At 11 years old, on Christmas Eve, the Lucci quadruplets (Bianca, Madison, Tiffany & Paris), were removed from their home in Beverly Hills and put into foster care after their Mom left. Born into an abusive home with horrific abuse from their father, and with a bi-polar Mom who was largely unable to care for them, the girls were split up and sent to different foster homes.
The girls spent several years being shuffled from home to home, with the social workers showing up when it was time to go with the typical “black garbage bag” for their possessions. Often personal possessions and clothing were lost or stolen in the transition. To make matters worse, their Dad would track them down at foster homes and threaten them.
Finally, someone came along to change the direction of their lives and keep them together. Her name is Nadine. Nadine was their foster Mom and she refused to give up on them. The girls thrived with her, in a supportive and nurturing environment.
Despite the abuse and adversity they went through, these 19 year old girls are nothing short of amazing. They ALL have graduated from high school and are attending college. Three are going to Long Beach City College. Bianca Lucci is going to Humboldt State University to study criminal justice and hopes to become an FBI agent. In addition to going to college, they are all working.
Their experiences with the foster care system have prompted the Luccis to form a non-profit organization called A Case of Love. Their mission is, “to provide children entering foster care with a duffle bag containing brand new belongings of comfort and necessity to help ease their transition into foster care”.
Listen to this episode to hear The Lucci Quadruplets talk about their experiences, how foster care shaped their lives and their mission to make it a little bit easier for children as they are thrust into the system.
In This Episode
1 – Prince Has Died; Hiding In The Closet, Lying In A Pool Of Blood; Mom Left And Never Came Back2 – The Lucci Quads Are All In College And Working; Trust Has To Be Earned3 – What Would You Say To Your 10-12 Year Old Self?4 – What Would You Say To A Potential Foster Parent? Happiness Is The Key To Life
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Steve: Alright. Well, oh my goodness.
Mary: Full house.
Steve: A full house. Like, literally a full house here on Reinvention Radio today. Very much looking forward to this. I’ve got to tell you I would be remiss… I can’t go the whole episode without just at least saying this out loud. Do you know what happened this morning?
Mary: We just talked about Prince last week.
Steve: We just talked about Prince. Do you girls know who Prince is?
Steve: I just want to make sure.
Mary: Come on! They were probably born the year his first album came out.
Steve: Ooooh, that’s a great question. So, we’ve got the Lucci twins in with us – twins! I can’t even say twins…
Steve: …it’s quadruplets.
Mary: Or twin squared.
Steve: Twins squared. I don’t think I’ve ever sat down with a group – like the most I’ve ever sat down with is twins, never sat down with triplets or quadruplets. So, this is like – this is so like… This is historic on so many levels. Just so I can get this out of the way, what year were you girls born?
[Lucci Quad]: 1996.
Steve: ’96. I’m trying to think of what I was doing in ’96. That’s like 10 years ago – no, it’s 20 years ago. How many years ago was that? That’s 20 years ago, right? Jesus! ’96 is 20 years ago.
Mary: That’s because they’re 20 years old.
Steve: That’s insane! You guys are all 20. When is your birthday?
[Lucci Quad]: October 29th.
Steve: October 29th. Alright, who’s the oldest?
Madison: I am.
Steve: You are. So, you’re Madison.
Steve: So, you were first.
Steve: Who was second?
Tiffany: Me, Tiffany.
Steve: So, Tiffany was second. And third was Bianca?
[Lucci Quad]: No, it was Paris.
Steve: I only had two choices with that one. And third was Paris. Okay. Wow! Let’s kind of go through this for those who… First and foremost, thank you guys for being here. Really, really do appreciate it and thanks, Ruth, for bringing you guys here as well. So, where are you guys based? And just use the mics, get real tight on the mics and you’re here, so you can use that one, but where are you guys based?
Bianca: Well, Tiffany and I live in Palace Verdes…
Madison: …and then I also live in Palace Verdes.
Mary: You’re Madison.
Steve: We’re missing one.
Paris: I also live in Palace Verdes.
Mary: So, wouldn’t that be all of you live in Palace Verdes?
[Lucci Quad]: We like live five minutes apart from each other.
Steve: You live five minutes apart. So, take us back through… So for those who don’t know you guys, first and foremost you’re doing some radio stuff, you’re doing some TV stuff, why now? What’s going on now that you guys are sharing your stories?
