Seven Foster Kids Became a Family
by Martha G.
This is a story that starts with our foster parents. The word “foster” is not what we use nor feel, when we say “parents.” That usually means in society that your mom gave birth to you. But in a way, our foster mom did. She gave us LIFE.
We came from the Laguna Honda orphanage on 19th Avenue in San Francisco. In 1946, when my parents drove to the orphanage, they saw a little girl named Linda. She was 6½ years old. They asked her if she would like to come live with them and she said, “I’d like to, but only if you take my little sister Jeannie who was 4½ and little brother Alex who was just 2½. This little girl Linda was given such adult responsibilities. It was amazing how protective she was and I’m certain she was around three or four when she was handed this responsibility. At the ripe old age of 6½, she was going to make this happen for her brother and sister, even if it jeopardized her chances for a home.
Mary and Joseph said, “Honey, we’re sorry but we don’t think we have enough room,” so hugs were given and they said their goodbyes. So Mary and Joseph left, heading for home. Now, 19th Avenue has a traffic light on every corner, and they hit a lot of red lights, which gave them time to think about what had just happened at the orphanage. Without saying a word to each other, they made a U-turn at the light and went back to pick up all three kids.
My sister Kathy was playing with her red wagon when Mary and Joseph met and brought her home. Then there was Marian, quiet and gentle. She was the oldest. Ray came when he was 7 years old. Myself, Martha, was days old, the last permanent member of the family,
We’re all different nationality: Spanish, Filipino, Irish, Mexican, German, Italian. But we all look alike. We’re FAMILY!
We want to thank our parents’ little angel who passed away at just 2 years in the late 1930’s, Joseph Jr. Cabrera.
Our 86-year-old brother, Ralph, thank you for sharing Mom and Dad with us.
Our parents helped well over a 100 foster children and yes, they were our brothers and sisters, if just for a short time.