Eight-year-old Tina won us over instantly with her vivacious personality in 2006.
She was full of life, despite a rocky start.
"My mother had drugs in her system. I was born with drugs in my system, so I was born a little bit too early," said Tina, with whom I recently reconnected.
Baby Tina went directly into state foster care.
"I kind of lived those eight years thinking no one wants me, no one wants me," Tina said.
But Cheryl Richards did. She heard of this little girl who needed a home and saw her Tuesday's Child story.
"I thought she was adorable, and I kept watching it over and over and over," Richards said.
"I'm really grateful for her. She has brought me into another life," Tina said.
Tina fit right into the Richards family. Eva, also adopted, said she relies on Tina's famous pep talks.
"It's OK, Eva, just breathe. You can get through this step by step," Eva said, as an example.
Today, Tina is having the time of her life at Rocky Hill School in East Greenwich. She's the epitome of overcoming adversity to help others.
"I wrote a narrative, my life narrative," Tina said.
Through the Star Kids Program, which partially financed her private education at Rocky Hill and St. Michael's Country Day School, she has soared academically and as a lacrosse team co-captain.
"She is so good at guiding people and teaching them the nitty-gritty things that not everybody would be willing to teach them," a friend said.
Tina's next step is interning at Foster Forward with children still in foster care.
"I think that a lot of kids get sad and lose hope that they're not going to end up anywhere. So, hopefully, I can help them be more positive," Tina said.
After that, it's off to college with confidence.
"Going through all that hardship has made me a stronger person today," she said.
To find out more about adoption, call Adoption Rhode Island at 401-865-6000.