Tuesday's Child: Alexia finds forever home
It started as a short babysitting job, a family taking care of a little bundle of joy for her young biological mother.
"She didn't have the home or the means to take care of her, so we helped her by babysitting on the weekends," Gloria Rodrigues said.
Weekends turned into weeks, months into years, and finally, at age 7, DCYF got involved and Alexia was adopted and officially moved into the Rodrigues's house.
Rodrigues and now daughter Alexia are as close as can be.
"I love her just as much as the kids I gave birth to," Rodrigues said. "There's no difference."
"I love my parents. They're my rock and my support system," Alexia said.
She's a girl who has made her parents proud. The fireplace mantel showcases Alexia's many accomplishments, including mementos from the night she was crowned Miss Ocean State Teen.
She's been mentoring young, underprivileged children, and it's made her realize how things could have been much different.
"After I thought, you know, that could have been me. Those kids could have been me," Alexia said.
She'll be majoring in political science when she goes to college in the fall, a fantastic future ahead of her and she's thankful for her parents.
"They've made sure that I always do the best I can, be best person I can be. I really wouldn't be the person I am today if it wasn't for them," Alexia said.
The life-changing power of adoption.