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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

American families want to Welcome Border Kids into their homes

Posted by on Jul. 9, 2014 at 9:56 PM
  • 69 Replies
5 moms liked this

For some of the Texas families willing to open up their homes to children who recently crossed the border, the young migrants' dangerous trek to the U.S. is not just images on television but something they could relate to personally.

"My family and I came illegally to the U.S. when I was 3; we used to go back and forth from Guanajuato, Mexico," said Gabriela Hernandez, a second grade teacher who became a citizen in 2004, a few years after her father. Many in her family have either crossed the river or the desert, she said.

Gabriela and her husband Luis, a software engineer, attended a Catholic Charities informational meeting in Ft. Worth on Monday on the steps required to become an international foster parent to an older child, most likely a teen, who recently arrived in the U.S. Many of these young migrants have been fleeing the deadly violence that has gripped countries like Honduras, with the world's highest homicide rate, as well as El Salvador.

Desperate Journey: Children at America’s Border

NIGHTLY NEWS
       

Guatemala, though less violent, is very poor, something that Gabriela said she understands. Her father left Mexico for the same reason.

"My father came to work in the U.S. to send money to his family," she said, explaining they came from a very poor region. "I feel a personal attachment to the kids who want to make a difference to work and support their family."

Gabriela's husband Luis also came from Mexico, but not illegally; his grandfather had been in the Bracero worker program and had been able to legally bring his family to the U.S.

The Arlington, Texas couple, who have two children ages 4 and 2, had always thought about adopting children. When they heard of the need for international foster parents to help house the thousands of recently arrived Central American children, they felt it was the right thing to do.

FAMILY PHOTO

A family photo of Gabriela Garcia Hernandez, a teacher, and her husband Luis Carlos Hernandez, a software engineer, with their two children. The Texas couple want to become international foster parents to help a Central American child who recently crossed the border.

"We know it’s going to be a short time, but we believe in family closeness and we have strong Latino roots," said Gabriela. "Even if they are from El Salvador, I think we share many of the same traditions."

When asked what would be one of the first things she would do if she became a foster parent, the Mexican American teacher and mother said she would try to find a restaurant from the child's home country. "They are going to have culture shock, so I think that would help,"she said.

Gabriela also would find out if there was a way to get in touch with the teen's mother back home.

"I would see if there was a way to Skype, or at least send her a picture," she said, adding that she knows mothers worry a lot about their children and would like to find a way to let them know their child was safe.

In the case of 18-year-old Maria Pohlman, a Grapevine, Texas incoming high school senior, she said her mother Victoria MacArthur broached the subject of becoming a foster family because they had relatives who had also come to the United States alone, as children.

"My grandfather came as an orphan from Russia, and he was able to live the American dream," said Pohlman. Her sister's father-in-law, she added, had a similar experience; he came from Vietnam to the U.S. and did not see his family for 40 years.

"It's kind of a chain. There has to be someone who is willing to give you a chance."

"It's kind of a chain," she said. "There has to be someone who is willing to give you a chance."

Pohlman said she and her mother still had questions about the process of becoming international foster parents. They were told the teens could be with them around five years. The process takes months, and Pohlman hoped she would still be home before college so she could be a "sister."

The high school senior said the language issue did not phase her. "I went to Chile on a scholarship and got immersed in the language, plus there's Google Translate," she said, adding, "It’s care and love, and that's more in-depth than language."

by on Jul. 9, 2014 at 9:56 PM
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Replies (1-10):
TruthSeeker.
by Milami on Jul. 9, 2014 at 10:24 PM
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Does anyone know how old these kids are? Are they all older teens? What is the US plan for these kids? deportation? I cannot imagine the desperation that a parent must have on the other side that would send their child over without them.
snookyfritz
by Platinum Member on Jul. 9, 2014 at 10:27 PM
2 moms liked this

My husband and I are exploring opportunities.  But I saw a report tonight that 85% of those kids at the border can, within a few weeks, be reunited with family here and that is a good thing

sj2014
by Bronze Member on Jul. 9, 2014 at 11:38 PM
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If you have the ability to take in children in need and care for them indefinitely, why aren't you fostering some kids who are languishing in foster care (who have already suffered abuse and neglect, but are now suffering the trauma of permanent loss of their biological parents)?

Why aren't they as important? I can't begin to tell you the horrors I knew of as a CPS worker. Then, on my monthly home visits, my kids were always so hopeful I had found a home for them. They would "sell" themselves to me, "I'm a good kid. I keep my room clean, I'm quiet, I won't be jealous of their other kids....i'll be good...I don't need my own tv or video games, etc., etc."

