From Foster to Family: The Cabrera Family
Family is important. Keeping your family together, vital. At least that how Jose and Gloria Cabrera of Newport News feel. High school sweethearts in their 35th year of marriage, throughout their journey together they have opened their hearts and their home to ten children.
Moving to Virginia in 1996 with three children of their own, they first fostered then adopted twin boys, Ryan and Justin, in 2007 at the age of thirteen. Then, in February 2012 they once again opened their door to five brothers, William (7), Montrell (6), Tony (5), Michael (4), and Abraham (3). Now part of the family, Jose and Gloria are in the process of adopting the siblings. According to Jose, who shares his commitment to Christian values with his wife, they “saw it as a calling from God to keep these boys,” and to keep them together.
Jose, who retired after 26 years in the army and is now working for MasterCorp, gives the credit to his wife, Gloria. “If it were up to her, we would have been doing this a lot sooner,” he says. But with his military career keeping him on the move, he thought it was important that they wait until he could be at home regularly to provide his support.
And that team effort has proven valuable to the challenges along the way. The twins, both bi-polar and have ADHD, are doing well, with Justin currently enrolled at Thomas Nelson College. And the five brothers, who Jose describes as, “high energy,” all have developmental delays in language, maturity and others skills, and four of them are hearing-impaired. With the encouragement and love found in the Cabrera home they are progressing well and Jose is proud of them all. “They are all smart kids… they’ve come a long way with us,” he says.
Jose and Gloria are Hispanic. Ryan and Justin are Caucasian. William, Montrell, Tony, Michael and Abraham are African American. Together, they are the Cabrera family. As I talk with Jose, he tells me how excited they all are to spend the upcoming weekend with even more family members, the elder Cabrera children, a nephew, three grandchildren (another is on the way). There will be some hiking, games and what promises to be great memories. You can hear the joy in his voice. And the love in his heart.