Like many families waiting for children, Jose and Marina were parents of dogs. Five dogs in fact! While their beautiful home was filled with the joy of canine snuggles and loyal love, their hearts were longing for the joy that only children can bring to a home – the human giggles, the deep love you didn’t know was possible, and the pitter-patter of tiny feet! The Munoz-Quintanas had been married for over 10 years and decided it was time to reach out to Koinonia. They jumped into the resource parent approval process with both feet; and when that process was complete, everything changed for them.  

From zero children to a houseful, Jose and Marina took placement of three tiny “stair step” sisters – ages 6 months, 1, and 2.  Sofia, Camila, and Fatima desperately needed protective parents who would offer them a forever home at a time when they needed it most. These three girls were a perfect match for their home, and the girls did well from the start. The Munoz-Quintana family served one year as the girls’ resource parents at which time they became forever parents to Sofia, Camila, and Fatima.

Two years had gone by, and the Munoz-Quintana family received some happy news!

Another baby girl was to be born – a biological sibling to their three adopted daughters! When they heard the news, Jose and Marina immediately committed their hearts to this new baby; and they took placement of her within days of her birth. They fully accepted and included the new baby as their daughter from the moment they held her in their arms. When Jose and Marina learned that a new sibling would join the family, they also excitedly began preparing their daughters with the good news. They made sure the girls knew that this baby was their new sister!

Because they had previously adopted three very young girls, Jose and Marina knew what to expect and how the foster-to-adoption process rolls out. They fully expected frequent visits by multiple workers in their home (sometimes unannounced). They were prepared for most inconveniences that made parenting through foster to adoption different than traditional parenting. One unexpected issue was the stress that court-mandated bio-family visits two counties away would place on their home. From the practical aspect of finding someone to care for the three older girls while the parents drove the four-hour round trip car ride, to baby Mariah having to be fastened in a car seat for so many hours, the Munoz-Quintana family found Mariah’s bio-family visits to be a challenge for their whole family. 

Additionally, the wait to adopt was one-year longer for Maria than for the other three girls.

Sofia, Camila, and Fatima were on the adoption track when they were placed in the Munoz-Quintana home as compared to Mariah’s case which had to be on a reunification track to make efforts to reunite Mariah with her birth family. When the biological family no longer attended the visits with Mariah, a decision was made by the court to move her to the adoption track, and her adoption was finalized five months later.

Today the Munoz-Quintana home is a completely different home than when they first inquired with Koinonia. 

Not only are there five dogs, but there are now four daughters! Jose and Marina’s hearts are very full. These amazing parents are quite busy helping these young girls have a second chance at a happily ever after. As these girls grow and develop, more and more demands will be placed on Jose and Marina. They most definitely will benefit from being surrounded by friends, family, and the resource parent community. Koinonia has the distinct joy of meeting parents whose nurturing arms were once empty now brimming with children and love. What a privilege it is to find stable homes for these children where they will have a forever family to nurture them, help them achieve their developmental milestones, give them positive childhood memories, and encourage them to be the best little people they can be. 

Mardi Yeary, Contributor
David Nunlist , Social Worker


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