The bond that forms between siblings is hard to break. Four East Texas children in foster care are proof. They need a family where they can stay together. Here's their story in this KLTV 7's Gift of Love report.
One by one, these four siblings put on their roller skates at Tyler's Skate Plex. No matter how unstable the ground may be beneath their little feet, they are there to catch each others falls.
"They're loving, caring, full of laughter and they smile all the time," says caseworker Julie Singleton with the Bair Foundation.
Ruthie, Larry, Michael, or Mikey as he likes to be called, and Olita; four happy children despite a past of abuse and neglect. "They've been moved around and they've been taken away from mom and dad and they're all they have right now and they're bonded and they need to stay together," says Julie.
These children came from a home without structure or positive role models. But they are proving that the right environment can unlock their potential. Julie says, "In the year and a half that they've been in care, I've seen all four of them come so far. I mean, they have just made strides that we didn't think they could."
Ruthie is the oldest. She's 10. "I like to play games and I like to ride bike and go to church," says Ruthie.
She also enjoys playing with her paper dolls and is quiet talented at designing and making their clothes. "She's very artistic. She's a smart little girl," Julie says.
Next in line, Larry. He's 8. Julie says, "Larry loves to play outside. He is on the go all the time. He likes to ride his bike and he's excited cause he can ride without training wheels. He likes to play with cars and big dirt piles."
Mikey is 5 years old and, like his older brother, he too likes to play outside. He's been described as a "giggle box" always smiling.
And then there's Olita. She has big blue eyes and a sweet smile that will melt your heart. She loves to be held. Julie says, "She's very, very curious. She's a typical 2 year old, into everything and on the go. She has to be watched because who knows what she will get into."
Ruthie keeps a close eye on her younger siblings, especially when it comes to the uncertainty in their young lives. "I think when we first got in foster care Michael and Olita were too young to understand. I try to help them," says Ruthie.
Ruthie stays strong for her brothers and sister, but it's not always easy. "It makes me sad," she says with her eyes welling up with tears. Those tears will turn to tears of joy with the Gift of Love. It will give these children a stable foundation on which to grow.
If you'd like information on these four siblings call our Gift of Love hotline. The toll free number is 1-888-kids-275.