I am Luna, 10-years old and for a long time, I lived in a children’s home. It was loud, and we shared everything, from clothes to rooms. I felt safe, but sometimes overwhelmed by all the noise. Now, I live in a quiet home with my foster parents. There’s a soccer goal in the backyard, and a man and woman who daily show me love.
Today, my foster mom drives me to the city where I see my therapist. While I am in a room where I can share my feelings, my foster mom talks about how things are going with me to the director of Foster Care.
The Foster Care office is a special place, where people work hard for children like me. It’s where my mom and dad were trained, and learned to take care of children who have experienced hard things.
Daniel is my birth name, but my mama calls me Dany. It made me happy to hear her as she woke me each morning for school. There was a time when I wasn’t living with her, and someone else woke me in the mornings. They called me Daniel and then I missed her and my room even more.
Now, after some time away, I’m back with Mama, and I know things are going to be alright. Some days, we come to an office in the city, and learn new things. I learn about math – it’s always been a struggle. Mama learns how to interview for new jobs, and ask for what she needs, and how to talk to me when one of us is upset.
I love coming to the office with Mama, I feel hope for our family when we walk out together. People there are working hard to help us both and that gives me peace.
We are Ramon and Natalia, 12-year old twins who live with caregivers in a children’s home. Most of the children we live with went home to their biological families when the pandemic hit, but we had to stay behind. It’s been lonely ever since. The caregivers do their best to keep us busy and focused on school, but the quiet can be pretty loud sometimes.
Weeks into the lockdown, volunteers and mentors came visiting wearing masks, smiling and happy to see us. They brought Clorox wipes, antibacterial soap, and food for us. Best of all, they brought new games we played after homework. We didn’t visit for long, and it was at a distance, but they reminded us that even though we’re apart, we’re remembered.
They talked about how they met in a building in the city, to pick up supplies and ride over together. We’ve never been there, but we imagine them gathering and planning on how to make things better and more fun for us.
Three different scenarios, one throughline: vulnerable children understanding their past hurts don’t define their future. No matter what narrative they have believed about adults, there are safe people ready to step in. Luna, Danny, Ramon, and Natalia are receiving holistic care right where they are. Their growth and healing is made possible in part by three very special, equipped adults.
Ale Castro, Ana Gallo, and Patricia Flores are three Mexican women called to pursue vulnerable populations and who lead programs addressing the needs of children. As a team of professionals, they equip adults with the tools to break cyclical trauma and facilitate spaces for healing. Recently, they relocated to an office in the middle of the city with the goal of better serving children and families in the Volunteer, Strong Families, and the Foster Care Programs.
The office space provides common ground and easier access for families and caregivers. It has space for tutoring, and private areas for therapies. “This is a space for growing – educationally and emotionally,” shares Ale, Director of the Strong Families Program. “We want just as much focus on the families, as the children themselves- equipping everyone who crosses this threshold.”
Patricia, Director of the Foster Care Program, adds, “We prayed so long for this space, and God has provided. We are safely and conveniently serving families in the areas where they live.”
Ana Gallo, Director of the Volunteer program says, ”It’s a collaborative space, where we connect with other programs and government officials. We are no longer individual programs, but one team looking after vulnerable children together and equipping the right people to enact change.”
The trio of national women believe deeply in holistic care and what it can do for vulnerable children and the safe adults who provide them family-style care. Their vision and heart for healthy families provides the promise of healing and a brighter future for the children of Mexico.