Meet Maria Lucila Valentino de Cabezas: Animated. Bubbly. Expressive. Energetic. Devout. Joyous. “God has given me the gift of being joyful,” she said. “Happiness is within my heart.
We have to be jubilant even through hardships. Life was made to smile, regardless of the troubles we encounter.”
And it was joy and love of life that led this mom to become a Buckner foster parent to Williams Obregon.
Meet Williams: Quiet. Introspective. Musical. Evangelistic. Loves worship. Loves God.
“I’m 20 years old. I’ve finished high school and I love music. I like to go out. I’m going to be a psychologist,” he said. “My Aunt Luci loves me, feeds me and gives me the best advice ever. She takes care of me. She loves me.”
Valentino has a lot of love to share, she confirmed. “Home is an important part of my life. I love my children, my husband and everything inside my home is treasured. That’s how I see my home.”
She connects her love of home and her children to a “sacred” calling. “I foster with love. I respect my home and my home is the most sacred thing to me. Jesus is in my heart. Because of Jesus, I have become a foster parent to Williams. Nobody is like Jesus.”
And Williams? She beams when she speaks about him, his life and his future. “Williams is very special. My family, my husband and children didn’t imagine this could happen, but God teaches us to foster with love. I praise the Lord for teaching us to love and to give warmth. We are not wealthy, but we have a wealthy heart.”
When the family made the decision to foster and were matched with Williams, Valentino knew it was the right match.
“I felt it in my heart. I felt the need to open my home. I spoke to my husband, and we decided we couldn’t leave him alone. I want to see him attain his goals. I want him to value the love and the warmth we provide. I want him to have good moral values.”
Working with Buckner, she said, also was a good match.
“They have been my right hand. They have taught me a lot of things. They’ve been very attentive and have been really special in our lives.”
Since coming into the family, Williams, who was removed from his home because of family issues, has experienced a number of positive life changes. While he sees himself as a future psychologist, he is open to becoming a pastor and worship leader in adulthood.
“When I met my foster parents, they motivated me to go to church, and the pastor chose me [to lead worship] right away and that confirmed God was calling me,” he said. “Music is a great instrument for soul salvation. We use it to worship and spread the Word. I like to use music as a way to worship God because I love music. It makes me feel good, and I know God is using me as an instrument to help others. I play music not only for the people, but really I play music for him. God is everything to me. He is first.”
Williams’ future goals are ne with Valentino. “I want him to set himself big goals and overcome any obstacle to obtain them. I see him as a professional. He is one more of my children. I’m always taking care of him, and just like with any other of my children I always make sure he is OK. I don’t know how to express myself, but he is something special in my life.”
“This home means a lot to me, because they have given me love, they have raised me, they nurture me,” Williams acknowledged. “I know I misbehave sometimes, but yet, they continue to love me.”