Bianca Velasco didn’t have an easy childhood. From a young age, she recalls losing their home, living in a shelter, and watching her mom struggle to keep a job. By the time she was sixteen years old, Bianca started working to help with bills, put food on the table, and keep the electricity on for her mom and siblings. Once she was old enough to move out, she continued to provide for her family. She gave her mom money for her siblings, took them back-to-school shopping, and made sure that they were all taken care of. This pattern continued for several years and Bianca remembers it well.
Then, in 2017, Bianca could see her mom taking a turn for the worse. Her mom was unable to support herself and didn’t have a place to live that was secure and stable enough for Bianca’s brothers and sisters. Bianca’s mom left her siblings with a cousin one summer and Bianca watched as they ended up staying with that cousin for over six months. Her mom eventually got the kids back but was still unable to properly care for them. One day, Bianca went to visit for her brother’s 5th birthday. She says, “I went to visit for his birthday and when I got there, my mom wasn’t there and my 10-year-old sister had been watching her 5-year-old and 4-year-old siblings.” She came to find out that her mom hadn’t been home in a few days and she knew what she had to do.
That day, Bianca took the children with her and decided she would hold onto them for a week. She eventually came to the realization that her mother would not be able to properly care for her brothers and sisters and they needed a permanent, stable environment. The stress that Bianca felt not knowing if her siblings were going to be okay was heavy and she wanted to do what was best for them. At 25, while pregnant with a child of her own, Bianca decided to take in her 10-year-old, 5-year-old, and 4-year-old siblings permanently. Her 22-year-old sister stepped up to take in her 17-year-old and 13-year-old siblings as well – ultimately making sure they all had a stable place to call home.
The kids now live with Bianca full time and enjoy living in a neighborhood close to family. They are learning manners and growing to be more respectful kids. Bianca says, “I feel better about them being here and knowing they are being fed and have a safe and stable home to grow up in.” Things have changed for Bianca since taking in her siblings. Having never been a parent before and becoming one overnight, she has had a lot to learn. “Helping them with homework, having to cook SO much food, and taking them to their appointments is a lot. Enrolling them in school was also challenging because I had never done it before.” Bianca manages though, thrilled that her siblings are healthy and safe with her.
For those considering adoption or taking in a family member, Bianca would say, “Be open-minded and consider their feelings before your own. For a long time, I was angry with my mom for doing what she did, but at the end of the day, I feel extremely relieved because I know they are being well taken care of.” Bianca continues to help her siblings flourish and can rest easy at night knowing they are in her care. Now, they can grow up in a place that wants what is best for them and provides them with whatever they need.