We Were Destined to Be Statistics, but Here We Were, Finally Home

Aug 20, 2018 10:00 AM ET

This was shared with the Dave Thomas Foundation by Jesus Paniagua. Jesus was 7 years old when he and his five brothers were adopted by Yolonda, a single mother who made them finally feel at home. Today Jesus is 27 and honoring his late mother by sharing his story.

"At our other foster homes, we were never allowed to go into the kitchen. We would wait until the coast was clear and sneak whatever food we could to hold us off until the next meal. Naturally, when we moved in with Yolonda, we expected dinner to be the same as it always was, but she was cooking something that smelled delicious. Being the oldest, Javier spoke for all of us, asking with hesitation if we would be able to eat the food she was making. My mother later told me she tried her hardest not to break down in tears at this question. She looked us all straight in the faces and said, 'Yes, this is for all of you. You can eat whenever you’re hungry.’ I didn’t realize how powerful this moment was for us until I was older. We had been through so much and were destined to be a statistic in the foster care system; and here we were – we were finally home.”

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption has one mission: to dramatically increase the number of adoptions from foster care.

Please consider joining us in our unending vision of a loving family for every child. Visit davethomasfoundation.org to learn more or offer your support.