Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Monica Villanueva Holmes gives her heart to the BIPOC and special-needs communities

This mom is no stranger to adapting and pivoting.

Seattle’s Child is proud to partner with the state Department of Children, Youth and Families Strengthening Families Washington to honor outstanding caregivers doing important work on behalf of children.

All month long, we’ll introduce you to Unsung Heroes from around the state: biological parents, grandparents, foster and adoptive parents. Some volunteer at local schools; some have started nonprofits; some mentor others in their communities. Enjoy their stories.


Monica Villanueva Holmes, Tulalip

Monica and her husband, Eric, are foster/adoptive parents of 18 children in 18 years. They live in Tulalip with their four adopted sons from foster care, all on the autism spectrum with additional behavioral health challenges and special needs. Although 2020 has been a challenging year homeschooling and supporting four special needs teens/young adults through the pandemic, Monica is no stranger to adapting and pivoting; and she does so while continually strengthening and giving back to the BIPOC and special-needs communities.

Monica’s work with at-risk youth, tribal youth, tribal adults and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities includes teaching life skills, culinary skills, positive behavior supports, sensory development, suicide and drug prevention and art therapy. Monica reaches out to other special needs and foster/adoptive parents to provide peer support and connection. Recognizing a need for equitable birthing options and outcomes for other BIPOC women and marginalized communities, Monica certified as a birth and postpartum doula this past year. Monica is fearless as she boldly leads with her heart. She combines her skills, creativity, empathy and personal experiences as a BIPOC special needs foster/adoptive mom to make her community a more equitable, inclusive and loving place for ALL!


Nominator:  Alaina Kube



More Unsung Heroes:

Cristal Moreno stays positive despite fire and other challenges

Lindsey Shaw helps give a voice to those who have been marginalized

Aaron Vargas got his kids back and works hard to meet their needs

Karmen goes above and beyond for little kids in tough circumstances

Cora Rose works hard to meet her needs and her kids’ needs


About the Author