Sam, who was just 17 years old, suddenly found herself without parents and was worried about what would come to her and her five younger siblings without any parental figures.
Alexander Rodriguez and Lisa Smith appeared to be a perfect match. They formed a lovely, large, eight-person family out of their unwavering love for one another.
Everything was ideal up until Lisa received a cervical cancer diagnosis, which led to her death in 2013.
The family was in for a nasty shock, but Alexander had promised his dying wife that he would do everything in his power to keep the kids close, healthy, and happy.
As long as he remained healthy and alive, he continued doing it. But this was short-lived. A short while later, he became ill with what the kids mistook for the flu but actually wasn’t.
After receiving a cancer diagnosis, Alexander passed away three years later, leaving the kids all by themselves and in need.
When her father died suddenly, Samantha, the couple’s oldest child, who was then 17 years old, was left with a huge challenge. Either she would consent to her siblings entering foster care or she would struggle to maintain the family’s unity as her parents had worked so hard to achieve.
She chose the latter.
Rodriguez shared: “My reality [was] I’m 17 but these are my brothers and sisters, and when I looked at them, I knew that they’re children. They’re vulnerable and they need an adult, so I became their adult.”
So, all 6 siblings then relocated to Orange County, where their grandma resides, and began a new life.
Sam initially stopped attending school in order to work full-time and support her siblings. But soon she understood that if she wanted to be a model for the younger students, she had to balance employment and education.
She shared: “I can’t tell them to be successful in school if I wasn’t. So that’s when I decided to go back. When I [graduated] the kids were very proud of me and they came to my graduation and it was amazing.”
Samantha, who is now 21 years old, looks after her siblings full-time while working as a waitress. She sees to it that they are fed, dressed in nice clothes, complete their homework, and participate in other activities as necessary for them to develop into the best versions of themselves.
She serves as an inspiration to her siblings, who range in age from 16 to 7. They cherish her for always being there for them, and they respect her for her grit and tenacity. She never gave up on them.
According to Milagros Rodriguez, her older sister “gave up basically her life to take care of us” and “Sam is a mom and a dad to us.”
The neighborhood has also supported the siblings by purchasing a brand-new automobile for them and, a few years ago, by pleasantly surprising them with wonderful Christmas gifts.
ICYMI: Here’s the story on the anonymous donors who stepped up to buy a new car for Samantha Rodriguez, who at 20 is raising her five younger siblings after her parents’ death. Nice story here, too:https://t.co/iNCmq7vSh7 pic.twitter.com/m6B0rCEJcy— Orange County Sheriff’s Office (@OrangeCoSheriff) April 8, 2019
Watch the video about them: