Success Story: 16-year-old Breanna finds her forever home - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Success Story: 16-year-old Breanna finds her forever home

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Breanna's birth mom died of cancer, when she was just three-years-old. She was placed in foster care and struggled for a decade, moving in and out of homes. By the time she turned 13, she was pretty sure, she would age out of the system at the age of 18.

Fortunately, Breanna was wrong and we are so thrilled to share her success story, which was sparked by her Adopt 8 story in 2010.

When I first met Breanna four years ago, she was 12 – a kid at heart, with a broken heart who had moved in and out of foster homes nearly 30 times.

“If I had a family, I wouldn't want them to give up on me,” she said.

And that is exactly what Breanna has since found in Mary, the woman she now calls mom.

“I appreciate her taking in a 13-year-old who had a past that's not the greatest,” said Breanna.

Mary had seen Breanna's story on our website.

“It was really important that I had that Adopt 8 video to see what she was like,” explained Mary.

Mary wanted to meet Breanna, despite her large case file, documenting years of behavioral problems.

“People tend to look at the file before they look at the kid,” said Mary.

But Mary added that she knew Breanna's heart could be healed and after meeting with Breanna's Court Appointed Special Advocate, Mary Jo.

“She told me one of the reasons she decided to take in Breanna is because I loved her so much. She proved to me that Breanna was lovable,” Mary said.

“I'm glad that she took me in because I was sure I was going to age out of the system without knowing if I could actually get a good education,” said Breanna.

Now, the sky's the limit for Breanna, who wants to be a veterinarian.

And together, they honor Breanna's birth mom, who died of cancer when she was three. Breanna was her pride and joy.

“We spend a lot of time thinking about her mother,” said Mary. “That's been important for her to put the puzzle pieces together of her history.”

“No kid remembers when they were three what their mother was like. You have to learn that, and I never got a chance to,” Breanna noted.

But Breanna is reminded her birth mom did an amazing job those formative years and would be very proud to see the young woman she's becoming.

Now, Mary has taken over, where Breanna's birth mom left off and Breanna's years in foster care are becoming a distant memory.

“It's kind of funny that I think about wow, I've been away from that lifestyle for three and a half years and it feels like it never even existed because it feels right to be in a home,” Breanna continued.

Breanna's mom Mary wants people considering adoption to know that San Diego County Adoptions, and its supporting organizations, like Promises to Kids, offer a number of resources and financial assistance to those who need it and both mom and daughter hope their story inspires others to adopt.

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

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