Teacher adopts special needs student whose mother died when he was small

Angel Quezada Cervantez and Tina Vesey read a book together. She adopted him when he was five. Now he's 20 years old.
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 7:08 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Thanksgiving is a time to appreciate the generosity of others.

Especially those who seem to go far above and beyond any call of duty.

Tina Vesey of Hathaway made a decision 15 years ago that forever changed the life of a small child and those who now call him part of the family.

Angel Quezada Cervantez was three years old when he met Tina Vesey, who was his teacher in Houston, and she says there was an immediate connection.

“He came to my classroom when he was three years old and I found out that his mom, his biological mother, had passed away when he was two and a half. When he came to my room the only word he knew was Ma.”

That was 15 years ago and now they live in rural Jeff Davis Parish. Angel, pronounced ON-hill in Spanish means angel. There was no family able to care for him. By the time he was five, Tina knew, Angel was meant to be her Angel and she’s been his mom ever since.

“He’s a gift from above. We enjoy him everyday.”

At first hearing, one might wonder if Angel is in pain since he makes loud sounds. No, says Tina, it’s just the way he expresses himself.

Tina says he’s usually happy.

“He teaches you to be happy. He teaches me to be happy in life. Appreciate all the small things. Just like a mom with a new kid, you can tell when he’s agitated, he may not say anything, but from the sound that he’s making. Or you can also tell when he’s happy. Those are happy sounds.”

Reporter: “They are?”

Tina: “Those are happy sounds (laughing.) And sometimes we have no idea what he’s saying. We call it the Angel language.”

If there are challenges in raising Angel, you’d never tell by watching them together.

Tina and her cousin Yvonne Landry are like sisters. She says with their big family there’s always someone to help and she says the whole family adores him.

“He was teensy and everybody just loved him,” said Landry.

“I knew she’d have all the help she needed and we encouraged her to get him because we needed him. Our family needed him that love and specialness,” she said.

He enjoys games...reading books...singing...

And mom’s tickling always makes him smile ear to ear. Angel and his mom are thankful for each other and wish everyone....”Happy Thanksgiving.”

Tina encourages people to not be shy about getting to know Angel and others with special needs.

She’s thankful for all the love he’s brought into her life.

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