Around the middle of July, the headlines were excited to announce that a Buffalo, New York, family with two girls was preparing to adopt four more girls — and that they needed $150,000.
Typically, adoption stories in the press are related to celebrities like Charlize Theron. However, this adoption story is a tale of friendship and loyalty honored in the most extreme way.
In reports around July 22, the story of the death of Elizabeth Diamond, a New York woman, was told by her two friends — Laura and Rico Ruffino.
In order to honor their friend, Elizabeth (who died of cancer at age 40 in April), the Ruffinos decided to add Elizabeth’s four daughters to their family.
Before, the Ruffinos were a family of four, and adopting Elizabeth’s children meant they were doubling in size.
To make the adoption process easier, the Ruffino’s took their cause to the press. People wrote about the Ruffino’s adoption of the Diamond children on July 21 and quoted Rico Ruffino stating the following.
“Ten years ago, I didn’t think this would be my life. But if something gets thrown at you, just accept the challenge and do the best you can.”
About the need for financial donations for the expenses related to adoption, ABC 15 wrote on July 21, “Doubling a family nearly overnight doesn’t come without challenges. Many aspects of the family’s life needed to be upgraded. The table needed to be replaced to accommodate four extra chairs, and the family needed a bigger fridge – both of which were donated.”
WKBW pointed out on July 24 that the local community responded to the Ruffinos request for adoption help and stated “Now, West Herr Auto Group is making getting around easier for the Ruffino-Diamond family by donating a van [that seats eight].”
In a longer interview with Inside Edition on July 28, the Ruffino family filled in some of the gaps about their adoption story. Laura Ruffino was quoted as saying, “We had a conversation and I told them their real mom who’s the best mom ever, is in heaven, but while they are on earth, I’ll be the Earth mom.”
New sister Isabella Ruffino, age 13, said about the newly adopted sisters in her life, “I want them to be happy and welcome to the new family, too. I want them to feel like at home again.”
As far as day-to-day routines, the family is currently cramped in a three-bedroom home, and this makes sleeping arrangements difficult. Adding to that, Laura Ruffino points out that since the adoption of the Diamond girls, “Everything has grown — the laundry, the grocery list, the daily chores.”
The Ruffino family is finding their budget is limited since the parents earn modest incomes as a teacher and hair salon owner. Laura Ruffino is quoted as saying about her newly-adopted girls that “I just want to raise them the way they need to be raised, and care for them as such as I humanly can.”
As of August 9, the Ruffino family is about $40,000 short of their $150,000 goal to make the adoption process with the Diamond girls run smoothly. To donate to the Ruffino’s adoption fundraiser, visit YouCaring.
[Feature image via Philippe Lissac / Godong / Getty Images]