[Lucci Quad]: Because we want to inspire other foster kids with our story.
Steve: Nice. So you heard the episode with Ashley, the Ashley Rhodes-Courter, or maybe Ruth heard the episode or someone in your sort of group, if you will, heard the episode. The only reason I’m asking is because somehow you came to Reinvention Radio, so I’m just curious how you ended up here because we love the fact that you are here. We’re just curious how the connection was made, that’s really where the question is. Any ideas on that? No clue. Okay, sweet.
Steve: So, let’s go back to this. We’ll bring Ruth in later. Alright, so let’s go back to this. So, you’re all in Palace Verdes right now. That’s right outside of LA, right?
Mary: Yes. That’s a nice part of town.
Steve: It’s a very nice part of town. Grew up in Beverly Hills, correct?
[Lucci Quad]: Yes.
Steve: Dad was abusive.
[Lucci Quad]: Definitely.
Steve: Definitely abusive. Mom went out for a pack of smokes and never came back.
[Lucci Quads]: Yes – Basically.
Mary: How old were you guys?
Paris: We were 11 when we were put in the foster care system.
Mary: So, wait! What made you go out the door of your own house?
[Lucci Quad]: The police were knocking on the door, so we had to go out the door.
[Lucci Quad]: But the funny story was when the police arrived to our doorsteps we were all hiding in the closet thinking we could hide from them because we got scared.
Mary: So, what prompted the police to come to the door?
[Lucci Quad]: Our Dad called the cop saying that we were home alone because our Mom left the house and went to the hospital or something and she told our Dad we were home alone, so that was his key to call the cops.
[Lucci Quad]: Because prior to that we had a restraining order on him.
Steve: So you were living with him…
[Lucci Quad]: With our Mom.
Steve: Oh, you were living with Mom. So, take us back. So, you guys were… So, the first place you lived, and just so I’m clear, grew up – at what age did you know that your father was physically and verbally abusive? Like, what memories do you guys have going back? Like, when did it first – and you can go through this individually. Like, what’s your first memory of your Dad being abusive, Madison?
Madison: Well, my first memory was when Bianca and I were going down to do his laundry and he got mad that we went the wrong way to the laundry room and he came down and started abusing Bianca but not me and I was like that’s not right, and, like, throughout my whole childhood I thought it was like a normal thing of what he was doing to us, but then like once I saw that I realized this is not okay.
Steve: So, how old were you during that period? So, that first memory, about how old were you?
[Lucci Quad]: 6 or 7
[Lucci Quad]: But the abuse, it started earlier than that because my Mom would tell us stories. Like she told us that one day she came home and I was like sitting in a puddle of my own blood because my Dad had knocked me in the nose when I was a baby, or that she came home and a whole piece of hair out of Maddison’s head was taken out because our Dad pulled it.
Mary: Was she going out to work and leaving you guys with him? Or…
[Lucci Quad]: No. She never really knew he abused us because she would always be sleeping. Like, when she would question all of us we’d all have to say no because our Dad was there because she’d end up leaving and if she left that means our Dad would hit us again but she wasn’t really aware of it. No one in the family was aware of it but us.
Mary: Or they were putting their head in the sand?
[Lucci Quad]: Yeah, basically.
Mary: So, what prompted… Do you know why your Mom walked out the door and did not come back?
[Lucci Quad]: Um.
[Lucci Quad]: Because she couldn’t take care of us. She has like Bipolar depression.
[Lucci Quad]: Yeah, she was too sick. Because I remember coming home that day and she had told me – because I came home from a friend’s house and she had told me… It was like the day before Christmas even she had told us she was going to get us more presents and I knew she wasn’t. She looked like really sick and then she had said I love you but then she never showed up, but she just like… She can’t take care of us. Like, no one – she can’t take care of us.
[Lucci Quad]: She can’t even take care of her own self.
Mary: Right. It sounds like she was struggling a lot.
[Lucci Quad]: Yeah.
Steve: So, Paris, let me ask you this. What was your first memory of something not being right in the house?
Paris: He would always send us to bed around like noon and make us sleep all day. He wouldn’t like feed us and our brothers would be outside watching TV with him, like fooling around…
Mary: You had brothers?
Paris: Yes, three.
Mary: Wait a minute, people. How old are the boys?
[Lucci Quad]: They’re like adults now…
Paris: They’re in their 20’s.
Mary: And they didn’t watch out for you?
