Angela Young, 50, is a Baltimorean who unexpectedly learned that a woman does not have to be a biological predecessor to provide unconditional motherly love. On December 20, 2019, Young’s sister, Lorretta Young, suddenly passed away. When Lorretta was called to bid farewell to this world, Angela’s expedition as a full-time mother commenced.
“I learned that God gives the most challenging task to his strongest individuals,” Angela said.
Armed with a simple desire to do the right thing after a crisis unfolded, the stand-in mother embraced uncharted territory. She sprang into action to take care of her sibling’s two children, Heaven Moye and Cedric Love, in addition to a much-loved puppy named Maddie.
Angela, currently works as a Compliance Officer in the Financial Sector, now stays busy raising and caring for 17-year-old Heaven, and 23-year-old, Cedric. When Angela first stepped up to the plate to keep the family unit together, Heaven was just 15. The teenager had already lost her father. Her brother, who has special needs, was 20.
“I began caring for and supporting the kids since December 2019,” Young said. “It was my purpose from God to ensure that these kids and the puppy were not separated.”
Young further explained that she felt compelled from the heart to do her duty out of love. A big goal was to keep Heaven from being placed into the Baltimore County Foster Care system. She also wanted to prevent Cedric from heading into a special needs group facility through the state of Maryland.
“The kids grew up living together all of their lives,” Angela said. “I could not see them being separated at any cost.”
Angela also did not want Maddie to be taken by the Humane Society either. She welcomed the family pet to accompany Heaven and Cedric. An aunt’s desire for two young people to “flourish and live a fulfilling life” in a safe environment despite the loss of their mother was bigger than living as a single professional and business owner. Angela had carved out a well-rounded life as a single woman who enjoyed being a stylish, “world traveler.” Another change was leaving an active social life behind. Love mattered most.
“I gave up my entrepreneurial goal as a businesswoman and designer, my career as a traveling Compliance Officer in the financial sector, and I moved out of my home and found a home for us to live near Cedric and Heaven’s schools and community of friends,” Angela said.
Angela’s compassion and loyalty was threaded with selfless consideration. The devoted aunt knew that Heaven and Cedric’s needs required redefining her priorities. In addition to making major lifestyle changes, Angela discovered Cedric needed additional resources to thrive, due to his special needs and other conditions which were discovered. She educated herself about how special needs children function, then worked judiciously to connect her nephew to proper accommodations.
Instead of complaining about heavy and new responsibilities, Angela remains full of pride.
“The joy comes when I know they (Heaven and Cedric) are safe and surrounded by unwavering love, with structure and guidance,” Angela said. “The joy is seeing them together and not separated by any fault of their own.”
The family leader’s hard work is paying off. Cedric is continuing to improve and function well. Heaven is a twelfth grader who is gearing up to graduate from high school. The young woman who is an avid swimmer, fan of fashion, performing arts, music, and Tik Tok has grown to notice her aunt’s efforts and sacrifices.
“Aunt Angee has made a positive impact on my life by opening up new opportunities for me and making me more independent. I have learned special tools from her about life and especially learning how to cook,” Heaven said. “I would like others to know that my aunt works hard to live the lifestyle she has. She is always multi-tasking and taking care of the family. She can be a sergeant at times, but it works out in the long run, because she shows me that the world isn’t gonna give me anything and that I have to strive to get it.”