Not everyone believes the old adage, "everything happens for a reason," but it's hard to deny in the case of Lisa and Jorge Alvarez. The couple, who once struggled with infertility, have become parents multiple times over in a beautiful example of how the foster care system can and should work.
They started trying to conceive a baby in 1997, but couldn't afford the fertility drugs their doctor said they'd likely need to do so. Lisa told Local10.com: “We were going to have to refinance the home to get the fertility drugs. The health insurance ran out so I thought God had another plan for us.”
So they set out to adopt a child -- their daughter Natasha is now 9 -- and in the process, learned of how many other children were out there in need of homes. So they started taking them into their own.
Over the past 12 years, they have fostered more than 90 children into their four-bedroom home in Florida, never more than five at a time. They children aren't all perfect, smiling newborns. Some have medical issues, others have come from extremely troubled backgrounds, but all are loved and cared for by the couple. Last year, they adopted Desi, a 5-year-old with cerebral palsy.
Video of them is incredibly moving. To see them talk about caring for all of these children in need with incredible love is amazing, and it's apparent that they're making a difference in the fact that some of their former foster children come back to help them with the children being fostered now.
Their attitude is inspiring as well, as they feel like they are the ones being given the gift. Linda told the station: “Everyone says when you die you are going to go to heaven. But I feel like I have heaven on earth taking care of these children. I love it.”
Have you ever considered being a foster parent?
Image via qthomasbower/Flickr