[Lucci Quad]: No. They saw all the abuse though but didn’t like care.
Mary: Do you talk to them right now?
[Lucci Quad]: No.
Steve: Wait! Same biological mother…
[Lucci Quad]: Yeah.
Steve: …same biological father?
[Lucci Quad]: Yes.
Steve: Wow! Okay. So, just going through this – so Tiffany, what was your first recollection of like this is just not right? Something’s going on in this house or perhaps even a personal recollection of emotional or physical pain?
Tiffany: Well, I try not to remember my childhood. I don’t really remember everything, but I’d seen him abuse my sisters in front of me. Usually I would stand up for myself.
Steve: Yeah. And so just… Go ahead, Mary.
Mary: Well, that brings up their point. Even though you guys are quadruplets you have distinct personality types. So, who was the more assertive, who was the more shy, who was the more… I mean you dealt with it in your own way because you’re individuals. So, you were…
Tiffany: I would stand up for myself, like when my Dad would be abusive and stuff.
Mary: And, Bianca, how did you respond?
Bianca: I just thought it was like what Madison said it was like normal because like when you think of kids in Beverly Hills most people aren’t abused and like you don’t really know… Because we couldn’t go over our friends’ house and stuff, so I didn’t know what was normal in a household.
Mary: So, when you guys say you lived in Beverly Hills, were your parents affluent? I mean, you can live in parts of Beverly Hills and not necessarily be…
Mary: …like the Kardashians.
[Lucci Quad]: Yeah, no.
[Lucci Quad]: We started off in like a big house and then like a month later we would go from…
[Lucci Quad]: We started off in a big house and then we moved from multiple houses in Beverly Hills and then there was a time where our Mom left with us for a while and our Dad lived with our brothers in an apartment, and that’s when it all started going downhill.
Steve: So, your parents actually did separate for a period of time.
[Lucci Quad]: Our Mom would like leave our Dad but the thing about our Mom is she always runs back to him because he’s the only one that could take care of her.
Steve: At this point do you talk to your Mom or your Dad?
[Lucci Quad]: Well, right now, he’s like…
[Lucci Quad]: Yeah, he’s like threat…
[Lucci Quad]: He sends text and he made like a video of our Mom on YouTube, like having her read a script of like all of…
Mary: So, they’re together?
[Lucci Quad]: Yeah.
[Lucci Quad]: Yeah, they’re still together.
Steve: So, your Mom and Dad are still together.
Mary: Oh, my gosh!
[Lucci Quad]: Yeah.
Mary: So, do they know you’re here?
[Lucci Quad]: No.
Mary: I’m teasing. We’re all safe.
Steve: But that’s got to be terrifying, I mean because the person who is supposed to take care of you, the person who is supposed to love you is now ostensibly your biggest threat.
[Lucci Quad]: Yes.
Steve: So, I mean, on one hand it’s just natural to feel love for your parents, right? I mean, you’re just naturally you’re inclined to feel that way, but to know that this man is really just – he’s a biological part of your life, but not anyone that you would ever want in your life. So, you guys are all above age, right? You’re all 20…
[Lucci Quad]: 19.
Steve: 19, going to be 20 in October. So, once you hit 18 you are technically adults. Let’s talk. We’re going to take a break here, but let’s talk after the break about what your plans are in terms of that relationship moving forward because you do have the ability to really do whatever you want now legally including, well, a number of different options that we can go over. Alright, so very interesting here with the Lucci quadruplets. It’s just – man, it’s awesome that you guys are here. More on Reinvention Radio right after this.
Steve: Welcome back here to a very special edition of Reinvention Radio. I’m your host Steve Olsher. We have a very fully house – Mary Goulet, Rich, Otey, White Wade’s hanging around, and the Lucci
Quadruplets – that is so very, very cool. So, before the break we were talking a little bit about just the background of where you were, where you came from, how you go to this point in your lives. So that our audience is clear, are you guys – are you in – because 19 would be college years, so are you all in college, or community college, or are you working? What are you guys doing now? Let’s just start at the end. Let’s start with Bianca.
Bianca: I go to college. I go to Los Angeles Harbor College and I’m studying Criminal Justice and I plan to transfer after my two years and I also work.
Steve: I’m guessing – this is just a hunch, but I’m guessing that your first arrest after you get your degree might be someone that you know, not naming names here, but just thinking. Do you think that had anything to do…? Because, look, let’s be honest Bianca, you’ve got to feel like you’ve been given the short straw here, right?
