We never know how long a child might live with us. Some children will live with us until adulthood, others may only stay with us for a few months. Forever changing lives with the time we’re given remains our mission.
One Child at a Time
Before shifting from international adoptions to orphan care, the time we had with children was shorter and the process was clearer. We cared for children until their adoptions were finalized, at most a few years. We filled an important space between families. Our time seemed so short and we wanted to give each child our best.
Our director Alejandra shared these thoughts recently:
“Answering these questions has brought a lot of memories to my mind. I realize how blessed I have been with the opportunity to see so many children’s lives transformed through the years. God put together all the pieces and people to bless each child that has been at Dorie’s Promise. Every day, I remember what I first learned when working with Heather—change lives one child at a time.”
Our international adoption years prepared us to give our best to every child, no matter how short their stay in our home.
Long-term Impact during Short Stays
Aside from urgent medical or psychological needs, our priority is always providing a safe and loving home for children immediately. Imagine being taken from the only home and only people you know by strangers. The entire experience is traumatic.
Children arrive at Dorie’s Promise after traumatic circumstances. They need protection, love, companionship, care, and the necessities they most certainly lacked in their former circumstances. With
patience, gentleness, and wisdom we slowly build relationships and move beyond their basic needs.
“For me, the most important thing is to help them believe in God and to learn that no matter what, God is going to love them and be with them FOREVER. Second, we need to provide them with the education and tools that are going to be their support in their future.” -Alejandra, our Director
No matter how long they stay with us, we want every child to experience loving care.
When Our Time Feels Too Short
Occasionally, the time we get with children feels too short. We look back and wish they had stayed longer. This is just one of those stories.*
The brothers: Abused by their mother, the brothers came to live with us after being removed by authorities. For several years they called Dorie’s Promise home. They were doing well, their physical wounds long healed and settling into a routine of school and family. In the background, their case made its way through family court. Their mother wanted to reunite with the boys but was an obvious threat to their well-being.
The family court eventually ruled in her favor after years of therapy, treatment, and efforts to establish a
stable home. The brothers packed their bags and walked out of our home with their mother. Although she had a job and seemed different, the brothers knew what home would be like when they returned. Their family would always live on the edge of extreme poverty. Despite their struggles, the brothers wanted to be with their family.
Many years later, we remain in contact with this family. Their mother continues to work hard to provide for the brothers, but her efforts aren’t always sufficient. Unfortunately, the older brother quit school after returning home, getting a job to provide additional income. He willingly set aside his opportunities so his younger brother could remain in school.
We’re proud of the responsible young man he became but saddened by the choice he was forced to make.
At the same time, we thank God for bringing the boys into our home and then allowing us to remain connected.
Pray for Those No Longer in Our Care
Watching children leave our home is one of the hardest parts of our work, especially when we feel our time has been too short. We worry about the situations to which they are returning. We question whether they’re well prepared for the future. Yet in other situations, we celebrate dreams coming true.
Pray with us for those children no longer in our care. Pray that we remain focused on forever changing lives with the time we’re given. Pray that we remain grateful for the role we play in these children’s lives.
Today, we’re praying for the children who are no longer in our care—the little ones who were horribly abused and still need protection, the older ones who left before finishing school and are now facing adulthood, the children who were adopted and are finding their place in new families, families who have reunited and face the struggles of poverty each day, and children who struggle to see God’s goodness in their daily lives.
We pray for every child whose life was impacted by Dorie’s Promise.
*No names or photos used in this story reveal the identity of these children. Their identities have been omitted to respect their privacy.