HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Hands of Healing fostering agency is one of many foster care systems in the Rio Grande Valley that aim to find more foster parents. The agency’s Harlingen office covers Starr and Cameron Counties.

Edna Martinez, administrator for Hands of Healing said there are many children who are in need of a home.

According to Martinez, Hands of Healing provides extensive training to families who are becoming foster parents.

“Working with the child to empower them and to try to make a difference and try to motivate the child so that they can be their best version,” said Martinez. “We cannot undo 10 years of what a child might have lived in 30 days or two months or even a year, it’s just something that’s always going to be a part of them and that we just have to add to their skills, to their abilities, to know a different way or to show them a different way.”

Norma Longoria, who is one of many foster parents for Hands of Healing, said she has been fostering children for 13 years. 

According to Longoria, her dedication to fostering started from her own experience as a child.

“I became an orphan at the age of 6, my parents died and my siblings and I were taken in by a family,” said Longoria. “Things could have gone so differently for me but I will forever be grateful; as I was growing up, I always thought one day I’m going to pay it forward.” 

Longoria said she will continue to foster for as long as she can and proudly shared that she recently adopted a loving daughter. 

“I totally fell in love with her; she just turned nine years old in January and it had a real positive impact on my life because I don’t know what I would do without her,” said Longoria.  

Longoria said fostering requires patience and commitment but encourages those interested to give it a chance.

“Take a leap of faith and accept a child into your home, into your heart and you won’t regret it, you’ll make so many memories for yourself, for the children,” said Longoria. “You might be that one person that saves, even if it’s only one child at a time.”

Visit Hands of Healing if you are interested in fostering or learning more about them.