Steve: Geez. You talk about rolling the dice and crap and it’s like – all of the cards – you can’t play these cards, and yet it’s really interesting because in life as you guys can certainly attest to it’s not the cards that you’re dealt, but it’s…
Mary and Steve: It’s how you play them.
Bianca: Yes. Very true.
Steve: So, I am sure that you feel like you’ve kind of been dealt a shitty deck, right? I mean, the cards are not cool, and you’ve had health issues.
Steve: So, you had two heart surgeries?
Bianca: Yeah, when I was a baby I was born with a hole in my heart and when I was 16 I had my second open heart surgery due to a leaky pulmonary valve and every 10 to 15 years for the rest of my life I will have to have surgery.
Mary: Okay, so we need to bridge the gap, you guys, from when you were 6 – kind of when you thought some if happened or started, and then when Mom walked out the door when you guys were 11. So, where… Can you give us an idea where you guys went? I mean, what do you do?
Steve: So the cops came, you were hiding in the closet, you thought we could just – let’s just hide and no one will find us and we’ll just live in our house, everything will be fine and they obviously found you. Was it straight into the foster care system? Did you go to an orphanage? What happened after the cops came.
[Lucci Quad]: Well, they took us to their police department and then after that they took us to the Command Post where usually foster kids stay overnight and wait for like a home, and then after that they put us in a room to sleep in because they didn’t have any homes for the four of us.
Steve: Now, this is at the police station?
[Lucci Quad]: No, at the Command Post.
Steve: At the Command Post.
[Lucci Quad]: Yes. And then like they woke us up at around like four in the morning and they took us to a home in Lynwood, so then we stayed there and then after that we went to…
[Lucci Quad]: Baldwin Homes.
Steve: When you say home, you’re not talking about someone’s residence, you’re talking about an orphanage.
[Lucci Quad]: No, a foster home.
Steve: A foster home, okay.
Mary: And they were able to keep you four together.
[Lucci Quad]: Yeah, but then we had to leave because our Dad would keep calling the foster parent and like…
[Lucci Quad]: Threatening him, so then we ended up splitting up.
Steve: So, wait! Within a day they found a home, a foster home for the four of you to go to?
Mary: And your Dad…
[Lucci Quad]: Yeah, and then we stayed there for like a couple of weeks, right? And then we got transported to – where did we go?
Bianca: To Baldwin Hills. But the reason why we left is because our Dad would like call and complain about us and say lies about us. Because we were 11 years old, so who’s going to believe an 11-year-old over their father?
Mary: Well, there’s four of you.
[Lucci Quad]: Y Yeah.
Steve: If it was just one of you it’s kind of like, alright, she’s just telling stories, but if it’s all four of you, it’s kind of like – there’s got to be truth to that, right?
Bianca: It was winter break and school was starting back up and we were still going to school in Beverly Hills, so they put us in Baldwin Hills and then the lady started taking us back to school in Beverly Hills but then she complained for that – it was a drive. And then we just went from home to home to home after that and then…
Mary: See, that makes me insane. It just makes me so mad to think that woman was being so selfish and self-absorbed when there are four 11-year-old children who of no fault of yours and your parents by mental illness or just bad dark souls…
Steve: So, let me ask you this then. When you got into that home in Baldwin Hills was it not… Because there are horror stories of – look we could…
Mary: Look at these guys’ response.
Steve: I know. I mean, just like the headshake. But let’s go down this path which are just the horror stories of the foster parents who were there for nothing more than the check.
Steve: You probably are – you’ve probably done enough research at this point to know exactly what that looks like. So, if someone takes in one child, let alone takes in four, do you know how the economics work on that? Like, why – obviously you hope that they do it out of love, but if they’re just doing it for the check, like this woman evidently was, do you know how much they were actually getting paid at that point?
Madison: We’re not sure, but I’m sure they were getting paid for each one.
Steve: Right. I’m just curious if you guys have been privy to any of that, because as you get older I’m sure some of this is going to become part of what you’re going to want to find out. Because when you’re younger you just kind of get force-fed information and you may not have the courage to ask some of these questions but as you get older your courage and confidence – I’m mean, look at you four. You’re…
Mary: You become very street savvy.
Steve: Well, street savvy for sure and college… So, wait! So, are all four of you in school or working? What’s the situation now?
Madison: Y Well, I go to a different college than…
Steve: Okay, so Madison you go to a different college. So, which college do you go to?
