I caught up the Garcia?s recently when they pulled into my driveway to drop off a donation to help my Facebook friend Linda Gallo with her plumbing problems.? (See related story Sewer Angels Part 1) Peering into the backseat of their SUV, I found four sets of young eyes looking at me. Introductions couldn?t even be made before they were all talking at once trying to make an impression.? The Garcia?s are adopting four foster kids who are siblings. The kids are stair steps really with three girls 8, 7 and 6 and the little boy is 5. Ed and Laura Garcia have raised two fine young men of their own who are grown and serving the Lord. What would make the Garcia’s start over raising kids as they approach retirement?
This time next year
Laura gets a little misty eyed when she recalls New Years Eve 2013. I prayed and said to God ?next year at this time, I want life to look completely different and I want to be doing something I cannot do without you.? Her youngest son Antonio (aka Mikey) was just graduating from being home schooled. The Garcia?s felt a call to serve in an orphanage and thought it might be in Mexico as they visited Ed?s family there.
Things turned upside down very quickly. They dreamed of downsizing so they put their house on the market. In four months the house sold and Ed got the job he had been dreaming about. He was a police officer for the VA and he was finally able to work Monday ? Friday on a consistent daytime schedule when he transferred to human resources.All the small 2 bedroom houses they looked at were sold before they could make an offer. The only house in their price range (actually below their price range) had 4 bedrooms. This was not what they had in mind for downsizing.
Making an impact with foster children
The Garcia?s had just completed their foster care training. Unknown to the Garcia’s when they started the process to become foster parents, others in the church were also fostering children through a different agency. I remember reading Facebook posts of the impact these young couples were making on the foster children entrusted to their care. It was the children's first look at what the love of Jesus looks like.
Just days after the Ed and Laura became licensed foster care parents, the phone rang. They agreed to take a little girl into their home. The girl was a sister of a sibling pair that a couple in their church were fostering. Two months later, her older sister came from another foster home to the Garcia’s. The girls stayed for seven more months. Over time the Garcia?s learned that other church families had taken in the other children in this sibling set of four. Twice the children went home to the biological parents (mom had also been in foster care during her early life) but the parents were simply not equipped to provide properly for these four children. The Garcia?s ministered to the biological parents even after the children went back to the parents. Ed and Laura provided a support system to the parents and even had the kids for weekend visits.
Asked to take a sibling group of 4
Meanwhile, the Garcia?s took on two unrelated foster boys and in December of 2015, those boys left to be adopted. In January 2016 three years after the first prayer, the Garcia?s were asked to take the sibling family of four. And all of a sudden it made sense why the only house available at the time had four bedrooms. The Garcia?s have a good relationship with the parents of the sibling group. The biological parents readily observed the love and care which came from the Garcia?s and they agreed it was in the best interest of the children to place them in a loving home which could provide the structure and nurturing that was so desperately needed. It also ensured the biological parents could remain in contact with their children.
Serving with a kind and generous heart
Laura remembers caseworkers telling her? ?the kids were like animals when when we met them. They had no basic life skills.? These last 3 years have been an amazing time of teaching and learning. And teach they did. On this day in my driveway, the children learned they were giving money to help someone who had even less than they did. The Garcia?s want to teach the children the importance of serving others. The very generous donation given to Linda Gallo was from a kind and generous heart. Laura said it is all from God and may it be used for His glory. Ed and Laura asked about Linda?s other needs and said they wanted to take the children to Walmart to allow them to do some grocery shopping to further help Linda.
Meet you at Walmart
We met in the parking lot of Walmart and I interviewed each child individually. I only wish I could show you the video of these sweet children. (As they are still wards of the state we are unable to share their faces.)? The children have learned kindness and compassion from the Garcia Family. Each child knew they were shopping to help a woman who was very poor and needed a helping hand. Watching the family in Walmart is not for the faint of heart. There were four rambunctious kids and two baskets full of household supplies, toilet paper and the sort of things that food stamps will not buy. The little boy felt it was important to buy an action figure to protect Linda. Linda was overcome with their generosity and the action figure is sitting in her kitchen window!
The ultimate plan for the Garcia crew is to minister to the poor in an orphanage in Guatemala. Ed Garcia along with son Antonio recently returned from a mission trip there and feel God?s calling. The sibling set of four are learning how to make a difference in the world. Laura humbly states, ?we are here to serve and we are here to obey God. These children are part of God?s plan.
The Garcia Family lives in south Indianapolis. They would never call attention to their good deeds, but I wanted to share the heartwarming story. They are shining role models and a wonderful inspiration for others.
Polly Riddell writing under the pen name of G. Polly Jordan is The Story Teller. She is a free-lance journalist writing business spotlight promotional stories and positively in love with telling the God stories.