Lorenzo and Janette Medina welcomed a foster child into their home for the first time in 2012, which proved to be a life-changing experience. Fourteen years later, they’ve housed and cared for a grand total of 20 foster youth, including some youth from impoverished nations in Latin America.
“We always had in our minds that we wanted to help children in need,” said Mrs. Medina, a stay-at-home mom who helps her husband with his real estate business on the side.
Mr. and Mrs. Medina, originally from Mexico and Guatemala, respectively, have three biological children; two sons, 16 and 14, and an 11-year-old daughter.
“We’ve gone back to our home countries and our kids have seen the needs that the people have,” explains Mrs. Medina. “It helped them sympathize and understand where these (foster) kids come from. It teaches them to acknowledge the blessings we have that others don’t, and to learn to share those blessings. Hopefully, this will leave something in their hearts to help others in the future.”
“For us as a family, it’s been a blessing to be part of these kids’ lives,” Mrs. Medina says. “We hope to continue helping children as long as God allows us.”
Mr. Medina says that, while it is difficult to say goodbye to a youth when it’s time for them to move on, it’s critical to be flexible and accept those bittersweet moments.
“You get to know them personally, they become part of the family, and they always will be, but we know that we have them for only a short time,” Mr. Medina said. “We wish them the best on their journeys, and encourage them to try their best everywhere they go.”
“It’s something that we can’t control,” adds Mrs. Medina about the hard goodbyes. “But just like with our biological kids, someday they are going to leave home and go on their own journeys. Our foster kids are our kids, too, and there will be a time that they have to go and experience their own lives.”
“It is a good calling for us to provide a home for those that need a safe place,” Mr. Medina continues. “We have to be open-minded and have an open heart to anyone that needs help, anywhere.”
Visit DiscoverBCFS.net/FosterCare for more information or to read the stories of other families.