Life can often be unfair, forcing us to be stronger than we imagined we would ever need to be. Things were not easy for Samantha Rodriguez and her family, after the death of both of her parents.
Children always make life hectic, and even one child can make the day busy and stressful. Yet, most parents previously decide to have a child, so they are preparing for that role for a long time.
Not many adults would be courageous enough to step up and do what Samantha has done for her loved ones, so her dedication to her family is admirable!
Being the oldest one in the family, this girl had no other option, but to take on the weight of the world on her tiny shoulders. After the tragedy that struck the family, the 20-year old decided to be mom and dad to her five younger siblings, and thus save the family.
The amazing girl from Orange County, Florida, refused to watch her family be split up and sent to different foster homes. In 2016, their father, Alexander, 44, died from lymphoma, Samantha was only 17. In 2013, her mother, Lisa Smith, 35, had died from cervical cancer.
This left them in a very bad situation, as even though some relatives could have taken the children in, they couldn’t take all of them, so they had to be separated. Yet, at this point, Samantha decided to do all she could and not let her family be pulled apart.
All of her siblings, 7-year-old Destiny, 9-year-old Bella, 12-year-old Michael, 14-year-old Brenda, and 16-year-old Milagros appreciate the efforts of their amazing big sister to keep the family together.
Instead of living her life, and following her own dreams, she decided to protect the family and keep them together.
Technically, Lourdes, their 76-year-old grandmother, is the children’s legal guardian. Yet, she is suffering from arthritis, so she cannot help all the time.
When their mother died, the children moved with their father to Georgia for a fresh start. While she was still alive, she worked as a cleaner, but the father wasn’t always there as he was an alcoholic. Yet, he then stepped up and started taking care of his family, but unfortunately died 3 years later.
Then, the children moved to Orlando as Samantha got a job as a waitress there.
During the day, she takes care of all of her siblings. prepares meals, does the laundry, helps them with schoolwork, goes shopping, catches up on doctor’s appointments, and in the evening, she works in a restaurant.
At the end of the day, this little heroine says that her siblings deserve it all. She is also grateful to receive help from the community and even strangers. Her boyfriend, Jesus Santana, has also been a tremendous help to her.
The family had a great Christmas in December 2018, as the local Sheriff station provided them with everything they needed for the holiday.
Earlier this year, Samantha got huge help as anonymous donors contributed funds and gifted her a car, so she could coordinate her activities with the children. In April, she created a GoFundMe page that has so far amassed a shocking $116,115 from kind-hearted people from all over the world.
All the children make sure to keep their parents’ memories alive every single day and make them proud. Samantha says that every night, they sit down together and say grace, as they have a lot to be thankful for.
She now plans to move the family into a larger home so that they can live more comfortably. She intends to enroll in at the local college and take some classes and saves all her money to help her siblings go to college.
The brave and optimistic girl hopes that she will also be able to take them to Disney World, as the amusement park is quite close to their home in Florida. We hope all their dreams come true!