Thank you to everyone that has shared how Andrew touched your Life. We had no idea he had done this with so many people and this has helped make our pain and heartache a little more bearable.
Ultimately, we know there remains many unanswered questions, especially the "why" of his decision, there is also deep pain and hurt that will linger in our hearts for a time to come, if not forever. We want to thank everyone that was a part of Andrew's Life, no matter how small or big a part you had. He truly enjoyed making other people feel acknowledged and cared for and each of you helped give him the same. That might be hard to believe in a time like this but we know it is true.
This website and the stories, pictures, posts, videos and tributes you share with us, will help us remember his smile, his spirit, his joy and the special moments we all shared with him.
And just as importantly, it will help us remember our promise, in memory of Andrew, to not allow ourselves to be defined by our mistakes, to connect with each other, to not suffer in silence and to reach out to someone...anyone, when we are hurting.
If you have a story, pictures or anything you would like to share please email Andrew's mom: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please join us through our non-profit work, started in honor of Andrew and others like him. Join us as we heal, connect, learn, grow and ultimately not only live and succeed but thrive and enjoy the journey of Life.
Please visit www.vidacenter.org
Andrew Uriel Hernandez was born on 7/18/2000 in Garden Grove, Ca. He was born with the last name Solis but became a Hernandez in 2006 when he joined our family through adoption along with his older siblings, Brenda and Marco.
Andrew was the tallest of all of us. In fact he was the tallest Mexican we have ever known, he was 6'5" tall. His goal had been to be at least 6'7", he LOVED being tall. He had an amazing ability to get along with all ages, he would let little kids hang and play with him for hours on end with no sign of impatience whatsoever. He was just as caring and patient with his older siblings Marco and Brenda as his younger brother, Erick.
Andrew joined our family when he was 6 years old and dabbled in all sports since that time, including little league, swimming, wrestling, basketball and of course soccer which was a MUST for all of our children. However, it wasn't until he was "recruited" (because of his size) freshmen year in high school that he found his first love, FOOTBALL.
Andrew attended Westport Heights elementary in Los Angeles and when we moved to Ojai Valley in 2009, he attended Sunset Elementary. He attended Santa Barbara Junior High and SB High School when we moved back to our hometown of Santa Barbara in 2014. Andrew loved being a Don like his Mom. In the beginning Andrew's Dad could never understand the pride of being a Don and the saying Dons have "Once a Don, always a Don". Andrew did what his Mom never thought would be possible, Andrew made it so that his Dad became proud of wearing SBHS/Dons gear.
Despite his significant learning disabilities and academic challenges, Andrew made us very proud in having been accepted to College, he would have been the first in his birth family to attend.
Andrew had a resiliency that we cannot even begin to describe. To some, that might seem ironic since he chose to end his Life to end his pain. However, as his adoptive parents we know what Andrew endured and suffered as a child and the strides he had made despite his early trauma. To say that he had a "rough start" from birth to age 6, would be an understatement. Despite his difficult start in Life, Andrew had a beautiful smile, a great sense of humor and a deep, deep sense of compassion for others and truly was an "old soul". His peers had nicknamed him BFG, Big Friendly Giant a few years back and there could not have been a better nickname for Andrew.
Andrew was the best son, brother, nephew, cousin, athlete, teammate, student, friend, peer, employee and even stranger, that anyone should be so lucky to have in their lives. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, for being a part of his short Life here with us. Just as he touched many lives, we know that many of you, touched his Life as well and we thank you for that.