(WNCT) We introduced you to the incredible Cardenas Family, where Wendy and Patrick Cardenas adopted four boys after experiencing infertility.
Martin and Adrian were the first two biological brothers to get adopted.
But before their adoptive parents made the decision to adopt another set of brothers, Martin and Adrian decided to write a letter to the court Judge.
A special letter that reads:
“Good afternoon, Madam Clerk: (Adrian)
My name is Adrian and I’m 9 years old. Anthony came to live with us when he was just a few weeks old. Siler was only a few days old. They were a lot younger than Martin and I was when we came to live with my mom and dad. A lot of people stare at us when we go out. My mom said it’s because they are trying to figure out if she is our mother or our grandmother. And she tells me not to worry about what others think. It’s hard not to do that though. When my parents told me that they were going to adopt my brothers and change their names I wondered why. Then they explained why they wanted to name them after Judge Siler-Mack. I think that’s pretty cool, actually. I want my brothers to know that even though we fight a lot, I still love them and want them to know that they better behave now that they are named after a famous Judge!“
“Good afternoon, Madam Clerk: (Martin)
It is my pleasure to stand before you today and I appreciate being allowed to speak to you about the adoption of my 2 brothers.
If you ask my mom, I’m guessing she would say that Adrian and I are a lot like our two younger brothers. But in one way, in particular, we are very different. It is a pretty special way actually. You see, the babies were not born with the names they have today. My parents decided a while ago to change Aabyran Le’Ron’s name to Siler Patrick and Anthony Jermain’s name to Anthony Mack. They did this because of the person standing next to me. When the babies are old enough to understand it all, I will try to explain how important Judge Siler-Mack is to our family and the meaning behind their names. But not just the literal meaning. I’m talking about the personal reasons behind their name change. It won’t be hard because there are so many good things that you can say about Judge Siler-Mack. I know she cares about us. And I know we can trust her. I don’t know if she or anyone else realizes it, but that’s a big deal. Trusting people I mean.
I’ve been told I’m perceptive. I’m not sure if my parents realize it, but I have noticed how hard it has been on our family these last few years. You see, in 2017, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. He did his best to act like nothing really changed, but a lot changed. I mean, he still took care of us, but he changed. And mom started to worry… a lot. She hadn’t planned on going back to work, but because Dad got sick, she had to. She constantly worried about Dad and whether or not we were all going to be okay. I think she may have had doubts about adopting. She still may. But I don’t. Adoption was the best thing that ever happened to me and I know that it will also be the best thing that has ever happened to my brothers.
My parents have always told me not to focus on the negative things in life. They have taught me that I have a choice in the way I react to the things that are happening in my life. They talk a lot about Judge Siler-Mack. They talk to me about the things that she deals with every day in court. Like appropriate behaviors, consequences, and responsibilities. They taught me to believe in myself. So does Judge Siler-Mack. They teach me to be kind to others. So does Judge Siler- Mack. But most importantly, they taught me that God made us a family for a reason. I know Judge Siler-Mack believes that too. So should my mom and dad. If my brothers and I can overcome some hard things that happened in our life on our own, then we can overcome anything as a family.
I know one thing. That I am going to grow up doing my best to make my family and Judge Siler Mack proud of me. And I want to be a good role model for all of my brothers. I have a long way to go, but I have made a lot of improvements. But I do know that the worst thing we can do is stop trying. I want my brothers to look up to me. So I won’t stop trying. Nobody else should either. One of my favorite baseball players said it as this “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”
So today, we become a family of 6. And although Anthony and Siler do not yet understand the significance of this day, I do. And I promise to work hard every day to help them to understand that. I want them to know that adoption is a good thing and that when they are confused or sad about something, being adopted may actually help them to get through it. And I will also do my very best to teach them about how families come in many different forms. And of course, I will make sure they know all about Judge Siler-Mack. I will tell them the story about how our connection with her began one day in a courtroom and how now, years later, it has grown into a special, important and strong bond. And if it’s left up to me, I promise everyone in this courtroom today that my brothers will know why they are named after Judge Siler-Mack and why we will have nothing but the highest of expectations for them both.
Thank you for listening to me and for allowing me to share my story with you.“
Coming up next week, 9 On Your Side’s Angie Quezada met with Judge Siler-Mack and we’ll hear from not only her but the two boys who were adopted and renamed after her.
For more information on how you can make a difference by fostering or adopting a child in need, click here.