Madison: I go to Long Beach City College.
Steve: What are you studying there? Haven’t decided yet.
Mary: That’s okay.
Madison: And I also work.
Steve: You also work. What are you doing workwise?
Madison: I work at LA Fitness.
Madison: So I work with the kids or I work front desk.
Steve: Interesting. Wow! Let’s see, so Tiffany, do you go to school, do you work? What are you doing now, or both?
Tiffany: I go to school at LA Harbor Community College and I play basketball there.
Steve: Do you?
Steve: Nice. And, Paris, what about you? What are you doing now?
Paris: I go to LA Harbor and I play basketball there as well.
Steve: You do as well.
Mary: So, you guys live five minutes from one another. Do you live on your own with roommates, in somebody’s house, or…
Paris: Yeah, we live… Tiffany and I live with a foster parent.
Mary: Oh. Okay, so, after you went to Baldwin Hills then you went to another foster home?
Bianca: Yeah, we went to our foster home in West Covina and then we went to Palmdale and then…
[Lucci Quad]: Sherman Oaks, and then we got split up. That’s when Tiffany and Paris went to Nadine Jetts home who they are currently living with, and…
Steve: So you two still live with Nadine… So, what about you guys, where are you guys at?
[Lucci Quad]: I live with the [Simbranos], it’s a friend – a family friend.
Steve: It’s a family friend.
[Lucci Quad]: Well, not family, but…
Steve: He’s a friend.
[Lucci Quad]: Yeah, it’s a friend.
Steve: Somebody that you’ve met…
[Lucci Quad]: I consider them as a family to me.
Steve: So, this is someone that you’ve met along the way…
[Lucci Quad]: Yeah.
Steve: Who heard your story or who you knew through the family or how… Because that’s a pretty big. I mean, that’s a huge undertaking to say, come live with me, it’s one thing to say, hey I feel for you, let me see what I could do to help you, versus come live with me. So, where did this relationship come from with them?
[Lucci Quad]: Well, we had a situation that happened, so we got sent to the Command Post once again, so then…
Steve: How old were you at that point?
[Lucci Quad]: 17.
Steve: Oh, so this is just a couple of years ago, then?
[Lucci Quads]: Yes.
[Lucci Quad]: So, then my good friend, Kim, who I live with, she’s my roommate, her family took us all in…
[Lucci Quad]: And they – Kim did whatever it took to like take her into her home because she didn’t want us to be split up, so then her family took us in and from there we were living with them for about six months but I still currently live with them.
Steve: Okay. I gotcha’. So, talk about – when you meet new people it’s got to be super hard for you to trust someone who comes into your life at this point. I mean, if you can’t trust the people who are supposed to love you, unconditionally more than anyone else on the planet… I mean, your Dad is supposed to love you unconditionally, your Mom’s supposed to love you unconditionally, and when that trust gets broken how hard is it for you to develop new relationships at this point? Let’s just start with Paris.
Paris: Um, I mean, I go by the saying that trust has to be earned, so, I mean it’s hard, but…
Mary: And your instincts must fire. Like, you could be going to school and you’re just like – I could imagine it being very palpable when you’re like – danger, danger! You know what I mean?
Mary: When you meet people?
Steve: Yeah. So, Tiffany, what about you? Do you find it hard… Because basketball is a team sport, so you have to be able to trust your teammates, you have to be able to know that they’ve got your back, all that. Did you find – and maybe Paris you could speak to this as well, but did you find that it’s hard to develop those relationships or… You guys seem so unscathed in the scheme of things here, just kind of give us a little bit of insight before we’ve got to go to break here. So, what’s that like being on a team where you have to be able to trust your teammates and work together as a cohesive whole.
Tiffany: Well, going back to (inaudible 24:08)…
Mary: You should see these girls. They’re so funny.
[Lucci Quad]: It takes time.
Tiffany: Like we were in and out of 10 to 15 foster homes until we like got placed into Nadine Jetts’ home, and that’s like literally the only foster parent I trusted, like as soon as we got placed in because it was a homey feel and she like really showed she cared about us and everything. And, yeah, I could trust Nadine but no one else, like the fosters…
Mary: You certainly don’t trust them.
Steve: No, please. But let’s talk about Nadine here after the break because she must be a pretty amazing woman, right?
[Lucci Quad]: Yeah.
