In addition to supporting, clothing, and raising her five siblings, a girl balances a part-time job and education.
Samantha Rodriguez, from Orlando, Florida, lost both of her parents to cancer when she was just 17 years old, along with her five younger siblings. In 2013, their mother Lisa Smith passed away from cervical cancer. Their father, Alexander Rodriguez, looked after the family ever since. Sadly, he also had lym*phoma three years later and abandoned his children.
Samantha was heartbroken but extremely conscious that she was the oldest of her siblings.
Samantha said, “When I looked at them, I knew that they were children. My reality [was] I’m 17 but these are my brothers and sisters.”
Because of their vulnerability and need for an adult, “I became their adult.”
Samantha was well aware that the state’s foster care system may be used to place her brothers. She was, nonetheless, adamant about keeping her dad’s commitment to her mother. She then made the decision to try her best to maintain the family’s unity.
Samantha stated, “I knew what I had to do,” in reference to her choice.
“My mother taught me so much. I acted as her ally. I gained an understanding of family raising.
“After she passed away, I realised how much I wished to be just like her. For the kids, I wanted to do that.
Hence, the now-age 21-year-old girl has spent the last few years taking care of Destiny, Bella, Michael, Brenda, and Milagros, who are all under the age of 16. Almost totally on her own, she managed to keep children fed, dressed, and frequently attending school.
Samantha works as a waitress and attends college on the side. She wanted to return to school for a reason.
“I can’t tell kids to be successful in school if I wasn’t,” she said. I therefore made the decision to return then.
The kids were so pleased of me when I [graduated] and they came to my graduation, and it was fantastic. She thought it was crucial that they recognised the importance of education. Samantha remarked, “I didn’t know people who went to college or finished high school, and I didn’t have that direction, so it was hard for me.” “When I understood that I wanted the kids to finish and succeed, I thought, I need to set an example for them and demonstrate that to them.”
Samantha remarked, “I get a lot of that strength from my mother. I talk about what seems to be an impossible schedule and my strength to really do it. She was someone I spent a lot of time with, and I really admired her.
Samantha said, “They showed us not to take anything for granted,” when asked what one lesson she values most from her parents. I attempt to instill that in the kids. The material goods are ultimately unimportant. Giving can be quickly withdrawn. Family, love, and support are the only things that truly matter, she remarked.
Sam “is a mom and a dad to us,” according to Milagros Rodriguez, who said that her elder sister “gave up practically her life to take care of us.”
“I try to give them the love and support they need, and I try to do it for two,” Samantha continued. Taking care of her siblings is, in Samantha’s words, “what makes me, me. Being with them and being there for them brings me such joy. I find it to be really enjoyable.