Pasadena-based Child Welfare Organization Celebrates National Adoption Month

Posted by on Nov 11, 2014 in News | 0 comments

How the “Fabulous Five” Came to be

On June 24, 2014, the Gutierrezes officially became a family of five, or – as they prefer to be called:
The Fabulous Five.

November is National Adoption Month, an especially appropriate time to share the Gutierrezes’ story. National Adoption Month was created to increase awareness of the urgent need to find permanent, loving homes for infants, children, and teens in foster care. Currently there are:

  • nearly 400,000 youngsters in foster care nationwide, with more than 100,000 available for adoption;
  • more than 58,000 children in California’s foster-care system, with some 13,000 waiting to be adopted (California has the largest foster-care population nationwide);
  • over 19,000 kids in Los Angeles’ foster-care system, and approximately 500 are available for adoption.

Becoming the “fabulous five” was worth the wait

The jubilation that Miguel and Macrina Gutierrez now feel, was some 20 years in the making. When the couple got married in 1995, they assumed that wedlock would soon be followed by the pitter-patter of little feet. Year after year, the pair held onto that hope. In time, their hopes wore thin, and the Gutierrezes turned to medical professionals who informed them that they couldn’t conceive.

Devastated, the couple struggled to accept that parenthood simply wasn’t in the cards for them. One afternoon, Miguel Gutierrez confided to a coworker. The coworker told him that his wife works at a Pasadena-based child welfare organization called Hathaway-Sycamores that has adoption and foster family programs.

The Gutierrezes then attended a Hathaway-Sycamores’ foster parent orientation, where they learned that fostering a child can lead to adoption. Miguel and Macrina Gutierrez completed the process to become certified foster parents. In short order, the couple learned that a trio of siblings were in need of a home.

“When we first saw them,” Macrina Gutierrez says, “we just knew in our hearts that these were our children.” And given the siblings’ backstories, the Gutierrezes were committed to keeping them together. The oldest girl, Valerie – who’s now 7 – and her younger brother, Aiden – now 5 – had already endured several foster placements. The youngest, Allison – who’s now 3 – had been in foster care since she was an infant.

“You can see how happy the kids are because they know they’re not going to be sent to another home,” says Miguel Gutierrez. “They understand that they’ll now be part of our family forever.” Macrina Gutierrez adds, “This is the family we’ve always yearned for. We’re so lucky.”

Becoming a fost-adopt parent

There’s a pressing need for fost-adopt parents. Those interested are urged to contact Hathaway-Sycamores at (626) 395-7100 or e-mail Susan Fierberg. It’s important to know that fost-adopt parents come in many forms – different races, lifestyles, income and education levels, married, single, gay, lesbian – to cite just a few examples. You can work full time or be retired – you can own a home or be a renter; the crucial requirement is that you’re dedicated to helping a child in need. It’s also important to know that Hathaway-Sycamores trains, certifies, supervises, and supports its fost-adopt families, including weekly social-worker visits along with virtually any home-based services that are needed. Additionally, those who adopt foster children receive a monthly stipend for providing care.

 

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