I don't get it :0(
stormcris
by Christy on Jul. 10, 2014 at 1:06 AM

Perhaps the requirements are different? In a similar manner to how it is different to adopt from a foreign county apparently?

Quoting sj2014: If you have the ability to take in children in need and care for them indefinitely, why aren't you fostering some kids who are languishing in foster care (who have already suffered abuse and neglect, but are now suffering the trauma of permanent loss of their biological parents)? Why aren't they as important? I can't begin to tell you the horrors I knew of as a CPS worker. Then, on my monthly home visits, my kids were always so hopeful I had found a home for them. They would "sell" themselves to me, "I'm a good kid. I keep my room clean, I'm quiet, I won't be jealous of their other kids....i'll be good...I don't need my own tv or video games, etc., etc." I don't get it :0(


sj2014
by Bronze Member on Jul. 10, 2014 at 2:19 AM
1 mom liked this
Doing the right thing is rarely the easiest.

Easier to buy a dog from a horrid puppy mill than to adopt one from a shelter.

meriana
by Platinum Member on Jul. 10, 2014 at 10:06 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting stormcris:

Perhaps the requirements are different? In a similar manner to how it is different to adopt from a foreign county apparently?

Quoting sj2014: If you have the ability to take in children in need and care for them indefinitely, why aren't you fostering some kids who are languishing in foster care (who have already suffered abuse and neglect, but are now suffering the trauma of permanent loss of their biological parents)? Why aren't they as important? I can't begin to tell you the horrors I knew of as a CPS worker. Then, on my monthly home visits, my kids were always so hopeful I had found a home for them. They would "sell" themselves to me, "I'm a good kid. I keep my room clean, I'm quiet, I won't be jealous of their other kids....i'll be good...I don't need my own tv or video games, etc., etc." I don't get it :0(

Good question so I googled it. The requirements are the same so again, the question arises as to why a family that has not looked into the foster care program before decide to do so simply because these kids have crossed the border. Why haven't they stepped up before to foster kids that are legally here and have also suffered abuse, neglect, etc. The foster care program has, after all, been crying for more foster parents for years.

http://www.catholiccharitiesfortworth.org/ifc
https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Adoption_and_Foster_Care/Get_Started/requirements.asp

meriana
by Platinum Member on Jul. 10, 2014 at 10:13 AM


Quoting snookyfritz:

My husband and I are exploring opportunities.  But I saw a report tonight that 85% of those kids at the border can, within a few weeks, be reunited with family here and that is a good thing

That's been my understanding from what I've been reading also, That a lot of them, a whole lot of them, will be reunited with family members already here. Those family members are generally also here illegally. When the siblings and other family members of these kids show up, they also will expect to be reunited with relatives  already here and allowed to stay. They probably will be, after all, that's the humanitarian thing to do. And we wonder why we have such a large and growing population of illegal immigrants.

snookyfritz
by Platinum Member on Jul. 10, 2014 at 10:46 AM
1 mom liked this

Anything we have to do to ensure the safety and emotional and mental health of these children

Quoting meriana:


Quoting snookyfritz:

My husband and I are exploring opportunities.  But I saw a report tonight that 85% of those kids at the border can, within a few weeks, be reunited with family here and that is a good thing

That's been my understanding from what I've been reading also, That a lot of them, a whole lot of them, will be reunited with family members already here. Those family members are generally also here illegally. When the siblings and other family members of these kids show up, they also will expect to be reunited with relatives  already here and allowed to stay. They probably will be, after all, that's the humanitarian thing to do. And we wonder why we have such a large and growing population of illegal immigrants.


RandRMomma
by Maya on Jul. 10, 2014 at 10:50 AM
2 moms liked this
I'm not on Texas. But, if I was, and if I could foster some of those kids, I would. It's the right thing to do.
MeAndTommyLee
by Gold Member on Jul. 10, 2014 at 10:55 AM
1 mom liked this

Look at the ethnicity of the people.  This should answer your question.  The fact is they are being sent home.  It's just a matter of when now and how much we have to spend on their vacation.

Quoting sj2014: If you have the ability to take in children in need and care for them indefinitely, why aren't you fostering some kids who are languishing in foster care (who have already suffered abuse and neglect, but are now suffering the trauma of permanent loss of their biological parents)? Why aren't they as important? I can't begin to tell you the horrors I knew of as a CPS worker. Then, on my monthly home visits, my kids were always so hopeful I had found a home for them. They would "sell" themselves to me, "I'm a good kid. I keep my room clean, I'm quiet, I won't be jealous of their other kids....i'll be good...I don't need my own tv or video games, etc., etc." I don't get it :0(


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