In her career as a principal, Brenda Gonzales meets a lot of young people.
The San Antonio, Texas educator and her husband, Rey Gonzales, have been married since 2006, but they weren’t sure having kids of their own was in the cards for them. That was until Brenda met a very special foster student at work.
The feeling of connection with 7-year-old Breydan was so intense, Brenda turned to her assistant principal and told her, “I think I’m going to take him home.”
Breydan had already been through a lot in his life. He’d been bounced around between foster homes, never staying in one place for more than a year. He finally wound up at Southside Independent School District through the Guiding Light Residential Treatment Center, a facility for children with behavioral issues. That’s how he first attended Pearce Elementary School, where Brenda is the principal.
“What’s he’s been through? Abuse? Um, yes. Neglect? Yes. Fed on time? Based on habit, we had to figure out,” Brenda recalled of that first meeting.
During their first conversation, Breydan said something that tugged at Brenda’s heartstrings.
“He made a comment that his goal was to be adopted,” she said.
He gave her a hug, and she saw what a sweet person he is in spite of all the hardship in his life.
“I knew his past, and he pulled at my heart,” she said. “He pulled at my heart.”
Just one week later, she introduced her husband to Breydan. Rey also felt an immediate closeness to the child.
“The joy I have with him, it’s indescribable,” Rey said tearfully. “I love the kid, like he was mine. He’s witty, smart, handsome. I didn’t think a kid could make me smile or cry, but he did it. He got me by the heart and said love me, and it was so easy loving him.”
“He pulled at me and no other way, and he’s not my biological son, but he’s definitely born in my heart,” Brenda affirmed. “I just knew that connection was there.”
In November 2019, the Gonzales family made it official! They adopted Breydan, who changed his name at the same time. His name is now a combination of his parents’ names: Brenda and Rey. His middle name is Pearce, after the school where they met.
The family is loving experiencing all of the “firsts” together! Brenda says she hopes sharing their adoption story inspires others to take the plunge and give foster kids a chance at being in a loving family.
Share this story to celebrate family born in the heart.
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