‘Merrier’ Christmas for Norman and Erlinda

BAGUIO CITY  – Norman and Erlinda* got married in December 2004. Since then, the couple had been celebrating the Christmas season with their family and friends.

“Every Christmas, pinupuntahan namin ang aming mga kapamilya. Sila ang kasama naming nagse-celebrate. Sa office naman, during family day or the Christmas party, pamangkin ang kasama o kaya minsan ay wala,” Erlinda narrated.

Though the couple had tried many times to have a child, they remained to childless. This made them decide to adopt instead. It took years of praying before the couple decided to take the first step.

Everything worth having is worth waiting (and praying) for.

Sometime in July 2015, the couple finally decided to start their adoption journey despite knowing that the process would not be brief and easy.

“I went to DSWD-CAR and approached someone I knew who kindly ushered me to the Adoption Referral and Resource Section {ARRS) where I was entertained so kindly and was given materials regarding adoption, forms of several pages to fill up and a long list of requirements. I was also told that the process would take time. At home, while reading with my husband, it was stressful especially that we are not used to working on papers. But we started to accomplish the requirements,” Erlinda shared.

“We worked on all requirements, but the last requirement we had was the neuropsychological examination. And here we faced a great trouble. Typhoon came and there was heavy rain. Our car tires got deflated and we had no spare but we had to attend our scheduled exam. After two weeks of waiting for the report, another typhoon came which left Baguio City at least two weeks without electricity. The exam result could not be printed yet.

“The following week, the doctor’s files were corrupted so she had to make another report”, Erlinda reminisced.

This led to a month-delay in this stage of the process which would normally take only a week. But this did not stop Norman and Erlinda from pursuing their dream of having a child.

“These incidents were discouraging, only that we have a strong faith. God knows what is best for us,” Erlinda shared.

Finally, the couple submitted their application in October 2015.

“In January 2016, another set of questionnaires were given and was validated during the home visit. The production of the home study report was delayed due to a family problem encountered by the social worker handling our case but we understood because it was reasonable.”

“This time, our relatives knew about our plan. Sometime in February, hinahanap ni mama ang bata. I was shocked yet happy. The withering hope was watered by mama. She was interested in having her grandson even by the way of adoption. And I know that there will never be a problem come to my son.”

“Noong una, ito yung isa sa mga rason kaya nag-push through pa rin kami, pero later on, nakita namin yung kulang, dadalawa lang kaming mag-asawa sa bahay. Trabaho, bahay, trabaho, bahay, ganoon na lang parati”, she shared when asked what made them push through.

“Noong time siguro na nawawala na yung faith ko dahil sa pag-hihintay, pinag-pray ko na lang siya. Pray lang ng pray”, Erlinda added.

Trusting in God’s Perfect Time

In April 2016, Erlinda was scheduled to accompany a relative to Korea. However, her visa application was turned down. Not long after, Erlinda received the good news. That same day her visa was denied, she received a call from the Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC). The RSCC is one of the temporary residential care facilities run by the DSWD. It provides interventions to abused, neglected, abandoned, surrendered, and exploited children and those with special needs such as children at risk and children who needing alternative family care.

“It was supposed to be a sad day but on that same day was a call from ARRS that there is a child that was matched with us. A profile was sent through the mail. We were looking closely at the child’s picture and he looked so much like my nephew. We accepted him and scheduled to fetch him,” Erlinda shared.

Matching is a step in the adoption process where the preferences of the adoptive couple are suited to a child available for adoption or foster care.

Soon after, Norman and Erlinda officially became the proud parents of a two-year old boy.

“Alam mo, pinagpray talaga namin siya. Tignan mo ang binigay sa amin ng Panginoon. May balat siya, may balat din ako. He is made for me. Mahirap man maghintay, in God’s time, you just have to wait for God’s time. And now that we have him, we are real parents. We have a little boy who hugs us when we arrive home after work. We have a playmate. He makes me a supermom and I try to do everything for him”, she added.

“Noong una, it was hard. But later on, I realized na talaga sigurong may mga couples na hindi mabibigyan ng anak dahil may mga bata na gaya nila na nangangailangan ng pagmamahal ng isang magulang” Erlinda shared.

Months after they started the process of adoption, Norman and Erlinda had a ‘merrier’ Christmas with their son. “On the 25th, we went to church together and we spent the day as a complete family. The long waiting has paid off. Having him, joy is in our hearts,” Erlinda shared. As for the child, he is now having a merrier Christmas with the family he can call his own.

Adoption is the socio-legal process of giving a permanent home to a child whose parents have given up their parental rights. The process can last for one year to one year and a half. This process also upholds the right of the child to identity.

Individuals interested in adopting may forward their concerns or visit the Adoption Resource and Referral Section (ARRS) of DSWD-CAR at SN Oriental Building, Baguio City near PhilHealth-CAR.

By Nerizza Faye G. Villanueva

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