Steve: I mean, this is someone that you… Clearly there’s love there when you talk about her. Let’s talk about Nadine after the break. More with the Lucci quadruplets here on Reinvention Radio right after this.
Steve: Welcome back to another edition of Reinvention Radio. We’ve got a full house, Mary Goulet, Rich Otey, and the Lucci quadruplets are here: Paris, Madison, Bianca and Tiffany. Wow! That’s awesome. Great names, I will say that. Those are really, really good names. Let’s do this. What would you say to someone who is listening to the show who is a foster kid like maybe they’re 10-11-12 because you could look back and you know the conversation you would probably have with yourself if you could talk to your 10-11-12-year-old self. What would you say… Let’ start with Madison. So, what would you say to someone would is 10-11-12, someone right around the time when your Mom left and all of this really went down, but the abuse and all that crap with your Dad, let’s push that to the side right now. But let’s just talk about what would you say to someone who is in that situation right now? What would you tell that 10-11-12-year-old girl?
Madison: I mean, I would tell her it’s hard but I would make sure to tell her not to give up because soon she will come across people that actually care about her and soon – if she doesn’t give up, she’ll be proud of herself and she’ll look back at it and be proud of herself for not giving up.
Steve: In your mind what does giving up look like?
Madison: Well, failing – giving up on school, giving up on anything really.
Steve: So, what could that person – what could that self-dialogue be like? What could they say to themselves when things are just as bad as they could possibly be?
Madison: Well, how I would look at it is I would tell myself – there’s many times I wanted to just give up like I can’t do it anymore, but then I look at my future and how I want to succeed and show everyone that’s put me down. Like, look at Madison now, like, look where she is, look where she stands. That’s just who I am as a person, so…
Steve: Sure. Paris, what about you? What would you say to the 10-11-12-year-old girl who is struggling, she’s in the foster care system, what would be that conversation?
Madison: I would just tell her to be strong, just don’t lose hope and just live every day and be proud of herself and just be strong, don’t give up.
Steve: What does that look like to be strong in your mind? What could she do?
Madison: Just keep going to school, having fun – try having fun, and then make good friends and just build relationships with people that love you.
Steve: Tiffany, what do you say?
Tiffany: Just to be strong and don’t give up.
Steve: Yeah. What did you tell yourself? So, when things were hard for you, Tiffany, what sort of things did you tell yourself to get through that difficult time?
Tiffany: To be strong and know that I had my sisters with me, so we’re like a pack, we stick together.
Steve: For sure. Bianca, what would you tell that 11-12-year-old girl?
Bianca: That you have a future ahead of you. I mean, I feel like so often when you go through the system, when you’re little you dwell on the past, like, oh, I should have done this or this and like you lose hope because you look at other people that have families and wonder why I wish I could have had a family like that. But I always remember I want people to look at me in 10-15 years and be like wow she made it, or her and her sisters made it, like look at how far they’ve come.
Mary: You can already say that.
Mary: You already did it, girls.
[Lucci Quad]: Not just yet. Just college.
Mary: There are a lot of people that came from awesome families that are not going to college.
Steve: Yeah. And awesome’s a relative term, right? Look. We all have our different treks, we all have our different paths, and some of those folks that have that path paved with gold, they turn out to be assholes anyway, right? It doesn’t matter what path they go down, right? I mean, all that you guys need to be thinking about at this moment is that the next step on the path is yours to create because ultimately when you look at the past you can’t live in that past and a lot of people do live in that past. But one of the things that I think you would tell the 10-11-12-year-old girl is the fact that no matter what happened to you it doesn’t define who you are and who you have to be.
Mary: It really tells the story about your parents because they’ve not changed, and this is stable – mentally stable and emotionally stable people do not do this because we are to be hardwired to love our children. So, clearly, there was something – they missed a wire, they missed a gene… And, so, I would imagine that as you get older and as you are more accomplished than you already are you’re going to have compassion because they’re still in it and you’re not.
Steve: Yeah. So, do you guys go to any of the foster homes or to the orphanages or do you have any line of communication right now with kids who are in that system?
[Lucci Quad]: No, I don’t think so.
Steve: Is that something you could envision yourself doing, going and talking to some of the foster kids or maybe even writing… Because I think you guys were thinking of writing a book, right?
[Lucci Quad]: Yes.
