Earlier this month, we celebrated a huge win in Hermosillo, Mexico. Thanks to you, the first child ever in the state of Sonora was welcomed into loving family-style care rather than being placed in an orphanage shortly after birth!
Words can’t describe how excited we are for Baby Antonio. And it’s only fitting there’s a great story to accompany this incredible milestone!
A Long Journey
As we like to say, being the first ain’t easy, but that didn’t stop you!
We began our efforts in Sonora in 2017, and it’s been a long road to pioneer family-style care. Over the last few years, your support allowed us to build relationships with government officials, advocate for family-style care, and show love to children living in government orphanages.
In February 2020, we were thrilled to become the first nonprofit to receive government approval to provide family-style care in Sonora! And last month, the first three families were trained and certified to care for orphaned and vulnerable children in the capital city of Hermosillo.
For one of those families, that certification was an important step in a journey that began almost a year earlier.
A Willing Heart
Even before we received government approval in Sonora, we were paving the way for family-style care in Hermosillo.
We began educating community leaders about the orphan crisis and sharing the importance of family-style care. And at our very first speaking event, something amazing happened.
In October of last year, we connected with a group of local pastors in Hermosillo who invited us to speak at one of their regular meetings. We shared our vision for family-style care and asked if they would allow us to speak in their churches.
Toward the end of the meeting, Pastor Ariel González Echavez stood up. He said not only would he invite us to speak at his church, but he wanted to be the first in Hermosillo to sign up to provide family-style care for a child!
We were thrilled and moved at his willingness to welcome a child into his home. Over the next several months, we spoke at his church and continued to stay in touch with the Echavez family.
And in July, they became one of the first three families to be certified to provide family-style care.
A Life Changed
Around the time the Echavez family was going through their training, a baby boy in Hermosillo was abandoned immediately after he was born. Baby Antonio* remained in the hospital while the state DIF (Mexico’s version of CPS) was called.
Until this year, the only option for a child like Antonio would have been to go into an orphanage. He would have been processed by the government and moved into an institution while he waited for an adoptive family.
But thanks to you, there is another option! The DIF contacted our team in Hermosillo, and after just a few short days, Antonio was placed into the loving arms of the Echavez family!
Almost a year after Pastor Ariel volunteered to be the first in Sonora to provide family-style care, he and his family welcomed Antonio into their home and their hearts. It was amazing to see the love in their eyes as they met Antonio for the first time.
Now, instead of growing up in an orphanage, this beautiful baby boy will know the love of a family. He has been spared the negative effects of institutionalized orphan care, such as inadequate personal attention, stunted development, and delayed or lost learning abilities.
Now, Antonio is growing and thriving, and the Echavez family is so in love with him. We are so thankful that Antonio will have a safe, stable, and loving home while he awaits his adoptive family.
You Are Changing the Way Sonora Cares for Orphans!
We can’t say thank you enough. You make all this possible…and this is only the beginning! Because of you, more orphaned and vulnerable children in Sonora will get out of orphanages and into families…where they belong!
Thank you for changing lives in Sonora, and thank you for changing the way the world cares for orphans!
*The child’s name has been changed to protect his privacy.