Success Story: Foster family adopts three children - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Success Story: Foster family adopts three children

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They have been married for 25 years, but never thought they would be parenting toddlers at this stage in their lives. This is one local family's success story in which their role as foster parents took an unexpected turn toward adoption.

“You can't help but love these kids. These kids are gifts, they're gifts, and just love them for who they are,” said Samuel.

Samuel and Lucinda say they never intended to adopt three young kids, but after several years of caring for foster children, one baby girl, who is now seven-years-old stole their hearts.

“We got a call that she had been abandoned in the hospital and they wanted us to pick her up for the night,” said Lucinda.

They say Leilani gave them a look that they just couldn't shake.

“She looked at us like, where have you been, what's taken so long. I've been sitting here waiting for you,” continued Lucinda.

Leilani was a preemie who almost didn't survive due to lung disease, asthma and respiratory complications.

“I lived in the hospital with her for four months, and we almost lost her four different times,” Lucinda added.

And after surviving such an emotional journey with their little girl, Samuel and Lucinda knew they couldn't let her go.

“My husband, his heart just melted and he says, no we're keeping her,” said Lucinda.

“I love my mom and dad so Much,” said Leilani.

Today, Leilani is a healthy and happy little girl.

“The doctor actually gave her a clean bill of health five months ago,” Lucinda continued.

And Leilani is enjoying her childhood, with two younger siblings. Ellie and Jace, who are both three.

“I had to let him sleep on my chest so we could regulate his breathing and stuff because he's medically fragile and we just kind of bonded,” said Samuel.

“And we were already adopting my Ellie. I didn't think I could handle two little ones, but I could not separate them and my heart wouldn't let me, so we kept all of them,” explained Lucinda.

And that is how Lucinda and Samuel, who have seven adult biological kids between them, ended up with a total of 10 kids.

“It's kind of like being a grandparent, but they never go home laughs,” said Samuel.

They encourage families thinking about adopting or becoming a foster family, to explore what San Diego County Adoptions has to offer.

“We've been a part of the foster care family for over 13 years, and we've had over 30 kids go through our home, and the support you get is just phenomenal,” explained Samuel.

And they say what you get in return, is priceless.

“People say there's just not enough love to go around, and I'll tell you what, these kids give us so much back, you can't help but love them.” said Samuel.

If you are interested in adopting or becoming a foster family, please call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U.

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