Success Stories
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Misty's Adoption Story

Misty loves being a mommy to Aaron and Orin*. She marvels in the little moments and celebrates the big ones like the recent finalization of Orin’s adoption on August 26, 2013. This single parent, who works full time as a biologist, says that being an adoptive parent is a different kind of motherhood because it happened on her own terms. We asked Misty to tell us more about her experience as an adoptive parent with Children’s Bureau and her life with Aaron and Orin. [More]
Cynthia Azali-Rojas Story

Cynthia Azali-Rojas first found a flyer for Magnolia Place at her local community center at a time when she felt lost and confused as a parent. After her son Maceo was diagnosed with a brain tumor at only seven months, he experienced developmental delays that worried Cynthia. He wasn’t walking or talking on pace with his peers, and he had difficulty eating certain foods. With help and encouragement in the Family Enrichment Program (FEP), however, Maceo has now developed “to a level that I didn’t even know was possible,” says Cynthia. FEP offers classes that assess children for developmental delays, provides resource referrals, and gives social support and encouragement to parents. [More].
Being the Best Parent Possible

Having a child brings plenty of excitement and joy into a family but also feelings of uncertainty and concern for how to care for the child. To help these parents with child-rearing knowledge and support, Children’s Bureau offers a program called, NuParent. This admired parent education course is offered at Children’s Bureau and other organizations trained to implement the program. Parents from the last trimester of pregnancy and those with newborns, infants, toddlers and preschoolers learn the developmental milestones and specific needs of their children in a unique forum that also encourages discussion and sharing of experiences. Parents are so supportive of each other that oftentimes they form NuParent Clubs so they can continue to meet after they graduate from the program. Parents are also known to return to the program upon learning that they are expecting another child! To hear how NuParent helped three moms with different life situations, click here. To learn more about NuParent click here.
Meet Evelyn Reyes — "My second home is Children's Bureau"

Evelyn Reyes is well known around Children's Bureau's Oakwood Family Resource Center in Los Angeles, and, with a big smile, says that the Center is her second home. Before finding Children's Bureau five years ago, however, Evelyn was feeling isolated and was suffering due to the problems she was experiencing with her son, Diego, who was five years old at the time. [More]
Meet Santana Hernandez --- "I Didn't Know Help Existed for Fathers"

Santana Hernandez had to face a harsh reality that he was going to be raising his two children alone. He and his wife had marital problems that resulted in a domestic violence situation. He had to protect his children and now has temporary custody of them. Life for Santana has not been easy as he is a construction worker who is struggling financially. His children were also beginning to act out and he was challenged with how to handle the situation. Santana was referred to Corbin Family Resource Center in Santa Ana through social services and began work with a Children's Bureau family advocate. Santana says the family advocate helped to guide him and his children through some difficult times. They participated in family therapy and Santana is currently working with an in-home parent educator who is teaching parenting skills. Santana once felt alone and thought these type of services were for mothers only, not fathers. He now realizes that anyone can take advantage of the support offered by Children's Bureau and encourages those who need help to call. Click to hear more about how Santana is making it on his own as a parent.
Meet Richard and Melanie --- "Our Experience with Children’s Bureau Has Been Life Changing"

Los Angeles residents Richard and Melanie Harris were thrilled with the birth of their daughter, Miracle, but were feeling isolated and unsure as to how to raise the baby. With no relatives nearby — Richard’s family lives in New York and Melanie is from England — the couple was eager to find a place to take Miracle to get the information and social support they desired. Melanie spent four months trying to find a program that she could access via public transportation and that fit within their budget. In the summer of 2009, Melanie enrolled in the NuParent Infant Program at Children’s Bureau’s Oakwood Family Resource Center and found just what she was looking for and more. [More]
Meet Bettwati and Iketut --- "Our family life has changed thanks to NuParent"

Bettawati Mastirto and her husband, Iketut Mardika, are the proud parents of two very active children — Niluh, age 4 ½ and Joey, age 3. As older parents, they felt like they should have known what to expect in raising their children but soon found the experience challenging and overwhelming. The family lives near the Magnolia Place Family Center and discovered a flyer for the NuParent program.

