Foster Care: An Inside Look at a Valley Home Saving Countless Children
POSTED: Friday, November 2, 2012 - 10:27am
UPDATED: Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 8:34am
EDCOUCH — Welcome to the Trevino house in Edcouch. On the outside, it seems like any other home, but it's what's on the inside that makes it unique.
"He found out I wasn't his son and that I was a lot of trouble and he decided to give me up," said John Trevino.
It's a place where kids like John from all different walks of life are accepted under one roof.
"When I went to foster care I lost my sister, who's my best friend and I love with all my heart and I was thinking no one was ever going to love me and the Trevino's proved me wrong," said John.
Amelia and Roberto Trevino have fostered kids like John and many others since the early 90's.
"I lost count, but I think it's over 174, that have gone through this house," said Amelia.
It's a calling they didn't always imagine they'd be doing for the rest of their lives.
"My sister was the one that said well your house is always full of kids that are not yours, why don't you do foster care?" Amelia said, "Foster care, what is that?"
Since then, the house has become a sactuary for children of all ages.
"We couldn't stay away from taking care of kids. We have thought about it a couple of times just to give up because it's not easy it's hard, but we got to love doing it that we can't stop," said Roberto.
The Trevino's have fostered up to 12 kids at one time. Each staying for a minimum of nine months.
"The house is separated right." Amelia states while walking through the hallway, "Like for example this side of the door we have the girls room…like my daughter this is her room."
And separation is key.
"Sometimes you have so many problems with the boys and the girls because they like to mix, so and this is the boys room and what we do when they go to bed, we have the alarm so if they open the door for something we can hear them," said Amelia.
That's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the day-to-day problems.
"The bad words are like terrible you're like how can this 2 year-old or 3 year-old curse you like that?"
Most of these children come from broken homes.
"After they've been here a couple of months they tell us things that it's not in their records, but now we know because they were able to have that security," said Amelia.
Communication is something Amelia and Roberto establish head on to give these children a fighting chance.
"Mostly it's abuse. It's either physical or mentally or sexually. And you hear all these stories that the mother preferred the boyfriend than the children and it's very heartbreaking," said Amelia.
The Trevino home has become a safe haven that instills lessons that this foster child (who is unable to go on camera) has taken to heart.
"They've taught me a lot like my dad he taught me like how to do landscaping, carpentry."
"I want them to start early, because we never know where they're going to end up. If they're going to go with their parents or not and I want them to learn to do things for their own," said Amelia.
It's also a place for them to just live carefree.
The Trevino family currently has two adopted kids and three foster children. Each grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the family.
"It's the best thing that could ever happen to me in life, because I know I went through a lot of hard times and when I got to this family, I knew this was the right place," said Natalia Trevino.
Natalia was seven when she met the Trevino family and says it's an unconditional love.
"I know that they love me because like everything they do for me and I know sometimes I do things I'm not supposed to and they're there for me," said Natalia.
There are 359 children up for adoption in South Texas, 86 of which are located right here in the Valley. It's a number that continues to grow every year.
"Children are coming into care and unfortunately at times you know parental rights get terminated and there are children in need of forever families," said Norma Robles, recruiter for Texas Department of Family Protective Services.
The children available for adoption are featured on the Texas Adoption Resource Exchange website, better known as TARE.
"You just go online. You'll see the photographs of children, they're identified by their TARE ID's," said Robles.
"I think anybody can do it. It just takes adjustments in your life, in your attitude and your character." said Amelia.
The family has made such an impression on John, he wants to foster and adopt when he's older to give back just as he has received.
How they helped kids I want to do the same thing.
Adoption and foster informational meetings for are held once a month for anyone willing to give these children a fighting chance. Reporting in Edcouch, Claudia Mickle,