SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE(CBSMiami) – Three children who lost their grandmother who cared for them, celebrated Thanksgiving with the church members who took them in. Sonia Santiesteban, 66, was murdered early last month.
Sonia, 15, Mercy, 12, and Anthony, 11, have dealt with more tragedy, uncertainty, and fear, in their young lives than many adults ever do. With their parents out of the picture they spent time in the foster care system until their grandmother Sonia Santiesteban adopted them and gave them everything she had.
Then, in early October, their beloved grandmother was murdered. Police said Santiesteban was stabbed to death inside her mobile home during an argument with her daughter, Yudenia Rodriguez.
“It’s been really hard. It’s just all new to me again I was with my grandma for 8 years so it’s just, I guess, take it day by day,” said Sonia.
They’re healing with lots of help and love especially from members of their church, Redland Church of the Nazarene. The children are now staying with Delores Ward and her husband, a couple from the church who shares temporary custody.
“I was so scared that day. I was crying because I was like ‘I don’t want to go back into a foster home.’ They’ve given us everything they’ve given us all the support they’re with us 100% and that’s why I love them,” said Sonia.
Delores Ward says she’s, “just very grateful to God that we can make a home for them.” She added, “They come home in the evening and we sit around the table dinner and have all the things children should have. We have a family devotion time.”
On Thanksgiving, the children all said they’re grateful despite all they’ve been through. “That I have food and a family and I have people who care for me and love me,” said Anthony.
“It’s really hard because every year we always used to do something with my grandma and you know it’s different because I’m not with my grandma, but I’m glad I’m with people I know and having a good time and we’re all together,” said Sonia.
Mercy added, “I’m grateful for them and I’m grateful that my grandma took me to church to know these people I’m grateful that I know them and I feel like they’re close family.”
The Wards don’t know how long the children will stay with them, but they say they will always consider them family.
There is a fund set up to help the children with
Donations can be made to:
Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe Inc.
Attn: Finance Dept
P.O. Box 010951
Please note “Sonia’s Kids”