A joyous first Mother’s Day

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By Martha Duran 

Martha and Manuel Duran and their sons: Lorenzo, Juan and Damian. Photo courtesy of AASK

For the first time in my life, I will be able to celebrate Mother’s Day as a mother. On April 11, my husband, Manuel, and I adopted three boys, Lorenzo, Juan and Damian. The boys first came to us for foster care, but we quickly realized that we didn’t want to lose them, and so my husband and I decided to adopt them.

I always wanted to have kids. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to have children of my own, so we immediately began exploring alternatives. Manuel saw a feature on Univisión, Phoenix, about a child who needed a home, and we decided to get more information on foster care and adoption. 

We wanted to help kids by providing a home, and helping them feel safe and secure. We got our foster care license in 2010 and Lorenzo came to live with us in December. Lorenzo was 10 years old and had already been in four or five different foster homes. He was nervous about coming to a new family, but we worked hard to encourage him. We wanted him to understand that he can do anything he sets his mind to, become anything he wants. 

Then, in April, 2011, Juan and Damian came to live with our family. Six-year-old Juan and four-year-old Damian are brothers who wanted to stay together. At first, Juan wouldn’t talk much, but he’s opened up a lot. He was afraid that he was going to have to go to another home, and he used to ask us how long he was going to stay at our house. Damian’s laugh is the greatest thing ever. At first he didn’t talk, and now we can’t turn him off!

All three boys have come a long way considering what they have been through. Manuel and I feel very close to them. As soon as they were available for adoption, we said, “Yes!” We always asked their opinion about us being their parents; we wanted to know how they felt. When the case worker asked him how he felt about adoption, Damian said, “We’re going to have a mommy and daddy forever and ever!”

The most important part of foster care and adoption is helping a child one at a time, giving them the love that they need. I have been telling friends and family members how great it is seeing that we can help a child and knowing that they feel love. The best part is seeing their smiles and knowing that they are secure and nothing bad is going to happen to them. When they come home from school and I see them, the boys will say, “Mom, we had a good day!” It’s wonderful to know that whatever happened in the past is not remembered, and that they are not struggling anymore. We are helping them and giving them love – that’s what they need the most.

I am definitely open to having more foster children. We are going for a girl next! There are lots of kids in need, and we want to help as many as we can. Lorenzo said to me, “You don’t know how it feels to be a foster kid.” I can’t imagine how it feels. But, I told him to remember that the choices his parents made were not his fault. I hope more people help these children. When you get to know them, they are wonderful kids who just need love, comfort and protection. I am very blessed to have these three angels in my life. I can’t imagine not being with them.

(As told to Michelle Thompson at Aid to Adoption of Special Kids)

Martha Duran was born in Hammond, Indiana, and raised in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. She and her husband, Manuel, have lived in Phoenix for eight years, where she currently works as a nanny. Her previous work experience includes working with special needs children at One Life Unlimited. She is the proud mother of three adopted boys.

Aid to Adoption of Special Kids (AASK) is a nonprofit, founded in 1988, with the vision of ensuring that every child in Arizona’s foster care system has someone who cares. AASK is the leader in Maricopa County for the successful placement of foster children; the organization has helped more than 1,900 foster children find permanent adoptive homes. With adoption, foster care and mentor programs available, and locations in Phoenix and Peoria, AASK impacts the lives of hundreds of Arizona foster children and families everyday. Visit or for more information.

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