A lot can change in 10 years. We’re loving all the pictures our friends are sharing for the 2020 #decadechallenge, so we’re jumping in as well!
Dorie’s Promise in 2010
Ten years ago, Dorie’s Promise as we know it today was in its infancy. Quite literally, our organization was wading through a major restructure AND our home was full of small children.
For more than a year, Heather and our staff had been working to transition from facilitating international adoptions to long-term orphan care. New international adoptions ceased in January 2008, leaving thousands of pending adoption cases in various states of completion. Along with many other organizations, we were working through the court system to finalize all pending adoptions for children in our care and unite them with their adoptive families.
At the same time, we began accepting children who would become the first to live in our home long-term. Without international adoptions, way too many orphaned and abandoned children found themselves without safe homes. Enter Heather’s mission to passionately serve the world’s forgotten children and our formal transition to become Forever Changed International, and our orphan care home Dorie’s Promise.
A home full of babies and toddlers
Today, we’re helping kids choose schools and classes for their future studies and careers. Ten years ago, we were trying to keep up with dozens of babies and toddlers. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember what the early years of Dorie’s Promise were like because we’re so focused on our current stage.
Walking through our doors in 2010, you would have immediately been greeted by a long row of high chairs, a dining room converted into a playroom, and lots of smiling faces all wanting your attention. In 2010, almost all of our children were younger than 6 years old and we certainly didn’t have any teenagers in our home yet.
Guatemala’s post-international adoption pains were playing out in our home. Several toddlers and elementary-aged children in our home were still caught in unresolved pending adoption cases. We had recently welcomed several sibling groups who had been removed from their homes by social services as foster children. And yet still, many families were relinquishing their parental rights and placing their babies in our care through the court system.
Thankfully, our Special Mothers honed their infant and toddler care skills during our years of adoption facilitation. Watching them feed, bathe, and clothe everyone was like watching a finely tuned orchestra, minus the occasional mischievous child like Alejandra who enjoyed climbing out of her crib and antagonizing everyone else during nap time. Even more special were the moments when the Special Mothers sat with all the small children gathered around them singing, reading stories, and playing together.
Flash forward to 2020
Today, several of these same children still live in our home. We’ve watched them grow and mature. Nayeli graduated high school and is studying at a university in the United States. Brayan is finishing his culinary arts program. Aracely just graduated and starts her culinary arts and tourism studies this month. Before we know it, Maria, Ana, Silvia, Lester, and Abraham will also be making decisions about their futures.
We’ve traded cribs for computers and have loved watching our kids over the last decade.
What’s your favorite Dorie’s Promise memory from the last decade?