Julio and Maria always dreamed of having a home filled with children, both biological and adopted. They live in a quiet neighborhood in a suburb of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and their family has recently grown to a family of five—including a six-month-old foster son named Mathias*. “My sister knew about our dream of adoption,” shared Julio. “One day, she said, ‘Check it out—there’s a program that lets you open your home to children for a season.’” Through a partnership between Orphan Outreach and DINAF, the Honduran government agency focused on child protection, a foster care program had recently launched. Orphan Outreach and DINAF developed foster care protocols for orphaned and vulnerable children, equipped case workers with special training in trauma, and established a wrap around care model for both biological and foster families.
Originally, Julio and Maria thought that fostering a child close to the age of their two biological children, Ana Victoria, and Oscar, would be the best thing for their family. Then they received a call about Mathias. Only eleven days old, little Mathias needed a safe place to land as Orphan Outreach and DINAF evaluated his situation. “The day we went to DINAF and saw him for the first time, we fell in love with him,” said Julio. Mathias needed a loving place to call home while DINAF and Orphan Outreach evaluated what route would provide him with the best permanent care and love— family reintegration or adoption.
Family life for Julio, Maria, and their children has been transformed by foster care. The children adore caring for their foster brother. Little Mathias’ life has been changed too. Early on, Mathias was unsure and afraid, but now, he squeals with delight and loves to be held and hugged. “He knows we are here, and his trust has grown,” said Maria. “He knows who we are, and he is content. If he wakes up now at night, well, it’s no longer about fear.”
*Mathias’ name has been changed to honor his privacy.