues to grow physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Sponsoring Abraham, financially and in prayer, will help him thrive today and tomorrow. Thank you for your compassion for the children of Forever Changed International!

Hope for Orphans: An Update on Lucia and Fabiola

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

AFter 2 Years at Dorie's Promise Lucia and Fabiola are flourishing.

By MJ Zelya –

Fabiola loves the food and friends at Dorie's Promise.
Its been almost two years since Lucia (also called Ana Lucia) and her sister Fabiola arrived at Dorie’s Promise and their lives have been changed in many ways since then.

At first, they were very shy – keeping to themselves and not saying much. They came to our home with signs of both physical and emotional abuse. Shortly before moving to Dorie’s Promise their mother had died of cancer and they were living with a neighbor. That neighbor didn’t have the resources to properly care for the girls and they would often miss school to sell candies or trinkets to try to make extra money. Because of this they had chronic malnutrition, dental cavities and chronic viral respiratory infection when Doctor Castro did his initial exam.

As you know, after coming from this kind of environment it has taken time for them to recover their physical and emotional health. Definitely the consequences of chronic malnutrition are long term and typically result in shorter height. Emotionally they have improved by leaps and bounds, they have become outgoing girls, with high-self esteem, independence, and they are very happy. It’s satisfying to see our children improve so much, and to be able to give them the tools for a different life, a Forever Changed life.

God’s hand has been in this. We see the evidence in their lives. The hard work and loving care that everyone involved in our home; our founder Heather, the staff, the Special Mothers, those visiting us on missions trips, the sponsors, everyone has made this possible. Thank you for your dedication to our children.

Ana Lucia (age 14) says:Lucia, age 14, dreams of becoming a business administrator.

I feel happy to be here at Dorie’s Promise. I feel at peace, because here I have the opportunity to reach my goals in life, to chase my dreams. If I have the opportunity I would like to be a business administrator. I like the way everyone treats me, they give me lots of love and attention. And everyone is very kind to my little sister.

I enjoy it when we go on an outing with the mission trippers and have special dinner with them. I also like playing with all of them. I’m learning English and I am able to practice and get an better understanding of English when the missions groups are here.

Before coming to Dorie’s, my life was very hard. Sometimes we didn’t have enough food and we ate only one or two meals a day. Here I have delicious food, a doctor worried for my health, people worried for my education and many others who give me the most important thing of all… Love! I appreciate that!

I want especially say thank you to my sponsors for the way they’ve helped change my life. I’m grateful for what are you doing for us, and you are in my prayers.

Fabiola (age 8) says:

I like to live here. I like going to school and having friends. I love the food they prepare, and the attention and love of my moms. Thank you for helping me.

Both girls are in need of a handful of new sponsors. Will you consider sponsoring Lucia or Fabiola and helping provide them with continued care, education and love?

Luis Still Waiting…

Friday, June 17th, 2016

Luis 2016

By MJ Zelya –

LuisLuis working on a drawing project. came to Dorie’s promise from a Government home; he is one of the children whose adoption case was stuck in court after Guatemala close their door to international adoptions in 2008. His case is still in process and we are waiting for the court to make a final decision. He has been waiting a long time.

Meanwhile, we enjoy watching him grow and learn. Luis, age 9, is now a big boy, who cares about the little ones, shares his toys and plays with them. A great “big brother” to the younger children.

When he came to our home we noticed that he had some problems with his speech, saying the “ch” sound instead of “s”. In the other home he was never taught him to say his words correctly, he simply learned the wrong way to pronounce them. When he came to Dorie’s Promise, the psychologist evaluated him and gave us some guidelines to help him work on improving his speech. He has worked hard to make the changes, with the help and the support of the Special Mothers his speech has improved tremendously.

Luis is a little gentleman. He is polite and likes to be neat and well dressed. Special Mother Diana admits, “Sometimes he amazes me, he is so mature for his age.” His special mothers also remark about how honest he is, and how if he makes a mistake he recognizes it and will apologize.

He loves to play football (soccer) and play at the park, the swings are a special favorite of his. He loves school, where he makes good grades, and he likes to work alone on his homework.

Luis, dressed and ready for school.This year he participate in a science fair at school. Luis and a partner had to show how to make a rainbow using a CD and a candle. Lucky his teacher said, “The science fair was an unforgettable experience for Luis. At first, he was so anxious because he had to demonstrate the experiment in front of his classroom and teachers. He worked hard, memorized his speech and did a wonderful job!” At the end of the fair the class had an ice cream party.

Special mother Diana says of Luis, “He is a funny and bold boy. He makes you laugh- making funny faces or telling jokes to the other boys. Sometimes he pretends to be crying and when I look at him he starts laughing. It was only a joke!”

