Local principal and vice principal adopt students out of love and hope for future
From students to family
SAN ANTONIO – Editor's Note: The bottom of this story has been updated to include additional reporting and comments.
The foster care system can be a scary place for kids, not knowing where you will live or if anyone will ever adopt you. It can be even harder for children deemed to have behavioral issues.
Southside Independent School District works with a center like that for young men. The school district takes in the students, works with them and embraces them in community.
"He pulled at me and no other way, and he's not my biological son, but he's definitely born in my heart. I just knew that connection was there," principal at Pearce Elementary Brenda Gonzales said. "I said I think I'm going to take him home."
Breydan was one of the numerous students from the foster care system who goes to school at Pearce Elementary.
As principal, Brenda Gonzales meets and interacts with children all day, but when she met Breydan, she knew it was special.
"Breydan talked about himself and what he liked and his favorite subjects. And then he said that his end goal was to be adopted. And so he said OK well that's our goal too," Gonzales said.
"He came to us with all the challenges that he was facing in life you know seven years of age of just the no structure no family no support. It was just being at the residential treatment center or in different foster care.," said Gonzales.
The adoption won't be official until November and Brenda and Breydan are already excited to sign the final papers.
"And so we're waiting for that moment, and we can't wait for that moment. Breydan's waiting for that moment," said Gonzales.
But Breydan already feels like part of the family, he is Brenda and her husband's first son.
For the Gonzales family and Breydan it's all about love, passion and enjoying the little things in life, even as simple as a favorite meal.
"He loves Chili's… specifically the molten lava cake. Yeah. And the first time we saw him eat it. He was savoring every moment," said Gonzales.
Breydan just wanted to find a family who will love him, and with the Gonzales family, he found just that.
Now Brenda wants her story to help other kids like her son.
"We want to inspire others to say I have that I can give someone love I can share moments with them and be able to walk away knowing that they could trust the journey with those boys and girls whoever it is that they could trust that love is all they need to get them through anything," said Gonzales.
Brenda's son's name is Breydan, his parents combined their names Rey and Brenda -- then his middle name is Pearce the school where they fell in love with him.
Breydan was part of the Guiding Light Residential Treatment Center. If you're interested in learning more about the program you can check out the program by clicking here.
Gonzales' vice-principal inspired her to adopt
"It's been a blessing he's been, He completes our family," Vice Principal of Pearce Elementary, Tanya Mares.
Tanya Mares is now Rocky's mom.
"Before I met her I had spots that I couldn't get out of. So like I. I moved places to places," said Rocky Mares.
Tanya and her now-son had known each other for months, working closely on Rocky's education, and that's when they bonded.
"Dealing with him every day and knowing how far he had come that year I was afraid what was going to happen once he went back because I knew was going to go back into the foster care system," said Tanya Mares. "It was so sad because all his siblings were in adoptive homes and he was the only one and he's a great kid. And I said no I'm interested. I want to know what I have to do."
When it comes to Rocky, his future is now on a much different path, and the sky is the limit.
"I want to be in the military. And then after like a couple of years and then I might be a cop or the cps like my dad did," said Rocky.
Rocky tells us he loves his family, and he loves his new life.
"They support me and they're happy for me," said Rocky.
Tanya's mares influenced Brenda because she adopted her son rocky
"It's very inspiring to watch her and her family make a difference in someone's life and just by offering what we mentioned earlier what you could give away for free which is just the love and the structure. And the things that you can just offer anybody at that point," said Brenda Gonzales.
Tanya and Brenda work very closely as principal and vice principal, and on a personal level they now work as not only inspirations for each other but also as support systems.
"She was that support for me here on campus you know because no one else knew what I was really going through or my husband. It was you know Brenda and Rey they knew exactly what I was going through," Mares said.
Brenda tells me her new son makes every moment spent together more special, and she hopes she can set him up for success.
"Making it to where he's gonna have a happy life, and he's gonna you know go on and do some great things you know not letting that past define him but to overcome that and to do what he's destined to do in his life which I think is great things in his future," Gonzales said.
Copyright 2019 by KSAT - All rights reserved.