For Ana Mayorga and her husband Erick Del Rio, they knew that they wanted a “forever family.” After years of trying to conceive through conventional ways of producing and in vitro fertilization they knew it was time to explore other options.
That brought them to a BCFS Health and Human Services match event where they had the opportunity to meet children and other prospective parents in the same situation. “We were more than ready to adopt,” explains Ana Mayorga. But the event felt bittersweet at the same time. The children at the event, “were hungry for someone to love them,” she describes. After meeting some of the older children at the event, the family felt “selfish” and began to consider adopting older children as well as newborns and toddlers.
With these new thoughts in their heads, the family decided to fast track their credentials with the help of BCFS Health and Human Services so they could welcome a child into their home as soon as they were ready and certified.
Ana recalls having all their paperwork finalized on a Friday, and fielding calls the next Monday. When they received calls from their caseworker, they discovered that many young children had older siblings also looking for permanent homes and families. They began to be open to welcoming multiple children into their home at once–preferably from the same family.
As a Hispanic family, Ana and Erick knew that having a larger family fit into their heritage and upbringing. “The more the merrier,” Ana kept thinking when she envisioned holiday dinners with her growing family. Additionally, they understood the importance of having a group of siblings would help everyone as they acclimated to their new home. “Adopting a sibling group would save us from incompatibility,” she recalls.
The process was daunting at times as Ana had to tell her caseworker that certain children wouldn’t be a fit due to certain needs or uncertain parental rights. Ana would tell her caseworker how bad the family felt saying no, but their caseworker assured them this was part of the process.
One day, Ana received a call about three young sisters and their little brother in need of a home. The more the merrier approach was still fresh in their minds, and the family agreed to take the children for a visit to see if they would fit well together.
Soon, Ana and Erick struck up a rapport with the children’s foster mother and set up their weekend visit. Ana fondly recalls meeting the kids for the first time. “I got there and the three girls had their Disney bags and beautiful bows, and that broke my heart,” she remembers. “The fact that the kids are ready to meet their potential parents amazed me. I was not expecting that at all.”
From there, Ana and Erick took the children–Jeimy (7 at the time), Giovanna (6), Adriella (4) and Matthias (2)–on a weekend where they could just enjoy themselves and be kids. It didn’t take long for both the parents and the children to know this was the home for them. That night, Ana heard the kids pray to God for the ability to behave so the Del Rio Mayorgas could be their family. From there on, Ana and Erick knew these were the kids for them. After seeing the kids pray Ana asked herself, ”How could you say no?”
Now, two years later, the family has become the forever family Ana and Erick always envisioned. Today, the parents and children help other families in similar positions. Not only to pay forward the help they received, but to also teach the children the importance of giving back. “We want to teach the kids to give back what they’ve gotten.”
Today, the family continues to blossom into an incredible family focused on education and having faith in God. They even consider adding more to their family if the right time comes along. Despite taking a less than common route, Ana and Erick know they made the right decision, and it shows.
Just as Ana says, “God chooses special people for special kids.”