LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — "I met them in early 2019 when their case was assigned to me as their new casa," said Andrea Rapano, explaining how the two girls she took under her wing were special.
"There was something about them when we met where I just kinda knew they were going to play a much bigger role in my life," she said.
And then came the turning point.
"Nobody really wants teens. You know, teens are hard," she said. "So we have to find a place for them but more than likely they're going to be separated and I said, 'No.'"
"She was amazing," said Cristina. "She supported us unconditionally. Loved us like we were her own."
This brings us to the day right before Halloween when Francesca and Cristina joined an attorney, a judge and their caseworker in a Zoom call from Family Court that officially makes them all a permanent family.
Then, when it was all over, not a dry eye in the place.
"It feels like I've lived here for a really long time," said Cristina. "It's like, it's really welcoming there."
"Lock stock and barrel, my girls are mine!" said Rapano.