Kathie and Dominic have helped countless children through Children’s Bureau’s foster care and adoption program and have passed the passion to help others onto their own children. Their family now consists of four sons, three daughters and 10 grandchildren—their oldest daughter and her husband have fost-adopted two girls and are in the process of fostering with the hope of adopting again. Read the family’s story below to learn about their journey with Children’s Bureau.
CB: How did you find Children’s Bureau and why did you choose to foster or fost-adopt through this agency?
While working for the school district, I learned some things about foster care, not knowing what it was prior. During this time, I learned the need for resource parents and shared this information with my husband, Dominic. We were then given Children’s Bureau’s name to contact to check further into becoming resource parents.
CB: What was the process of becoming a resource parent and how long did it take?
After attending an information meeting, we knew it was our calling to help children and their families reunify when possible. The process of becoming resource parents consisted of 18 classroom hours of training, which included rules and regulations of the foster care system, CPR/First Aid, then a background check, and concluded with a family assessment. This process took us approximately three months to complete and become approved.
CB: What inspired you to become resource parents and how has it changed your life?
One thing that inspired us was seeing the need to help others in our community. During our training, we learned more about the needs of the children in our community and their families. We have always wanted to give back to our community and found it very rewarding to help others. It has changed our lives tremendously and shown us that we can make changes in the lives of children for the better. That, in itself, is so rewarding. It has opened our eyes to see the needs of children in foster care which gave us the ability to give them a stable family, even if it’s only for a short time in some cases.
CB: How did you feel about fostering siblings? What was the difference between fostering one child to a sibling set of two?
The difference between fostering one child to fostering two or more, in our experience, would be that fostering siblings was sometimes easier because they had a familiar face with them, which helped comfort them going into another family. On the other hand, one child was sometimes easier since you have one set of emotions and feelings to focus on compared to having multiple children. We also gave the parents support to stay positive and focus on what they needed to do to have their children rejoin their family when possible.
CB: How have you helped the children transition back to their families? What was that like for you?
One way that we helped the children transition back to their families was by taking them to their court hearings and weekly family time. It was very rewarding when families reunified. Some birth families accepted our support and were successful in reunifying with their children, while some did not. Today we are still in contact with quite a few of the families and their children. We have also kept in contact with foster children that are now grown and have their own children. It is such a blessing.
CB: What were the birth parents/family like and how much contact do you have with them?
Our first adopted son, Adrian, has three biological sisters that were adopted into another family. We have always kept them in contact with each other throughout the years, whether it was sleep overs, movies, dinner, amusement parks, special occasions, etc. It was a joy to see them build relationships with one another.
CB: How has Children’s Bureau helped you on this journey?
Through our journey with Children’s Bureau, we received amazing support throughout our transitions whenever needed. They have always been there for us in all aspects of our journey, which made the experience of fostering possible. They are family. We have and would always recommend Children’s Bureau to all our family and friends. We now have three amazing sons that we have fost-adopted due to the awesome staff at Children’s Bureau. Our family now consists of four sons and three daughters, 10 grandchildren, and my mother Gregorita who currently lives with us.
CB: Tell us about your child(ren) today and their interests.
Our oldest daughter, Krystal, and her husband, Carlos, have also become part of the Children’s Bureau family. They have fost-adopted two beautiful girls and are in the process of fostering with the hope of adopting. Our son, Adrian, is now a senior in high school. He has played football and has taken ROTC for the past 4 years. He is hoping to be accepted into Cal State Poly University in San Luis Obispo, to study Mechanical Engineering after high school. Our 2 youngest sons Tommy and Christopher are currently attending Middle School. They have enjoyed softball, soccer, and singing in church. They are also big sports fans and enjoy going to 49ers, Rams, and Dodger games. They also enjoy collecting football and baseball cards. We have been very blessed to have such a beautiful family and to have had the opportunity to touch so many other lives.