Raising a family can be a lot of work. Especially when there are six kids sharing one house, and one bathroom. There’s also room sharing and occasional fighting that happens. Now imagine if those kids didn’t have parents to look after them? The Rodriguez family knows what that feels like after their parents both passed away after fighting cancer, leaving their oldest daughter in charge.
Samantha Rodriguez has taken on the task of raising her five siblings.
Lisa Smith was the mother of six kids, Samantha (the oldest) followed by Destiny, Bella, Michael, Brenda, and Milagros when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She was also the wife of Alexander, who became the sole caretaker of the kids when she lost her battle to the illness.
Only a short few years later though, Alexander passed away to lymphoma leaving their six kiddos to fend for themselves. Samantha was only 17 at the time and the siblings were on the verge of being taken , and most likely split up by the Florida foster care system. Samantha had always had a motherly instinct that she inherited from her mother, but wasn’t sure it was going to be enough to keep the family together.
“I learned so much from my mom,” Samantha said in an interview. “I was like her sidekick. I learned what it meant to raise a family.”
So with that in mind she decided to step up into the role of a parent, and raise her 5 siblings by herself. “They’re vulnerable and need an adult, so I became their adult.” Samantha basically became a single mom, and because she was so young, money was very tight. She took up a job and started going to college part time, but still had her siblings to worry about. And to top it all off, they didn’t have a car.
With the strength of her mother with her, Samantha was able to do it. On her own. She is in charge of getting the kids up for school in the morning, getting breakfast ready, and getting them on the bus or in the car. Next its errands or chores around the house for her or work, before she has to pick the kids up from school in the afternoon. On top of that there’s practices and doctors appointments- something she says she manages all with the help of a strict schedule that keeps everyone on track.
However, her hard work didn’t go unnoticed. Recently she appeared on Inside Edition, telling their family’s stories and sharing how great both of their parents were. After that they were featured on The View, where Samantha was granted a $15,000 scholarship from Toyota along with a brand new car to help the large family get around.
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