We Choose to Be Different

We Choose to Be Different

For years, our mission trip schedule included a visit to the government orphanage outside San Jose Pinula. Each week, teams would step off the bus with supplies and activities to share with the staff and children. Each week, the reality of life inside large orphanages confronted teams. We choose to be different at Dorie’s Promise.

Different from the Beginning

For more than 10 years, Heather (our founder) worked with orphanages in Eastern Europe to connect orphaned children with adoptive families. In 2000, the opportunity to launch an adoption program in Guatemala emerged. Initially, she anticipated a program resembling those she knew in Europe.

Daniela doing a coloring project at Dorie's Promise.

Once on the ground, Heather’s plans quickly changed. Not only could she facilitate adoptions in Guatemala, but she could also open her own orphanage.

With a decade of experience and thousands of hours spent maneuvering through the international maze of government agencies and orphanages, Heather knew what did not work. Instead of acting as an intermediary for orphanages, they would instead build an orphanage and create a model that would benefit children in an exceptional way and be far superior to other homes she had visited in Eastern Europe.

We Choose to Be Different

🏡 Dorie’s Promise was created as a home, not an institution. For us, each child is an individual with unique needs and dreams. We are a family.

When international adoptions closed, we had to make a hard choice—do we close Dorie’s Promise or do we find a way to maintain our standard of care and shift to orphan care? Closing meant walking away from children in desperate need of care. Without international adoptions, their situation would become increasingly bleak. Remaining open required substantial private funding. As you know, we chose to remain open.

Our short-term missions program emerged to share the mission of Dorie’s Promise and support our children’s ongoing care.

Children playing outside at Dorie's Promise

Although our priority is the children in our home, we have not forgotten children outside our home—hence the weekly trips to the government orphanage. For a few hours each week, we offered attention and love to the children. Visitors were a bright spot in their week, especially visitors who brought cake. The weary staff gladly accepted help feeding babies. And our mission teams gained a deeper understanding of the effects a strained system has on children.

We choose to be different, to give our children opportunities to succeed and to share the needs of Guatemala’s children.

Watching Our Kids Succeed

Our home and our staff are built around the pillars of holistic health—spiritual, physical, emotional, social, and intellectual. The growth and happiness of our children reveal our success.

Later this year, our first child will graduate from college. Brayan’s schooling is nearing completion and we’re excited to see where his career journey leads. Myra is studying medicine in high school. Aracely is enrolled in a high school culinary program. We are surrounded by many other smart, motivated teenagers who will soon be choosing high school programs, considering careers, and taking the first steps toward independence.

We’re giving our children opportunities and soon we’ll have the pleasure of watching as they step out on their own.

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