By Pablo Villagran-
Among the stories we love to share most are those about children who find loving, caring parents. That is the case with six-year-old Elyel, who came to Dorie’s Promise as an infant in 2006 and was adopted in late July.
According to staff members who have called to check on him, Elyel is happy and everything is going well.
“His parents said that he had a hard time going to bed the first few nights but with time he got used to it and now is sleeping very well,” says Director Alejandra Diaz. “He has adapted well to his new school and family.”
Elyel lives on a farm, which is a perfect setting for a boy who loves animals. To make it even better, he now has a horse to call his own.
Since adoption rates in our country are typically low, we are encouraged by what appears to be more interest in adoption by families here. We regularly see couples who are looking for a child like Elyel or Carlos Enrique, who was adopted earlier in 2012.
Dorie’s Promise played a key role in facilitating Elyel’s adoption. Teacher Claudia Roncal suggested that the prospective parents spend time with Elyel to get to know him better.
They accomplished this through a series of 10 meetings, which each lasted four to six hours.
Claudia says the idea came from a process we followed with Carlos’ adoption. She suggested it to some psychologists, who agreed.
They chose the teacher to supervise the meetings, which were held in our pre-school classroom. “This established an effective link with his future parents,” Claudia says. “We did this through games, including them in Elyel’s daily activities and directed interaction.
“This not only made them feel included, it made possible the positive transition from Elyel’s environment here to his new home. It also allowed other children to get a positive outlook on the process—and prepares them to one day possibly pass through it themselves.”
It particularly benefited Elyel, who had spent almost his entire life at Dorie’s Promise. During the period of transition we helped him adjust to living elsewhere and promoted closer interaction with his father.
This helped establish confidence in Elyel, who struggled through a period of anxiety. Fortunately, Claudia says the family made a great effort to attend all scheduled meetings and patiently gave him space to remove distrust and anxiety.
“This is one of the happiest endings to a story I’ve ever seen,” Claudia says. “It was an honor to present people to Elyel who would always be there for him and assure him that he would be going to a good home. It was one of the most significant experiences of my life.”
If you would like to play a role in helping other children to experience the kind of joy that comes when an orphan is adopted, click here to learn more about helping Dorie’s Promise.