Fernando heard about his sister’s kids and he just knew he had to help them. He had never met the two little girls and baby boy, but when he learned they had been in foster care for four months, he knew they belonged with family.
Fernando and his wife, Carolina, had four boys born to them; the youngest was 15. “We were done!” says Carolina with a laugh. “To some people, it was insane, but to us it was the right thing to do.” The couple expected the placement to be temporary while the birth parents finished court-ordered classes and counseling.
Carmen was three and Carla was two years old. Andrew, four months old, had been in foster care since birth. “The trauma these children experienced in their past still surfaced in their daily lives,” recalls Case Manager Christine Dinh. “Carmen cried often and was easily triggered by everyday tasks that brought back memories of her trauma history.”
Carolina admits that fostering wasn’t as easy as they expected. She and Fernando took classes with PCHAS to learn about the effects of trauma. They had monthly meetings with case workers and paperwork to complete. “It was a bit stressful at times,” admits Carolina, “but we had the best caseworkers. They were extremely helpful and resourceful. We could call them at any time and we’d always hear a pleasant voice on the other end. They were our angels!”
With time, the children began to heal and build secure attachments to Fernando and Carolina. They developed trust and security. They were no longer reserved and became outgoing, fun-loving children. As the children’s legal case moved toward adoption, Carolina and Fernando excitedly agreed as they were committed to providing a life-long plan for the children.
The decision to adopt was easy. After raising four boys, they felt blessed to enjoy life with three young children all over again. Helping the children heal through their trauma was challenging at times, but ultimately, it was worth it.
“These little ones have brought so much joy and laughter into our lives,” says Carolina. “The older boys are now all big brothers and my husband has his daughters, to whom he can do no wrong. I have little ones who remind me of my older children when they were small.”
On August 21, 2018, the family finalized the adoption of Carmen, Carla and Andrew. “We have no regrets!” they say. “They are our blessings!”
To learn more about how you can foster a child in need,