Miguel and Maria Salcedo became resource parents in hopes of taking in a sibling set with an infant. Originally, they only wanted two children, but they decided to take a leap and open their hearts and home to a sibling set of three: Noah (3), Aurora (2), and Nicholas (9 months). Their quiet home without any children would soon be filled with giggling, crying, and all sorts of toddler noises! Miguel and Maria rolled up their sleeves, knowing it would take a lot of work and dedication to manage the needs of three children coming from a hard place. The Salcedos were up for the challenge.
When the siblings were placed with the Salcedo’s, Noah experienced separation anxiety and frustration when things didn’t go his way. He was connected to behavioral health services to help him address his past trauma and to learn emotional coping skills. Aurora had speech delays, struggled to communicate, and would take toys away from her other siblings. They placed Aurora in language intervention services which has helped her better communicate. Nicholas, the infant, had not met his developmental milestone of crawling. Miguel and Maria implemented games and activities, which resulted in Nicholas learning to crawl.; Not only that, but he was able to walk shortly after his first birthday!
As they grew over the next two years, the children’s innate personalities developed and temperaments showed. Noah’s development was particularly amazing. He was now intently observing his surroundings, and becoming a silly and curious toddler! Noah’s new ability to be patient and kinder with his siblings, to make smart and safe choices, and to follow house rules improved his life and the life of the family dramatically.
The Salcedo’s had big hearts for these children, prioritizing their appointments and making sure they received all the extra help they needed. With such a full schedule, they enlisted the support of family members for help with transportation to the multiple intervention services required to help the children catch up. Their schedule also involved events, trips, and gatherings with their extended family members. They went on camping trips, beach trips, and set aside time for arts and crafts together. Understanding how important it is to offer “special time”, they also made sure to focus on each child with one-on-one undivided attention each week.
Miguel and Maria have been intentional about exposing the children to their Latino heritage through food, music, traditions and family customs. They have even learned to speak Spanish! The kids have also been able to spend time with their cousins, which has helped tremendously with their social skills. They’ve learned important lessons like working together, sharing, being kind, and including everyone.
Maria has kept in communication with the children’s parents, providing photos of special events, holidays, and birthdays. The birth parents were so appreciative and over time they have built an amicable relationship. Initially, the children’s biological father made good efforts to see his children and brought activities for the children to build their relationship. However, in time, he struggled to continue his support of the children’s mother and found it challenging to be a father. Our resource parent, Maria, empathized with the birth parents’ circumstances. At the same time, she knew they would need to make significant changes in their lives for the best interest of their children.
The day came for the judge to determine parental rights, and the birth father decided not to appeal; he said he could see how happy the children were with Miguel and Maria and how much they had grown to care for one another. Noah, Aurora and Nicholas were in foster care 793 days before being adopted by the Salcedo’s.
Story Submitted by: Mardi Yeary & Joanna Acevedo Andres