2 Houston-area sisters looking to be adopted together
HOUSTON - They say art heals but so, too, can having a sibling.
"I want to be adopted with my sister because I feel like my whole life I've been without her," said 16-year-old Julissa. "Ever since we got back in the system, we have been separated for like three years."
Julissa and Aymar have been separated in foster care through no fault of their own. That’s a kind of emotional pain no child should experience on top of physical trauma.
"I already have all this bad stuff in my past. I want to make my future brighter," said Julissa. "I don’t want my future to be the same. I want to be someone."
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Julissa loves sports, makeup and has set goals to graduate a year early and go to college. Aymar is 12 and very artistic. She thrives most when she’s around her big sister, eating Mexican food, giggling and, of course:
"Playing barbies with her because I love to play barbies. I still do. She knows my favorite color is pink," said Aymar.
"They are active children, smart children, just treasures," said Kristy O’Neal, a volunteer from CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County.
O’Neal perhaps knows them best. She’s been their CASA advocate in court for a couple of years. That’s a way for people in the community to get involved if they can’t foster or adopt.
"Both of these girls have expressed to me they’re looking for their forever family. That is the goal, and I think they'll fit into a family structure very easily," she says.
MORE: Houston foster agency stresses need for new foster homes post the COVID-19 pandemic
Depelchin Children’s Center will help a family with everything from counseling services to understanding the benefits of adopting teenagers.
"There’s free tuition to a state college of their choice or training school and Medicaid until 18, or for kids adopted past 16 that can be extended beyond the age of 18," said Caitlin Brake, adoption liaison with Depelchin.
It’s easy to see Julissa is a protector and wants to make sure they don’t age out of the system without a permanent family.
"We only have each other, literally. It's just me and her, and soon I’ll turn 18, and she’s about to be in teenage years, and I just want to be there to take her, hold her hand when she goes through that," said Julissa.
To learn more about adopting Julissa and Aymar or any other child, click here.