She also says, “He likes to help with the chores at the home.  He even likes to stay later than the other kids helping me at night and he says, ‘Mama Diana you have to rest too.’ ”

While he wait for the court to finalize his case Luis needs your help. He needs your prayers, it hard to be left waiting for a Forever Family, year after year. Pray for his to be reunited with them soon. Luis also needs sponsors. By becoming a sponsor you help us continue to offer the exceptional level of care that Dorie’s Promise is know for. At our home it’s so much more than room and board, for our children love is an daily experience. We also provide education, medical and psychological care, special activities and spiritual support. Sponsor Luis today, and become part of his Forever Changed life!

 

Meet Dulce Alejandra

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

Meet Dulce Alejandra

By MJ Zelya –

lejandra, recently entered to Dorie's Promise.Let me introduce you to the newest child in the sponsorship program, this is Dulce Alejandra, she prefers to be called Alejandra. She recently transferred to Dorie’s Promise from another home by an order from the Minor’s Court. She was declared abandoned by her birth parents and is now waiting for the court to declare her adoptable*.

Moving to a new home can be difficult, but Alejandra is adjusting. With the love and care of our Special Mothers and staff Alejandra is already feeling like she’s part of the Dorie’s Promise family.

Special Mother Candy told me that during the time she has been with us, we’ve seen how curious she is about everything. She is also very active and she loves to help the Special Mothers with chores around the home. She is not a picky eater. She just loves to eat! She especially likes fruits. Some of her favorites are strawberries, grapes, and mangoes. She also loves fried chicken, chocolates, and strawberry cake.

Getting to know Alejandra you’ll find out that her favorite color is pink, her favorite T.V. programs are Sophia the First and Dora the Explorer. She loves to play in the backyard. Football (soccer) and kickball are her favorites, but she also loves to run around and play with the other girls. Alejandra also likes to ride bikes.

She loves to write her experiences in a diary. And she says that when she grows up, she would like to go to Law School and become a Lawyer.

Learn more about Alejandra and consider becoming her sponsor. Your sponsorship helps us provide so much more than just room and board. It also helps us provide medical care, education and spiritual and emotional support. Sponsor Alejandra and help us make her dreams for the future come true!

* International Adoption from Guatemala closed in 2008

Life Is A Journey: Nayeli’s Story

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Nayeli at Dorie's Promise in May of 2007.

Nayeli at Dorie’s Promise in May of 2007.

Nayeli at Dorie's Promise in 2011

Nayeli at Dorie’s Promise in 2011

As time passes, things remind you that you are getting older. Changing physically, maturing emotionally — life teaching you along the way.

Looking at the photos of Nayeli, you’ll notice how she has changed over the years, how she has turned into an amazing young lady.

When Nayeli came to Dorie’s Promise in 2005 she was 7, she was sad and insecure, just like most of the children who come to us. Nayeli, over time, was able to forgive those in her past who hurt her — and she’s become a resilient person despite her suffering as a young child (from physical and psychological abuse by her biological parents to an attempted adoption that failed). The ups and downs in life helped her

Nayeli at Dorie's Promise in May of 2016

May of 2016 Nayeli is growing into a lovely young woman.

mature and grow into a happy young woman who is sure of herself and has high self-esteem. Nayeli says, “I have a future ahead and many things left for me to do.”

She tells us:

What I love about Dorie’s Promise is that despite our differences, in coming from different backgrounds, we are all one big, happy family.

We are taught to be polite, to have good manners, and to thank God every day for His grace and mercy. I am with people I love and appreciate. I love to share with all my brothers and sisters — they are an important part of my life.

At Dorie’s Promise I have found unconditional support and people who have been there for me when I was

Nayeli at Dorie's Promise in 2015

Nayeli credits God’s hand in giving meaning to her life.

sad and angry and even happy … They love, accept, and respect me as I am. Most importantly, this is the place I met God. I did not know who God was before Dorie’s Promise, but when I got here I learned I am His beloved daughter — that His plans are perfect, that He brought me to this place for a reason.

I remember well that when we started doing devotionals, I found it boring at first. But with time, my sadness was turned into happiness as I listened to all He has created and done — how He died for my sins. All the people around me have impacted my life. I came to understand that someone loves me, and that I’m not alone. God gives a sense of meaning to my life.

My life has been a journey, and I thank God for all the people I have met who have given me good advice and guidance. I also thank all the sponsors from the bottom of my heart who give not only me but all the children of Dorie’s Promise the opportunity to change their lives!

Sponsor are an essential part of what we do at Forever Changed. Without you, we couldn’t give Nayeli and all of our children the excellent care, love and support that we do. Nayeli is currently 100% sponsored, but we have many more children waiting for sponsors. Please consider sponsoring a child and helping us change more lives.