Perla and Ami climb into their bunk beds in their new room. The walls are cream-colored and serene. This space of their very own is welcoming, calming, a respite.
Around a year ago, Perla and Ami were reunited with their mom, Esmeralda, after living at San Jose Children’s Home for eight years. This process of reunification has been deeply rewarding and invigorating for Esmeralda and her family.
“It has been a blessing to watch the family grow because they have been dedicated to working hard, and their dedication has allowed the family to move forward. Their reunification through dependence on Christ has truly allowed them to become more well-adjusted and unified as a family,” explains Darlene, Esmeralda’s Back2Back family caseworker.
As Ami and Perla moved back home with their mom and step-dad, they had to adjust from having plentiful space at San Jose to a one room home with their family. This transition and adjustment allowed Back2Back staff to begin to discuss the possibility of building onto the home to allow more appropriate space for the girls.
In the fall of 2015, Esmeralda found out she was pregnant with a younger sibling for the girls, and the need for additional space became evident. In the spring of 2015, teams came down and began building onto the house to create space solely for the Perla and Ami to rest in.
“The family wasn’t expecting the addition to their home,” explains Sarah Nace, Back2Back staff. “God providing additional space and teams for the addition showed a level of support that was such a blessing to them.”
The building process took place over three months at the hands of several mission teams. Each team was able to further develop the new, private space for the girls with the use of project money.
Having their own space before their baby brother arrived has been imperative in the transition to being back home with their family. Perla and Ami have been able to see, firsthand, how God cares for them, sees their needs, and provides a way to help them feel more secure, and have the space for the independence to develop as teen girls.
“Having their own space and being trusted within the space has impacted Ami and Perla greatly,” says Sarah.
Their baby brother, Joaquin de Jesus, has been a joyful addition to their family; Ami and Perla love helping care for him, according to Darlene.
“This reunification for the family, the new space for the girls, and the support they are receiving through therapy and my weekly visits with them have really left this family feeling, and becoming, more unified,” says Darlene. “This coming back together has been just the family stability Ami and Perla have been longing for.”
Ami and Perla have their own space, their own pillows to rest their heads, and a sanctuary to grow in independence; each of those physical changes has translated to emotional growth and stability for each of them. The reunification process is not just a physical change for Ami and Perla, but one allowing them to succeed in many other emotional and social areas, as well. The care and time provided for Ami and Perla are setting a different pace for their stories and cultivating growth, providing care for their today and hope for their tomorrows.