SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - By the age of two, little Jorge had already been in and out of three different foster homes, but his fourth placement ended up being his final one and Jorge's foster family has since become his forever family.
Four-year-old Jorge recruited his dad to help him find his lost Matchbox car in the sand, and it's everyday father-son moments like this that Jorge's mom cherishes so much.
“My husband, it's been really neat to see him become a father and be very loving to him,” said Elvira.
And just like he did on this day, dad usually comes to the rescue.
“He's brought the kid out in me, is what he's done. He and I build model rockets together and we fly them,” said Leonard. “And Legos, now I get to buy Legos and him and I just love to sit down and build Legos and that's what we do. It's brought the child out in me.”
Leonard and Elvira first turned to San Diego County Adoptions three years ago, after struggling with infertility.
But they were warned the adoption process is often a slow one:
“We were told it was going to be about a three year wait. So we had some friends that recommended we open up a foster license in addition to our adoption license,” explained Elvira.
And as soon as they opened their home to foster children, they say, they received a call that little Jorge, who was two-years-old at the time, was in need of an emergency placement in a foster home. Jorge was their first call and placement.
What they didn't know it at the time was that Jorge would be part of their family forever. When he became available for adoption, the social worker determined this was a perfect match.
It was Leonard's co-worker who suggested he and Elvira look into San Diego County Adoptions and now they are doing the same - recommending the county to others who wish to expand their families.
“It's tedious, there's a lot of red tape, but if you have patience, which Elvira and I both have, it's pretty simple. It is long though,” said Leonard.
“There's great support groups that helped us and we're so glad that we did it. We're so glad that we just continued the process. The best thing was opening up our foster license, because that's how we got Jorge placed in our home,” continued Elvira.
And though your first foster child will likely not be the one that stays with you forever, they say it's rewarding to know you're providing a stable and loving home to a foster child in need.
“There's still a lot of kids out there that need support and, I hope more families like us, step up to the challenge,” Leonard said.
If you are interested in adopting or becoming a foster family, please call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U.