Department of Family Services – Children and Families

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

TTY 711

12011 Government Center Parkway, Pennino Building
Fairfax, VA 22035

Oriane Eriksen,

Adoption Snapshots - The Chirino-Mendez Family

Chirino-Mendez family collage graphic

We are the Chirino-Mendez family! 

We are a family of nine including our granddaughter. We adopted two of our six children back in 2009. Christion is now 20 years old and Patty is 16 years old. The experience has allowed us to not only give them the love, support, protection they deserve and need, but it has also taught us about life.

Christion and Patty came into our lives in the least expected moment, but we were so ready to fight this battle by their side. It is rare but truthfully heartwarming that we got to adopt our niece and nephew in their time of need. Their life experiences when they were so young and fragile made us question ourselves as their new parents. Anxiety set in for so long, with doubt and fear that we would fail as parents for them. 

Years have gone by, and today I can say that even though there were many trials and tribulations, we stood on firm ground with our children. We have been a family of unity and love with many obstacles, good and bad along the way. 

Christion graduated high school with his sister Jasmin back in 2018, and they started their new journey in college and the work life. Christion’s personality over the years has changed for the better. He struggled in school, but he made it!! He had tremendous support provided to him and along the way met very amazing people. Christion is such a kind young man with a big heart for others.

Patricia is a beautiful 16-year-old young lady, who is now in 11th grade. She is so full of life. She is so kind, loving, caring and has a big heart. She knows the love of God. She is an amazing sister to her siblings and goes above and beyond for her 4-year-old brother Josiah. He loves her so much – she is the world to him.

Patricia has had a long road as well, but she has been so strong and has been able to face her fears and achieve so much academically. She’s an amazing artist and always knows when you need a hug. She loves to help her friends and to speak life into them. 

Patience, endurance, strength, love, and unity are just the very few words of what it takes to raise amazing children in this society. Where they come from should never determine who they can be and what they can accomplish. We birth these kids into a new life and who they can call family. 

Connection and belonging are human needs. There are many children and youth in Virginia awaiting adoption. Learn more about Foster Care and Adoption. If you are interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent, send an email.

For media inquiries, contact Department of Family Services' Public Information Officer Amy Carlini by email, office phone 703-324-7758 or mobile phone 571-355-6672.

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