Q & A with the Herreras, foster family in El Paso

Herrera family 2014

Raquel and Miguel Herrera of El Paso opened their home to foster children in late 2013. Almost immediately they were called by MCH Family Outreach regarding placement of two young brothers who needed a temporary home. With two sons of their own, the Herreras did not hesitate to welcome the boys into their family.

Though the couple is new on the foster care scene, they have been involved with children most of their adult lives. Raquel is a licensed social worker and currently works with children who have emotional difficulties. In addition, the couple served as cottage parents at a residential home for children and youth for several years.
While having a background in child care, the Herreras admitted there was still an adjustment period for both their family and their new little ones. We had the chance to spend some time with Raquel to learn more about their experience as foster parents.

Q: What motivated you to become foster parents?
A: Jorge, director of the MCH Family Outreach office in El Paso, and I are colleagues and we’ve known each other since we attended the University of Texas at El Paso. He came and spoke to the school where I work. My husband and I talked about it but never moved forward. Then one day, my husband witnessed a bad caregiving situation in a house he was working on. He came home that night and said we have to call right now and do this.

Q: What surprised you the most?
A: It’s surprising to hear some of the things the kids will share with us about their history. It’s heartbreaking. Our foster boys are amazed at the food in the pantry and the groceries in our cart when we go shopping. The oldest boy is always concerned about the costs of groceries and asks if we’ll have enough money to buy groceries.

Q: What has changed about you or your family since you began fostering?
A: Patience. We thought we were patient until we became foster parents. We didn’t expect two kids at first. We thought we would start with having one foster child and slowly work our way up to more, but when MCH called with a sibling group of two, we couldn’t say no.

Q: What would you say to potential foster parents?
A: I would encourage them to open their hearts because the need is so great. It takes some adjustment, but those are little things compared to the needs the kids have.


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