Manuel, Sandra, and their two daughters made the decision to grow their family through adoption and agreed that the foster/adopt route was their best option. They began the journey to become foster parents with Children’s Bureau in 2009. Just two months after being certified, they received their first call to foster a baby girl, Mia, who they ultimately adopted in 2011. Over the years, Manual and Sandra have provided over 40 foster children with a happy, safe, and nurturing home where the children can feel comfortable and part of the family.
“It is such a pleasure working with the family. I got to see firsthand the commitment, dedication, and love that Sandra and Manuel have as foster parents. They fully embrace all the qualities that Children’s Bureau looks for in foster parents. They have had their challenges throughout the years, but their dedication to each child is truly remarkable,” remarks the family’s Children’s Bureau social worker.
Learn more about the family’s journey with Children’s Bureau in the interview below.
CB: How did you find Children’s Bureau and why did you choose to foster or foster-adopt through this agency?
My husband and I were driving down the freeway and saw a Children’s Bureau billboard, so we went to one of the information meetings. After learning that there were a lot of kids in need of a home and love, we decided to be a part of Children’s Bureau.
CB: What was the process of becoming a foster parent and how long did it take?
The process took us around two months and everything moved along relatively smoothly.
CB: How has Children’s Bureau helped you on this journey?
For us, the support we receive from the social workers is nice. They are there for you and the kids when you need them, seven days a week at any time.
CB: What inspired you to become foster parents, and how has it changed your life?
It was always our dream to have a big family. Fostering has changed our lives for the better, we have learned about different cultures and helped many families.
CB: How have you helped the children transition back to their families? What was that like for you?
We help them understand they are in our home to protect them and give them love. About a week before they leave, we talk to them and explain their room is getting fixed at their parents/grandparents’ home and they always get excited. We get happy too because we think family reunification is always good.
CB: What activities/therapies have the children joining your family through foster care experienced?
We have gone to places they’ve never been to like Disneyland, Universal Studios, the movies, and we often attend Children’s Bureau activities.
CB: What surprised you about the birth parents/ families?
Sometimes the birth parents/families are upset with us, and sometimes they are happy to meet us. Eventually, they see how happy their children are with us and they are grateful.
CB: How did you manage your and other family member’s feelings when a child goes to live with another family?
It is always hard and sad, but we know our mission is to take care of kids that need love.
CB: What do you do to prepare yourselves for the child leaving?
We prepare with positive thoughts and pray for the children to have good lives.
CB: What advice would you give others who are considering being foster parents?
It is a learning experience. Every child has different needs but most importantly, they need lots of love.
CB: What is the greatest thing you have learned from fostering?
That no matter the age, race, or religion of a child, their happiness and love they show you is the same.
CB: Anything else you would like to say?
We are blessed to be a part of Children’s Bureau and hope to keep working together to bring more joy to our family. Thank you, Children’s Bureau, we are happy to have our biggest blessing with us, our daughter.
*Interview is from Spring 2018