Big sister becomes mom to sibling

Teen adopted 1 week before 18th birthday


Selena Cantu and Karen Hernandez are half sisters who share a father.

Even though they grew up in different homes, Cantu remembers choosing to spend much of her time with Hernandez, her sister that is 15 years older.

"She's very wonderful, she's like a mother to me. She's good to her children and she's always been there for me," Cantu said.

"She's always called me 'Mommy.' She's always wanted to have that feeling that I'm her mom," Hernandez said.    

Cantu was taken away from her biological mom in recent years due to abuse and a Child Protective Services intervention.

As a result, she has already been living with Hernandez, but she wants to make it official.

"We decided to adopt her. It's something she's been wanting all these years, ever since maybe she was 10," Hernandez said.

Cantu will be 18 next week, and while most high school seniors are itching to leave the nest, she wants nothing more than the security and love of a forever home.

"I want to be with my family because they're a big part of me," Cantu said.

Karen Hernandez and her husband, Mauricio, are anxious to begin filling the voids with attention, love, and discipline.

Fortunately, the bond is already there.

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