Success Story: Cristina & Brittany grateful for their mom & big - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Success Story: Cristina & Brittany grateful for their mom & big sis

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A local mom, who decided to adopt after her biological daughter went off to college, had just finished her adoption classes when she saw two young sisters featured on Adopt 8. Those girls are now her daughters and life has changed dramatically for them.

They now enjoy baseball games at Petco Park - the same place where they would sleep on the street as homeless little girls.

We first featured these giggly girls on Adopt 8 four years ago. And as fate would have it, Hope, who would soon be their mom, was watching:

"I called the social worker and they were in our house within about two weeks. We met them on Wednesday and they came to live with us on Friday."

Cristina was nine-years-old and Brittany was seven-years-old.

Cristina and Brittany say their lives have been magical, since finding their mom and big sister, who's also named Brittany. And a lot has changed for these sisters, who are now 10 and 13. For example, they are able to have the things they need, no the latest toys, but the simple bare necessities, like food and clothes.

Brittany and Cristina were once homeless, living on San Diego's streets and Brittany will never forget what it felt like to starve:

"I don't remember a lot, but there were times when I didn't have enough to eat on the streets and I needed more."

Brittany says finding her forever family is a fairytale come true:

"I've had a very wonderful life and I don't think I could have got those things without living in this family. I get to have birthday parties. I got my first trip to Disneyland. I got my first trip on a plane."

Brittany and Cristina's heartfelt gratitude, so much deeper than what most kids their age are even capable of feeling.

"It's been a big change in my family because before I didn't have any food to eat or anything and now I have everything I need," Cristina explained.

"That's what we want to show them things they haven't seen before, to go camping, to have family members they can call," said Hope. "We've been taking trips and all kind of new first beginnings. We've been to Orlando and Las Vegas and San Francisco."

Tears of joy, from reflecting on just how far these girls have come, Brittany, who was once considered special needs is an honor student now.

"She used to have so many bad behaviors because she didn't have someone to advocate for her and didn't have someone to care," continued Hope. "She got on a bus with kids who had special needs and was in a special school. Now she's, what is it, in the Gate Program. So she's one of the top performers in fifth grade at our school."

And Cristina is no longer a scared little girl.

"Cristina's come a long way. Cristina was the shy one, so when she came to our house she sucked her thumb and bit her nails and now she's growing nails and stopped sucking thumb two to three, so her behavior has changed," Hope added.

And through it all, their big sister Brittany has been by their side.

"I want to set a good example for them. So I try and I try to spend as much time as I can with them, it's been a change, but for the better," Brittany explained.

"It's amazing. Before I didn't have someone to look up to but now I have someone to be like and look up to," Cristina said.

If you're interested in adopting or becoming a foster family, call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U during regular business hours.

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