What a difference a year has made in the lives of three local siblings. To see the transformation and the gratitude of all of the children, especially the oldest brother, is so incredibly heartwarming. This is the success story of Victor, Miguel and Jasmine.
When I first met Victor in the fall of 2009, he was an 11-year-old boy with a lot of responsibilities.
"I just want to keep them safe from any harm," said Victor.
Victor had become more of a parent-figure to his younger siblings, and his one wish was for them to have what he'd gone without.
"A family that Miguel and Jasmine will have a mom and dad," Victor continued.
And after years of waiting, Victor's dream has finally come true.
"It's been a little over a year, and it's been a wonderful experience. It's been hard, it's been fun, it's been a lot of joy, a lot of crying, a lot of just everything," Tim detailed.
In December 2010, Victor, Miguel and Jasmine moved into their forever home with their new parents, Tim and René, and Victor, now 13, couldn't be happier.
"I'm very grateful, and I'm glad that my brother and sister are having a better life than they did before, and I'm just having a good life now, trying to enjoy it as much as I can," explained Victor.
And Victor added that he feels like he has less responsibility now, remembering life before was not easy.
"Life then was horrible," he said.
He remembers constantly worrying about Miguel and Jasmine:
"All I did was take care of them. I got really used to doing that."
And now Victor has someone to take care of him and that's a good feeling.
"He was trying to be the parent and the kids didn't understand, but now since there's a little more consistency," said Tim. "They're definitely playing together much better. We find them running around, laughing throughout the house."
And Victor can be more of a kid. And when asked what he thinks of his dad, Victor said:
And his mom?
"I love her very much, she takes care of me so much."
René and Tim, who himself was adopted as a baby, had only planned on adopting two children, but just couldn't say no to these three. So the couple went from having zero kids to a family of five overnight.
"It's been very busy, but they're patient with us. They understand that we're learning too, so that's really, it's helped," said René. "Most of the problems and challenges we have are just normal kid stuff. It's not because they're foster kids or anything else. It's just normal kids stuff."
And they strongly encourage others to make a difference in the lives of waiting children.
"If you could and want to and have the opportunity, why wouldn't you," added René.
And 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.