Guatemala (MNN/BOC) — The Arroyos always felt their family was incomplete.
Francisco Arroyo and his wife, Monica Alquijay, have two daughters, ages 17 and 12. They always wanted a third child, but health issues prevented that possibility. It wasn’t until a social worker called them one day that they gained hope.
After attending a parent meeting at their daughters’ school one night, they came across a pamphlet from Buckner International. They learned about a new program being started in Guatemala involving Buckner, USAID, and Guatemala’s Secretary of Social Well-being. The pamphlet explained how Buckner received a $1 million grant in 2013 to provide a better alternative to institutional care for vulnerable children in Guatemala. Semillas de Esperanza, or “Seeds of Hope,” was founded to place these children with loving, structured families.
The couple left their information with a government worker, but didn’t think much would come of it. It wasn’t long, however, before it began looking like their family would be complete after all.
A social worker began calling them every evening to further discuss the certification process. Monica began feeling all kinds of emotions: nervousness, excitement, fear. But she said she felt like God orchestrated the events, so after several days of family discussion, they decided to move forward with the process. After finishing tests, exams and interviews with psychologists, the couple was eventually asked to foster a 9-month-old boy.
But things quickly changed. As they were considering parenting the boy, they received another call from a social worker asking them to take a 5-month-old girl instead who had been abandoned by her mother. They had no idea what the child was like, but the social worker needed a decision that day.
One of Monica and Francisco’s biggest reasons for considering fostering a child was to make their family feel complete. And with two biological daughters, the couple was hoping for a boy. But it was then that they were reminded of why they registered as foster parents in the first place: to love and provide stability for an underprivileged child. They felt it was still a sign from God, so they became the hands and feet of Christ and drove two hours to pick up the child the next day.
Valeria has now been a part of the Arroyo family since June 2014. They love her and are committed to providing her all of the same opportunities and quality of education as their biological daughters. They know Valeria could be taken and placed with another family at any moment, so they are recording every memory, cherishing their time together.
“We won’t compromise in how we care for her,” Francisco said, according to an article by Buckner International. “She’s part of our family. She has the same rights as our daughters, even if she’s not legally ours.”
“Now we’re grateful to Valeria’s mother for giving us the opportunity to know and love Valeria,” Monica added. “We know that any moment, someone could knock at the door and say Valeria has to go somewhere else. But in the meantime, we will give her all the love we can as part of our family.”
Not everyone is meant to be a foster parent, but there are many ways you can help provide a better life for hurting children. Visit Buckner’s Web site for ways to assist financially or to learn more about what it means to be a foster parent.