Steve: So, that’s part of the plan. Talk about what are two or three key things that you would want to make sure are in that book? I mean obviously you’ve got your own story and the story is to be shared and should be shared but that story serves as a springboard for people to go beyond right where they are now. And you guys, whether you know this or not, you are actually inspirational. I mean, you guys actually inspire others. I don’t know if you recognize that or not because I can see that it’s something that you kind of get but you don’t really embrace. You’ve got to embrace the fact that by doing what you’re doing and just being who you are and getting to where you are now you are an inspiration, each and every one of you is an inspiration. So, embrace that and recognize that when you have an opportunity to share that journey, to share that story, and to give the words that others in your situation 10 years ago needed to hear, just make sure that you do it, right? So, what do you think will be in that book? What sort of words of inspiration can you imagine being, other than your story which is inspirational in and of itself? But what do you want to make sure is in that book? Let’s start with you, Bianca.
Bianca: Education is important and don’t give up on school.
Steve: Tiffany, what do you want to make 100% sure is in that book?
Tiffany: That every kid builds character through all the adversity out there.
Steve: Paris, what are you thinking?
Paris: Build relationships with people that love and care of you and make sure it’s the right people as well.
Steve: For sure. And Madison, what do you think? What do you absolutely want to make sure is in that book?
Steve: Yeah. So, how do you do that? For those who have had tough times in the past, have had difficulty establishing relationships, who do you go about finding someone to have? Because you guys have each other, which in and of itself is an incredible blessing, right? Because when you need to talk to somebody about what’s going on in your life, who’s going to understand you better than one of your sisters, right? Because you guys have been there together, but when you have the opportunity to meet someone new, do you tell them about your history? Is that something – are you embarrassed by it? Like, does it bring shame to you or is that something that you share?
[Lucci Quad]: It’s definitely embarrassing. Like, people would tell me like you shouldn’t be embarrassed of your story, but as a foster kid and looking back on everything like me and my sisters went through, like just like meet someone and be like, oh I went through this and that – you don’t want to tell someone that. It’s like you opened up and you don’t know if they’re going to ever let you down.
Steve: Yeah, so what would you say, Tiffany?
Tiffany: I got a brain fart…
Mary: That’s allowed.
Steve: It’s all good. I’m just saying…
Steve: No, no, no, it’s fine. So, the question is only if you have the opportunity to meet someone knew which you have plenty of those opportunities do you share the story, are you embarrassed by the story, do you use it as fuel to propel you forward? How does this come into play with your new relationships?
[Lucci Quad]: Like, with our friends?
Steve: Like, with new friends, yeah.
[Lucci Quad]: Well, whenever we told people that we’re like in foster care we would get made fun of, so we didn’t like saying that, so it was kind of tough. People just don’t get it.
Mary: Just because they’re uncomfortable. I don’t think they’re judging you. I think that they don’t know how to manage it within themselves.
Steve: Paris, do you think there’s a stigma attached with kids who are in or have been in the foster care system?
Steve: How so? Like, what do you think people are saying… When you tell them you were a foster kid, what do you think they are thinking?
Paris: I don’t know, like surprised, but they don’t know what to say because they’ve never been in that situation.
Mary: And also there’s two different parts of it. While you were in the system you may have gotten one response, and now that you’re out and you’re accomplished and you’re moving forward with your lives like anyone else, they probably have a different response.
Paris: Yeah, a lot of people are very proud of us.
Mary: And they should be, as we are.
Steve: Yeah, for sure.
Paris: Thank you.
Steve: Just out of curiosity, do you have uncles and aunts – do you have any relationship?
Steve: You do?
Paris: We have two cousins…
Steve: And you have a relationship with them… Three, four.
[Lucci Quad]: Three.
Steve: Three, there you go. Alright, so let’s do this. We’ll take a quick break here on Reinvention Radio as we talk to the Lucci quadruplets more right after this.
Steve: Welcome back here to another edition of Reinvention Radio, hanging out with the Lucci quadruplets. So, the question has to be asked. I meant to ask this like way, way, way, way long ago. Is there any relation to Susan Lucci, like any?
[Lucci Quad]: No.
Steve: Because I was going to say because like – it’s like Lucci, it’s a unique name. Question of the moment. Is A Case of Love – what is A Case of Love? Who wants to answer? I’ll pick somebody, Paris, go!
[Lucci Quad]: It’s like an organization, like a little charity to give like foster kids duffle bags with like goodies in it that way when they go home from home they’re not taking a trash bag and losing items. That way they can put their items in this bag and take it to another home without losing anything.
