SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Five years ago, a local couple reached out to help a family in need, by agreeing to, temporarily, take in their two young children. The family never imagined they would one day become the children's forever family, they say they wouldn't have had it any other way.
Five-year-old Gilbert and eight-year-old Azeret aren't old enough to realize how different their lives would be had they not been taken in by the family they now call their own.
Gilbert was only four-months-old and Azeret was three, when they first met this family.
Parents Gilberto and Maria never intended to adopt - caring for these biological siblings was supposed to be a short term favor, for just a couple weeks.
“Those two weeks, they became 2 months,” said Gilberto.
“It's a family that I knew, and it was just to help them out for two weeks, but like my husband said, two weeks, became two months, two years,” said Maria added.
“And then, came the adoption step, and we decided to stay with the kids,” continued Gilberto.
Their biological daughter Anjelika was 15 at the time, an only child, and she was unsure at first about having a new baby and preschooler in her home.
But Anjelika quickly fell in love with them and welcomed them as her new siblings with open arms, saying it is a “blessing.”
She says Azeret and Gilbert changed her for the better.
“They made me happy because after high school I didn't know what to do in my life, but my little brother and sister they motivate me. I want to be an occupational therapist now,” said Anjelika.
The whole family has seen the positive impact occupational therapy has had on Gilbert.
“He has autism and it's been challenging, so we're learning as we go along,” Maria said. “He's come a long long way.”
The children's grandmother, who lives with them, gets emotional when she thinks about all that Azeret and Gilbert have overcome and can't imagine life without them:
“The house was lonely, and now that they're in our lives, it's everyday there's something new, something funny.”
And the kids appreciate their parents. Azaret told me this about her mom:
“That she loves me no matter what.”
And her dad:
This family feels blessed and hopes others step forward to adopt and experience the joy of changing, not only the life of a child, but your own.
If you are interested in adopting or becoming a foster family, please call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U.
CBS News 8 would also like to thank Cynthia with Schiavetto Photography for taking the Heart Gallery photos featured in the video and Zeke Torres Films for the video of the family's adoption finalization day.