Going on vacation, camping and sharing family dinners, things a local teenager never thought he'd ever experience. Joseph remembers being homeless and spending cold nights under the Coronado Bridge, but now Joseph and his two younger siblings are part of a success family News 8 has previously featured.
When we first met Brett and Minnie two years ago, they were beaming with pride over their only son. Malik was the center of their world, and his parents couldn't have been happier with their decision to adopt.
It was so wonderful, Brett and Mininie decided to do it again, only this time they took in a sibling set of three. Malik went from being an only child to one of four.
Brett and Minnie didn't set out to adopt three more kids, they told their social worker they wanted Malik to have a sister. A few months later:
"They're like, hey we have your little girl, but she has a little brother, oh okay. So we went to go meet them, when we met her, of course, we fell in love with the children, how could you not," said Minnie.
Then they learned that Uriel and Salome had an older brother Joseph who was on the fence about being adopted. And honestly, Brett and Minnie weren't sure at first, if they could handle an adolescent.
"He was 12 when I met him. I was a little nervous, but I met him and you would never know he went through anything. He was so, so well mannered," Brett explained.
Surprising, since Joseph had had a very rough life – at times he was homeless.
Minnie says the children's birth mom would leave the boys alone for hours at a time.
"Him and Uriel would sleep under the Coronado Bridge, um and one time, he said the cops found them and they took them to St. Vincent de Paul," Minnie continued.
But all of the fear and skepticism Joseph had developed, soon melted away and Joseph decided he wanted to be part of this family.
"It's kind of like a new experience, because I've never actually had this before. So I'm loving it," Joseph said.
So, what does Joseph like about his mom?
"Everything. She's funny, sometimes she can be a little strict," Joseph replied.
"I'm strict, well and we just tell him, if we didn't care, then he would be out in the street at 10 o'clock at night," said Minnie.
And what about his dad?
"He's really funny, and he's very caring, he always knows what to say," Joseph said.
Of all of the kids, Joseph is perhaps the most grateful. Minnie says at their first family dinner together, she noticed tears in Joseph's eyes as they said grace and when she asked if he was okay, this is what he said:
"I never thought I could have this. I never let myself imagine this, and I'm like what? To us this is normal, but to him, he never in a million years, thought he was going to have a family where he could sit down and eat dinner with. So that made me think, we did the right thing, we did right by him," Minnie explained.
And Brett and Minnie encourage others to do the same.
"There's just a huge need for a lot of kids. Yu have a home, you have a heart, come on, why wouldn't you do it?" Minnie said.
And we want to wish Minnie a happy Mother's Day - what an incredible mother you are.
If you're interested in adopting or becoming a foster family, call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U. To meet other children in foster care and discover how you can help restore their hope, please click here.
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