The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Young and alone

Refugee children find new families through LIRS

It isn't easy being a teen. Or being the parents of one. What about teens who flee their countries because of war or other civil strife, flee without their families: How hard is it to try to be a mother or father to them?

Leticia can tell you. Since 2002, the Seattle woman and her husband, Gabriel, have been foster parents with a program connected to Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.

"It was difficult because the boys came with a lot of problems," she says of the first two teens they cared for. She couldn't do anything to change the past for the youth from Nicaragua, orphaned at 7, who grew up as a street child. Or for the Guatemalan teen who saw his father killed and doesn't remember his mother. (Names are not used to assure privacy for the foster children.)

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March issue

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