Stories

Reuniting Families at Manantial de Amor

Mar 24, 2015

Becca Eastvold

Tears streamed down 12-year-old Luis Gerardo’s face as he watched his parents drive away yet again. The scene was all too familiar—it happened every weekend. Each Sunday afternoon, when Luis Gerardo was brought back to Manantial de Amor Children’s Home, he would cry, battling feelings of abandonment.

On Fridays, his parents picked him up to spend the weekend at home. For this brief couple of days each week, Luis Gerardo no longer felt abandoned. He was desperate for their love. Luis Gerardo enjoyed his time with them, but because of their work schedules, his parents did not see how he could be with them permanently.

Because of his emotional outbursts, the family began meeting with Isis, Manantial de Amor’s psychologist. She helped the family understand the importance of the relationship with their son. Because of their poverty, his parents didn’t believe they had the resources necessary to bring their two children, Luis Gerardo and his older sister Lupita, home to live with them full-time.

While his parents thought financial needs to be most important, Isis challenged them to think differently. She gently said, “I want you to consider meeting Luis Gerardo’s emotional needs as the most important thing you offer him. He loves you. He misses you. What needs to change so he can return home?”

Isis began talking the family through some options. She suggested talking to bosses about shifting work schedules so someone could be at home with Luis. She also suggested getting in touch with family members who may be able to help out when both parents had to be at work.

After working out some logistics, Luis Gerardo was brought home to stay. A few weeks later, after seeing how well her brother had adjusted, Lupita moved back home as well. Both children are happy to be home, and Luis Gerardo no longer worries about impending Sunday afternoons. In the past five months, six additional children from Manantial de Amor Children’s Home have returned home with their families.

Back2Back desires to show orphans and vulnerable children how much God loves them and that He has a wonderful plan for their lives. We want to demonstrate that love by exhausting every imaginable resource to reconcile families. Parents who are struggling to provide for their children, usually bring them to a children’s home reluctantly, feeling they have no other option. Our hope is that there would be a mindset shift and parents would view a children’s home as a temporary resource. With that in mind, we are helping parents identify solutions to keep their children at home permanently.

Becca Eastvold is a copywriter for Back2Back Ministries. She loves not only living a good story, but helping others do the same. She's committed to telling stories of life-changing hope by engaging with Back2Back staff and children from around the world. At any given time you can find her playing trains with her sons, hiking in the woods or lost in deep conversation with a friend.

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