Kali and Donnie's success story - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Kali and Donnie's success story

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — It was Mother's Day weekend, 2011, when News 8 first introduced you to mom and daughter duo: Mildred and Kali.  

"She's definitely up there in the clouds for me," said Mildred. "She is so fabulous." 

Kali was just a few days old when she was matched with her mom Mildred - and for a while, it was just the two of them - until Donnie, came along, about two years ago.  

"Well, it wasn't planned, as they say," Mildred said. "Kali was planned, Donnie was not." 

A family member was in need of help, so Mildred, who didn't want Donnie raised outside of the family, decided to adopt her biological great nephew and raise him as her son.  

"I'm still in touch with his birth mother, she's dear to my heart, so I want him to be able to have contact with her still, so it's been wonderful," said Mildred.  

Donnie brings an exciting energy into the family. 

"Donnie's just all over the place and he's very, very outgoing so he loves to speak to people," said Mildred. "When we're walking down the street, he's looking at people in their cars... he's just a joy, everybody just loves him."   

And though Mildred was initially concerned she might be too old to adopt. 

"I was 52 when I adopted Kali, I'm 61 now," she said.  

Mildred says you're never too old to give a child, a loving home. 

"I would tell people, it's probably one of the greatest things you can do," she said. 

"They keep you happy, they keep you going, and right now, I'm at a stage in my life where I can give myself full time to them, so I'm having a great time, volunteering in school, helping with after school activities and girl scouts, it's great," said Mildred. 

She says the bond you form is unbreakable.  

"They are my children, I love them to the depths of my heart,  they feel the same way, and I don't think it would ever make a difference whether they're your birth children or your children," Mildred said. 

Mildred says it's also been a gift, to see Kali grow into a caring big sister. 

"It's not just a matter of having someone to play with, but I think for her she feels more important because she has someone to teach and to learn from her," said Mildred.  

And there's no doubt they are getting life lessons from Donnie as well.    

"I think one of the major things we're learning from him, is to be really, really happy. And it's not that we're not -  he's just always so vivacious and so happy, you can't help but smile when you're around him," said Mildred. 

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

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