“The body of Christ needs to become more courageous with their love,” said Jean Caceres-Gonzalez, Founder and Executive Director of His House Children’s Home (HHCH), a private, non-profit, faith-based child welfare organization in Miami. Their mission: defend the weak and fatherless. Last year alone, close to one thousand neglected, abused or drug exposed children, including Haitian children and teen boys from Latin America, received care and/or were housed through HHCH’s residential services.
Caceres-Gonzalez’s life objective is to stir up love and good works within the Christian community, encouraging families to open their hearts to take in hurting children. Her testimony speaks volumes as she dedicates her days and nights to little ones in need of a safe place to call home. When promoting support of HHCH, she challenges Christians to obey the Lord and trust that He will supply every need, including finances, housing, parenting skills and the extra love needed to become a nurturing family. “Really, Jesus said, ‘If you love me, keep my commands.’ One of the best ways we can show Jesus how much we love Him is to obey,” she shares. “Abused children need a loving home during this unstable time in their lives. Since God has identified himself as the father to the fatherless, it is like God is saying, ‘I have children and I need someone to carry them for a season of their life…it’s only eight years, or ten years. It’s a short season, but I need someone to pick up the baton of parenting…would you please take care of my kids?’ I cannot think of a greater honor than to be trusted with His kids.”
HHCH is a healing refuge for children and provides them a renewed hope for the future. Too often the general population considers children as burdens. “They’re expensive, they make messes, they make noise, and they may be a handful. If you add to that, the special needs of a wounded child which require extra attention, it would seem to be overwhelming,” she explains.
But Caceres-Gonzalez is quick to point out that if God impresses a believer that He needs the sanctuary of their home, then Christians should respond in the following way: “Here it is Jesus! I’m a living sacrifice, my home, my cars and everything that I have is yours.”
Potential adoptive parents often have a specific picture of the child they envisioned taking in. However, Caceres-Gonzalez has seen God give grace to those who originally pursued an infant, but later fell in love with an older child or child of a different racial background. “It’s a matter of listening to the Holy Spirit and…being courageous enough to say, I will love past my own limits. Those kinds of courageous decisions to give Jesus everything and take care of His kids – it’s an awakening that is stirring in the body of Christ,” she adds.
A common misconception is the cost associated with adopting through this type of organization. The process to qualify takes time, but funding is provided through the State of Florida and generosity of donors. In addition, HHCH offers the required Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting (MAPP) training to prepare individuals with the tools to raise a child who has experienced trauma in their young life. Once the courses are completed and a couple or individual is licensed, they are eligible to foster or adopt a child. If the child is placed in a home, a small monthly stipend is allotted to offset expenses. Furthermore, through the Florida Adopt program, the state provides Medicaid healthcare until the age of 18 and full tuition to a state college.
To encourage further, Caceres-Gonzalez shares God’s promise, stating, “For those who follow His plan to provide for the orphan, widow and stranger, He will ‘bless you in all the works of your hands,'” (Deuteronomy 24:17-22). Knowing God is not limited, she challenges Christians to “put your life in His hands and let Him use you to love past what you think you can.” She continues, “He does that. It’s incredible. It just takes believers taking that leap of faith and not allowing for the comfort of a very short life to determine whether they’re going to obey or not.”
For more information on HHCH, foster and adoption placement or MAPP classes, please call 305-430-0085 or visit www.hhch.org.
The agency is licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families, contracted by Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Inc. and in Broward County ChildNet, Inc. as a residential program and child-placement agency.
For more information regarding state-based adoptions visit www.adoptflorida.com.