“This is the last time!”, said Trini at the recent adoption of Matthew and James , her 19th and 20th children adopted from foster care. You couldn’t help but get the feeling that she’s said that before, but this time she means it. “I’m getting too old”.
This time, 17-year-old James found her. He lived in a group home in her neighborhood and knew some of her children from school. One day, he showed up at her door and asked if she would adopt him. “What am I supposed to do?”, she asked her caseworker. Once again, she redeemed a life through adoption. Now James thrives as a family member and is great with his younger brothers and sisters.
Sixteen-year-old Matthew has developmental disabilities and will need lifelong care. Trini has adopted a number of disabled children over the years. It’s another way that she gives back. “For each healthy child, I took a sick one”. Like the others, Matthew happily fits right in. “I treat them like they don’t have a label” is her philosophy.
Always a single parent, Trini started fostering and then adopting when she was 24 years old. She lived with her sister, Nancy, and they fostered and parented together. Tragically, her sister was killed in an auto accident with a drunk driver five years ago. It was right down the street from their house. Trini adopted all of her sister’s children. Her sister Penny lives around the corner and helps out a lot.”My children think it’s boring at our house. They’d much rather be at Trini’s.”
The children range in age from 24 to 4. 7 in college, 8 still at home. You would think that a house with so many children would be chaotic, but it’s very well-kept. The children as polite and well-behaved as you could possibly expect. She has strict rules and sets high standards. The children help and support each other. You can feel the love.
To help her celebrate her adoption, the Bank Atlantic Center recently treated Trini and nine of her children to box seats at a Cirque du Soleil performance.