Stories of Healing

July 9, 2024

The Salcedo Family

The Salcedo Family

Building Connection and Overcoming Challenges in Transracial Adoption

From the time she was a teenager, Maria Salcedo had a deep desire to adopt. This dream remained alive through her marriage to John and the birth of their two biological daughters. Life took an unexpected turn when their youngest biological child was born significantly premature and faced severe disabilities, leaving her non-verbal and wheelchair-bound.

Amidst these challenges, the family decided to open their hearts and home to another child. They chose to foster Nadine, a 10-month-old girl from Haiti. Nadine’s early life was marked by loss, as her mother passed away after immigrating to the US, leaving her without a caregiver. Nadine joined the family at a young age, but despite Maria’s eagerness to bond with her, she always felt a disconnect.

Maria often questioned herself, wondering what more she could do to break through this emotional block. Her journey led her to Chosen, where she was introduced to the concepts of blocked care and parent-child regulation. Through the support of her Parent Coach and these educational programs, Maria discovered the importance of working on connection before correcting behavior. She realized that her expectations for Nadine were unrealistic, especially after understanding how early trauma can affect development.

Maria learned that natural connection with our children isn’t guaranteed, especially when fostering or adopting. Challenges such as different cultures, races, and genetics can cause more pronounced differences in personality and temperament between parent and child. Accepting this reality allowed her to release the guilt she felt and start the journey toward practical ways to build connection. With the support of Chosen, Maria discovered the significance of self-care, enabling her to be present for her children during their struggles and big feelings. She also found the importance of creating a supportive community where she felt understood and supported.

Maria learned to navigate her own feelings and unmet expectations, opening a door to a deeper connection with Nadine. The tools she gained not only improved her relationship with Nadine but also helped her grow as a parent to all her children. Nadine, now six years old, thrives in the love and support of her family, alongside her older sisters, who are now twelve and nine. Their nine-year-old daughter, despite her significant limitations, shares a unique bond with Nadine, illustrating the strength and resilience of family ties.

Maria often reflects on how the guidance and support she received from Chosen has been transformative. The journey was not easy, but through patience, understanding, and the right support, Maria and John were able to overcome the barriers to bonding with Nadine, ensuring that their home is built on a foundation of connection.

Maria’s story stands as a testament to the impact of compassionate guidance and the power of vulnerability to overcome shame. By accepting that connection isn’t always immediate or natural and seeking support, The Salcedo Family’s journey with Nadine reminds us that with the right support, every family has the potential to heal and flourish.



When you support Chosen, families like The Salcedos get the support and education they need to heal and thrive. Your investment in essential programs and services provide lasting solutions to the child welfare crisis in America and support parents and caregivers in crisis. Maria and Nadine deserve to be supported on their journey towards healthy connection. Join us in making a difference — invest in the future of countless families and children today.



Chosen Walks Alongside the Caregivers

Every year, Chosen helps hundreds of adoptive families build bonds of trust. And we’re looking for partners to help heal their heartbreak. Your gift gives families the assurance they need to provide attachment and permanency for kids who desperately need it.

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* Names have been changed