Adoption completes Garzas’ family
The Garzas' were a match made in heaven, meeting in their sociology class in 2002 while undergrads at Texas A&M University - Kingsville, four years later they decided to tie the knot. The obvious next step after marriage was to start a family.
Both South Texas natives and TAMUK alumni, Dr. Rolando Garza and Dr. Araceli Garza, both currently work for TAMUK. After five years of trying natural childbearing and considering fertility medications, which Rolando said, “are very expensive,” the Garzas' decided to look into adoption.
It was in November 2011 that the Garzas' began to consider adoption, which is coincidently National Adoption Month. During the month of November adoption information sessions are held. In these sessions different adoption agencies meet at a location and give information to anyone considering adoption. It was in 2011 when the Garzas' attended their first adoption information meeting, but it was not until 2016 that the Garzas' became serious about starting the adoption process. Of all the adoption agencies the Garzas' decided to go with Spalding Adoption Agency, which has since changed its name to Arms Wide Adoption Services. This company primarily serves South Texas. The choice to pick this agency came from meeting Michelle Lopez, a case workers they met in 2011.
Lopez was still with the adoption agency five years later. The length of her work experience with the agency and her commitment to the adoption process told the Garzas' a lot of who they wanted to work with as they began their search for a family. Once the mountain of paperwork was complete, which Rolando said is the most stressful part, it was time to attend an adoption picnic. At the adoption picnic, all children who are up for adoption meet at a designated location with families who are looking into adoption. Having all the children around and being able to decide which ones a family is interested in, as if in a car dealership, was “a bit awkward,” Araceli said. At the first two picnics there was no luck for the Garzas'. It was not until they received a phone call about a group of four siblings from Bastrop, Texas, that the ball really got moving. Initially, the Garzas' had considered adopting two children, but they did not hesitate to look into this group of four. The case worker let the Garzas' know that this group of siblings were “well rounded.”
Although from Bastrop, Texas, the children were actually in Gregory-Portland with their foster parents, only an hour from where the Garzas' lived. With most of the paperwork completed, it was time to meet the children. The Garzas' and their adoption case worker, Lopez, loaded up and headed towards Gregory-Portland. Prior to meeting the children, the Garzas' had sent each of the four children a photo album of pictures that included the Garzas' and their families, their home, offices and pets; this helped the children get mentally prepared to meet their potential mom and dad. Once the children were picked up, the Garzas' gave them a fun-filled day that included Whataburger by the Bay, Build-A-Bear Workshop, and lastly, some ice cream at the La Palmera Mall. It was the Garzas' first taste of parenthood and oh was it sweet. After only a couple of more visits it was moving in day. The whole adoption process flew by.
“We were lucky, our adoption process was fast paced due to Hurricane Harvey. They wanted the children to be with their forever home as quick as possible,” Araceli said.
When asked how long it took the children to call the Garzas' “mom and dad” Araceli said, “immediately.” The children quickly assigned Araceli and Rolando, as mom and dad. Six months had passed and although the Garza family had quickly adjusted to their new lives as a family, it was not official yet. The adoption agency gives six months for both parents and agency to make sure the decision of adoption is a good one.
The day was March 29, 2018 it was time to go before a judge and officially make the children Garzas. Such a joyous occasion with family and friends, this milestone in the Garzas' life was almost complete.
Finally, after the long process it was official. The Garzas' were parents and the children finally had a place to call home.
More than two years later, the family is as happy as ever, they said.
Zach, the oldest, is in seventh grade and loves reading and writing, he is the smartie of the bunch. Zoey the second oldest, is in fourth grade, and is quite the chatter box, she also enjoys make up and baking. Zayn the third oldest is in second grade, and as his mom describes him, “the typical macho man, he is adventurous and stubborn.” The baby of the family is little Zayde, who is going to kindergarten; she’s a mix of both girly girl and a tomboy. She loves to play pretend and has a big imagination. When asked about the possibility of adopting more children, Araceli says she thinks they’re done, but Rolando may have other plans….
Their advice to anyone who wants or is thinking about adoption is to do your research, and “Pray. Everyone needs a little bit of faith,” Rolando said.
For more information about adoption please visit, www.armswideadoption.org.