“I’d rather not have a birthday party this year,” Santiago* told his foster mom directly. Lola* and her husband have fostered Santiago for most of his life. In the time they’ve cared for him, raising him as their own, they also came to know his biological mom. Santiago’s 11th birthday was around the corner when his biological mom passed unexpectedly. She believed his resistance to a celebration was in response to mourning her loss, and chose to speak life over him.
“Santiago! You aren’t going to celebrate your birthday? Why?!” she knelt in front of him. “Your mom was always so cheerful about celebrating you – she loved honoring your life every year. She adored you and always said, ‘Santiago is a gift.’ Think about it a little longer.”
He was moved by this reminder, deciding to let Lola organize a party for him. With time, his excitement grew. It was a Dragon Ball Z themed party; he had his very own Goku costume, a piñata, and his entire family wore t-shirts of their favorite characters from the show.
“Seeing Santiago so excited at his party was a balm for our hearts,” explained Lola. “He is a light for our whole family and deserved to be celebrated, especially after such a difficult loss.”
The party was a success, and Santiago felt certain it couldn’t get any better, but then it did. Just days later, his foster parents received word that Santiago was legally released for adoption! Lola and her husband knew they wanted to be Santiago’s forever family, and when they shared the news with him, he just had one question. “What will my new name be?”
Days later, the adoption process began with a ceremony marking the first signature from his foster parents, initiating the legal formalization of Santiago’s adoption; Lola will say over and over he’s been like a son since the first day they met him. As the adoption process is concluded, God is working in Santiago’s life and in the lives of each of his family members.
“I see this journey as a love story with Jesus,” shared Lola. “We knew from the first moment we held him that God had sent us a very special gift, and we believed one day he would be legally ours; now it is coming true. God is at work in Santiago’s life. We cannot wait to be in the front row for every moment.”
Please join Back2Back in prayer over Santiago and his family, that this would be a healing step in their journeys. Please pray also for all the foster families currently caring for children, that they would each feel supported and deeply loved. Together, from staff, to volunteers, to faithful foster parents, we will not stop, until every child is known & loved.