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Meet the Hernández-Reya Family!

Antonia Hernández and Yolanda Reyna are the proud mamas of two beautiful young children. Their son Sebastian Antonio came to their home “on Cinco de mayo” (May 5, 2017) as a 5-day-old infant. The couple was able to adopt him 15 months later. Daughter Destiny Sarai also arrived as a newborn, just five months after Sebastian came. Her adoption is imminent.

Now ages 16 months and 11 months, these beautiful active toddlers interact well with each other and bring so much joy to their mothers every day. Sebastian is an easy-going tyke who smiles easily and is now learning to ask for things. He likes anything that has to do with sports. He is beginning to shoot hoops with a basketball he received for his birthday. Destiny has an easy-going personally that draws others to her. She is a “natural nurturer” with her dolls. Both children enjoy weekend outings with their moms to parks, the zoo, museums, or occasionally to birthday parties and church events.

The couple has opted for Antonia to be an at-home mom, which helps assure the needs of two close-in- age babies are met and the household is running smoothly. A close circle of family members and friends lend support as needed. These moms also appreciated help received from Ties for Families, a support program that prepares parents for the adoption or fostering journey. Antonia and Yolanda explain that they “always wanted to adopt.” The TV spot, “Wednesday’s Child” raised their awareness of the need for adoptive parents for children in foster care. This led them to
approach Los Angeles Country DCFS to begin the foster care and adoption process. They found the orientation session and the PSMAPP classes (Partnering for Safety and Permanence-Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting) very informative. Sebastian and Destiny have had consistent and excellent care their entire young lives. They have a strong attachment to their parents, with no indication of any of the emotional or mental health needsthat are common in children who have been moved through the foster care system. Antonia and Yolanda understand that future needs may arise, and they are pleased to have already been informed of many resources available if needed.

Asked about obstacles they have faced in the adoption process, Yolanda writes, “We have been through so many court hearings that we felt that the kids’ best interest was not the highest priority. Sebastian’s case should have been fast-tracked based on his mom’s substance abuse and loss of 3 other children to the system. Sarai’s case was just handed wrong from the start. Her birthmother passed away at birth and no family members wanted to keep her.” Based on these experiences, the Hernández-Reyna’s urge policymakers to assure a more efficient and timely process to permanency. “Placement needs to be handled better to not discourage families from adopting.”

Pleased with the beautiful family adoption has helped them create, Antonia and Yolanda advise others, “Adopt! We all need a place called home and family to love us unconditionally.”