Ever notice that some kids grow up with every imaginable privilege, yet turn out to be scumbags, while others (like Oprah Winfrey, for example) grow up with no one and nothing, but turn into amazing, exemplary people as adults?
While we may not know 21-year-old Melissa’s surname, we know that her heart is as big as the state she lives in: California. Melissa grew up in foster care, and not all of them were nice at all. She has two younger brothers, but the family was split when they were placed into different foster families.
As for their birth mother, the three kids came into the world at a disadvantage. Their mother was and remains today a drug addict, and spent much of the kids’ childhoods going in and out of jail. Somehow, through all these trials, a phenomenal young woman emerged nonetheless.
Not only did she enlist in the Marines and serve our country, she decided she wanted to gain legal custody of her young brothers, who she hadn’t seen even once in six years, and raise them with the guidance she herself had never had.
With a little help from the TV show Prank It FWD, Melissa set off across the country with two girlfriends to address a judge as to why she would be a fit guardian for the boys. Terrified she might be turned down – after all, she owed back rent on her desert California home and was quite young herself – she was still determined to give it all her all to take her brothers, Christian and J.J., back home with her.
So off she went to Alabama, and she left town with a few burdens removed from her shoulder when the show’s host paid her back rent in cash, gave her a $500 gas card, and bought the trio of travelling ladies two huge bags of Trader Joe’s snacks to sustain them on the long trip ahead.
Happily, Melissa’s custody wish was granted, and she was able to joyfully surprise her younger siblings at their school with the announcement that they’d be coming back with her to her California home!
Once ensconced in their home, the show host surprised them once more with a brand-new Toyota four-wheeler, and gave her a patriotic choice of either red, white, or blue. Probably one of the first new things anyone in the family had ever had, they all shrieked and cried with joy when they realized their good fortune.
So, next time you think your kids will feel deprived if they don’t get that holiday gift, remember the story of Melissa and her brothers. They had very little materially, but the love and bond they shared was the greatest gift anyone could ever have.
If you know someone who might like this, please click “Share!”