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Foster Parenting: A Life-Changing Experience (A story of Mrs. Karen C. Alvarez)

karenIn photo: Happy family! The Alvarez family with Diane during one of

their vacation trips in Ilocos Province.

Being a foster parent is not easy, but making a difference in a child’s life brings a wonderful, rewarding, life-changing experience in our family.

It was October 2011 when Diane arrived to our family through the program of DSWD’s Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC) to temporarily place all children of said center to foster homes for them to experience the spirit of Christmas season with a family.

That day when Diane came to our home, she was very silent, she does not want to talk to anybody. But after a week, Diane showed some changes in her behavior, she started to socialize to every member of the family.

After a month, Diane became closer to his Kuya Elyon, my ten-year old biological son. She had already revealed her sweet side. She was extremely caring especially to his Kuya Elyon. How we love to see them bonding with each other especially when they played games and watch their favorite cartoons in the television.

Progressively, Diane learned to trust us, and our unconditional love has helped her to deal with her shyness and adapt easily to her new environment. This child has sparked our interest and sounded like someone we were willing to take care and become part of our family.

Undeniably, I jumped for joy and my heart fells when we heard Diane started calling us Mommy and Daddy for the first time. From then on, I devoted much time and interest to her and even treated her as my very own child.

Indeed, our family was not the same when Diane poured joy and happiness to our lives. She filled that “emptiness” in our home especially that I and Warner wanted to have a daughter.

Watching Diane gradually adjusted to her new found home and family, my husband Warner, Elyon and I had decided to expand our family by eventually adopting Diane and to be legally part of our family.

I could never imagine having Diane in our life only for a months and end up having to give her back to the center. I and Warner had thought that it would be hard on such a fragile and innocent child after having been adjusted with the love and care of a family to bring her back to her old life.

We have been foster parents for Diane for almost two years now, and the entire experience has been fulfilling, knowing that we had made a difference in Diane’s life.

Indeed, fostering is not necessarily easy, but extremely rewarding.  You have to work on building trust with the child, be honest, and be supportive. For a child like Diane, it involves a commitment to giving a child consistent love, support and understanding, and helping the child through a tremendously difficult time.

As a foster parent, Warner and I had experienced the deep fulfillment knowing that we had provided a needed home for a sweet childlike Diane, we provided the care crucial for a child to grow and develop with a family; we had shared our family’s love unconditionally because we both believe that every child deserves a family.

Just like any other children out there who are longing for the love and attention of real parents, Diane had always dreamt of having a real family, thus, we are now making her dreams come true. Soon, our adoption papers will be finalized, Diane will become part of our family forever. ### (Narration written by Angely Lubo-Mercado, DSWD Regional Information Officer)

__________

Mr. Warner Alvarez and Mrs. Karen Alvarez are the foster parents of Diane for almost 2 years now and now in the process of adopting Diane to be legally part of their family. Mr. and Mrs. Alvarez are both working in the Commission on Audit (COA) Regional Office 02.  

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