Royina and daughter Angelica.
Davao City- She is known for her courage and dedication as a policewoman. She has solved a number of high-profile cases which put her in a coveted position as the only female station commander in the city.
But more than the services she has rendered to the people of Davao, she is a superwoman to her adopted child Angelica.
Police Superintendent Royina Garma is a single adoptive mother, having annulled her marriage. She believes that love sees no difference. “There is no measure of being a true parent whether it is your blood or not.”
“Looking back, we never got interested in adoption even after three years of fertility work-up, but I think God really has a plan for us. He planned everything which led us to Angelica,” Garma recalled.
“Angelica was rescued when our mobile patrol received a call that there was a baby left in the street. My ex-husband and I immediately went to Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) to see the baby. On that same day, we decided to adopt Angelica,” Garma narrated.
The legal adoption process implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) used to be tedious and lengthy, nonetheless we legally underwent the process and complied with the mandates of the law, she stressed.
According to DSWD Adoption Focal Sheryl Anne R. Dumalogdog, the process of legally adopting a child involves several steps such as application of interested parents, preparation of home study report, approval or disapproval of application, matching or family selection, pre-placement and placement of child, supervised trial custody, finalization of adoption, issuance of adoption decree and amendment of birth certificate, and conduct of post-adoptive services.
Fortunately, Angelica’s adoption was finalized 3 days before her birthday, Garma said.
“I was with her in her developing years. Angelica has Dyslexia, a learning disability characterized by a trouble in reading despite her normal intelligence. She also has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) which needs therapy,” Garma shared.
Despite Garma’s hectic schedule, she does not let her helper handle her daughter. “Before I go to work, I feed her, bathe her, and give her vitamins.”
Garma grew up with her grandmother and she doesn’t want Angelica to grow up that way.
“When she was 6 years old, she started asking if she came out from my womb. Though I was hesitant to tell the truth with her very young age, I conditioned her mind through bedtime stories which were related to her situation,” she recounted.
Angelica is an intelligent child. She understands the situation even the annulment that happened to her parents. She wants to be successful like the famous adopted dermatologist Vicki Belo and Senator Grace Poe.
Proud to be adopted
“I am proud as an adopted daughter. I am grateful of the kindness that my adoptive parents showed to me. I am thankful that these people treated me as their real daughter and extended their genuine love to me,” Angelica expressed.
Angelica now 14, a Grade 8 student, dreams to be a famous author and travel the world someday. She is very friendly and is never ashamed to tell her classmates that she is adopted.
“I never longed for my biological parents because my adoptive parents never make me feel less loved,” Angelica admitted.
“Sometimes she’s over protective because she wants me to be safe always. I am grateful of her. She managed to take care of me as well as protect her people in Davao,” Angelica proudly expressed referring to her mom.
Making a difference in a child’s life brings a wonderful, rewarding, life-changing experience, Garma said.
“Adoption is a blessing. It is just like conceiving a child, the only difference is the process you have to overcome. Those people who adopt are more responsible and those people who let their child be adopted instead of abandoning them are the bravest because they are not selfish and not compromising the welfare of their children.”
For a successful adoption, you have to be whole and ready for responsibilities, Garma added.
Adoption is a socio-legal process of providing a permanent family to a child whose parents have voluntarily or involuntarily relinquished parental authority over the child.
From January to July 2015, DSWD XI was able to place out 20 children both for domestic and inter-country adoption.
Aside from legal adoption, DSWD is also advocating Foster Family Care to enable every homeless child experience a caring and nurturing family life provided by a licensed foster family on a temporary basis.
Under foster care, seven children were placed out from April to June this year.
For Garma, there are still many Angelicas to be loved, nourished and cared for through legal adoption. (DSWD)