Back2Back first met Perla and Ami six years ago at the San Jose Children’s Home. Perla was a timid, quiet little girl who sometimes seemed to want to be invisible. She was teased ruthlessly for struggling in school. Her confidence sunk lower when she was held back a grade. Ami, Perla’s younger sister, was a boisterous fighter who wasn’t afraid to let you know what she was thinking or feeling.
Despite having opposite personalities, these two sisters were very close and both shared the same hope of someday moving back home to live with their mom. They understood that their mom wasn’t in a place to care for them at the time but that didn’t change their longing to be united as a family. Throughout eight long years in the children’s home, Perla and Ami never lost hope of their family being together again.
During her stay at the children’s home, Perla underwent a dramatic transformation. After Back2Back began working with her children’s home, she was quickly paired with an academic tutor. After hours and hours of regular tutoring sessions, something began to click.
The difference was noticeable. Soon, we began to hear Perla’s voice more and more. Very quickly, she became a B+ student. Her facial expressions started to change and she began to exhibit pride in herself and her work. To the amazement of her peers, Perla began to soar and rose to the top of the class – achieving honors, ranking the highest in her class, and receiving an academic award at her graduation.
Both girls grew emotionally through the care of a counselor who helped them heal from a difficult past. Staff poured into the children at the home, leading Bible studies, field trips and retreats.
Perla grew to be a self-confident, poised young lady, and Ami learned to channel her emotions and outgoing personality toward contagious charisma.
Meanwhile, Back2Back partnered with the girls’ children’s home to offer parenting classes and counseling for any parent who desired to reconcile with their child. Esmeralda, their mother, along with several other moms, jumped at the opportunity. Little did the girls know, Esmeralda had quietly held onto hope that she might someday be in a place where she and the girls could be together again. She poured herself into parenting classes, meetings with social workers, and counseling sessions. Esmeralda was experiencing her own personal transformation – healing from her past hurts and learning new parenting skills to prepare for her girls’ return.
Last June, the girls were finally reunited with their mom. While the transition has had its difficult moments, they have learned to work through things together as a family.
God never abandoned Perla and Ami’s family–not during their stay at the children’s home or during their transition home to live with their mom–and he won’t abandon them in this next chapter of their lives either. God used the 8 years of unknowns and separation while living in a children’s home to heal Perla, Ami, and Esmeralda so they could be safely restored as a family again. And I for one believe the pain of those years is nothing compared to the beauty of their restored family today.