Both parents signed up for a session in early 2009 where they learned vital child-rearing skills and bonding techniques with their children. They also discovered a social support group with the other parents and began attending NuParent Club meetings. Bettawati and Iketut found the information so valuable that they took a second NuParent session in October 2009. They both agree that their family life has positively changed because of what they learned in NuParent and recommend the program to all families with young children.

To hear how NuParent gave Bettwati and Iketut the skills needed to raise their two young children successfully, click here.
The Goodwin's Adoption Story

Vicki Goodwin just loves being around kids and caring for them. She and her husband, David, have three grown children but there were always little ones in their home as Vicki provided babysitting to her friends who worked. One day, she saw a Children’s Bureau billboard promoting foster care and adoption and was interested in learning more. David was familiar with having foster children in his home as his mom was a foster parent during his middle school years. In 2005, the couple became certified foster parents and since then have cared for 30 infants. [More]
Francisco and Cristina Gain Confidence with Newborn Thanks to Health Access Program

Teenage parents Francisco and Cristina were excited about the birth of their newborn daughter but were unsure as to how to care for her. While in the hospital, the couple was referred to Children's Bureau's Health Access Program in Orange County which provides free health education and in-home support services for pregnant women and young families. They took advantage of the offer and began with home visits by Dolores Vega, a promotora with Children's Bureau. [More]
Juan's Story

Juan Guzman signed up for the financial literacy course with his wife and says that what he learned has changed his life. He found the lesson about credit and credit repair interesting and signed up for a credit report. Juan also learned important budgeting skills. [More]
Robin's Story

Robin Armstrong is a single mother of eight children. Six of the children are her own (ranging in age from 12 to 27) while the youngest two girls, Domeka and Doneka, are her nieces. The twin girls were headed into foster care because their father went to prison and their mother was abusing drugs and having a hard time quitting the addiction. [More]
Meet Marissa --- "My Life is Back on Track Thanks to Children's Bureau"

When Marissa was expecting her second child, Annalisa, she knew this time around that she wanted to be a better mom. Marissa was a struggling teenage mom when she had her now five-year-old son. She was in and out of jail, addicted to drugs and seemed to have no direction. Marissa was referred to a Christian women’s home that changed her life, including meeting her husband at church. When Annalisa was born, Marissa, had a difficult time with breast feeding and felt frustrated. She was given information about various programs in the hospital and her grandmother encouraged her to call.

Marissa was referred to and accepted help from the Bridges for Newborns program in Orange County, an in-home parent education program. Family Support Counselor Ashli Brown gave Marissa the information and guidance she needed to continue with breast feeding. Marissa also learned about her daughter’s milestones and nutrition needs. She says that she can’t imagine raising her daughter on her own and is grateful for the support she has from her family and places like Children’s Bureau. Marissa’s life is back on track and she is currently attending school to become a drug and alcohol counselor.

To hear how Marissa gained confidence as a mother, click here.
Meet Josefina Mora --- "Parents Shouldn't Be Afraid to Ask for Help"

Josefina is a single mother of two young boys and is also the mother of two grown children who are professionals in Mexico. Josefina was referred to a Children's Bureau Advocate at Corbin Family Resource Center as she was the victim of domestic violence by her husband. He is currently in jail because their 8-year-old son witnessed the violent behavior. Josefina felt insecure and suffered from low self-esteem. The family was also struggling financially as the father brought home the only income. The family advocate connected Josefina and the boys to numerous services including counseling, in-home parent education, a personal empowerment program, mentoring program and parent-child interactive therapy. Josefina says that the programs have totally changed their lives and that they are a happy family again. [More]