Steve: Yeah. And this is your organization.
[Lucci Quad]: Yeah.
Steve: This is something that you guys started. And so Ruth who brought you here was talking a little bit about why you guys are doing this and obviously it’s to empower foster kids, to give them hope, to inspire them, and also to spread word about your story in the hopes of maybe being able to get something going maybe… Like, are you guys thinking about TV and doing something like that? Would you do that? What do you think?
Paris: That’d be cool. I mean to be on TV, yeah.
Steve: What would you want that show to be about? So, there could be a show about the Lucci quadruplets, what would you want that show…? So, Paris, what would be the focus of that show. Just your everyday lives, following you guys around, sort of like keeping up with the Kardashians but much, much better.
Paris: Yeah, much better.
Steve: Much better. Yeah. In a way that people actually appreciate and…
Paris: Respect us.
Steve: Respect, yeah. Very cool.
Mary: Well, also foster care – the kids – advocates for children and exposing – who is the gal, Ashley…
Steve: Ashley Rhodes-Courter.
Mary: That we had on. Hey people, the system needs to be work…
Paris: Yeah, definitely.
Mary: It really needs to be overhauled if the people are looking at children as a paycheck.
Mary: And then saying, you know what? I don’t want these children. Come on!
Steve: What would you say to someone who has the ability to bring in a foster child – what would you say to that potential foster parent to encourage them to get involved with bringing in a foster child or two or more if they have the ability to do that? So, Bianca, what would you say to them?
Bianca: If you’re going to bring a kid into your home, don’t just do it for the paycheck that comes in the mail and love them as if they were your own kid. Because when you go through the system you need love, like – you’re obviously not getting it from your parents because you’re not living with them, you’re living in a random home. So, don’t do it for the paycheck.
Steve: Tiffany, what would you say? Someone who’s thinking about it but hasn’t quite said, okay, I’m going to ahead and do this. What would you say to that parent who’s potentially thinking about bringing in a foster child? Notice how I repeated the question for you?
Tiffany: Yeah, thank you.
Steve: I just wanted to make sure… Yeah, no more brain farts. I gave you the whole question again.
Tiffany: So, don’t do it for the paycheck and show the kid love and really make them feel like they’re at home, basically.
Steve: The most important question of all is are you a guard, are you a forward, are you the center – where are you playing on the squad there?
Tiffany: Big dog – like 3-4. I play like all spots except for the point guard position.
Steve: Do you find yourself taking out just a little bit of aggression on the court?
Tiffany: Yeah. I get mad a lot.
[Lucci Quad]: A lot!
Steve: It’s got to be a good outlet for you, right – you start banging around under the boards and this is my position, I’m getting that ball and like – yeah. So, that’s pretty good. You’ve got an outlet to like letting all that out. So, Paris, you’re a let me guess, you’re a 1-2.
Steve: Point guard or shooting guard…?
Paris: Shooting guard.
Steve: Shooting guard. You got the shot.
Mary: I have no idea what you guys are talking about. So, ignore Mary.
Steve: No, do not ignore Mary. So, what would you say to a parent who’s thinking about potentially brining someone into their home or having a foster child?
[Lucci Quad]: Just to make the kid happy, because happiness is the key to life.
Steve: So, how could you make somebody… It is, for sure, I mean just brilliant words. How can you – how could somebody make you guys happy? What could they have done? Because it’s little things that we tend to forget about how important they are. So, what are some of those smaller little things that you remember receiving and feeling like this was just – wow! This really means a lot.
[Lucci Quad]: Well, Nadine – like, for example, Nadine would come to our basketball games and cheer us on. Like, she was our biggest fan in the stands.
Steve: You glow! Look at her. She’s like glowing when she talks about that, right?
Mary: I know it. I know.
[Lucci Quad]: Yeah. She’s just an amazing person in like everything that she has done for us and she just wants us to succeed in life and just like… Yeah.
Steve: So, there’s nothing material there at all.
[Lucci Quad]: No.
Steve: That’s just showing up…
[Lucci Quad]: To a game, yeah, pretty much.
Steve: Showing up to a game, encouraging you to do as best you can in terms of activity as well, but just so much meaning in that gesture, huh?
[Lucci Quad]: Yeah. Like, we always tell her come to our games – that’s so...
[Lucci Quad]: She’s just so funny, like in the stands. She’s so funny.
Steve: Madison, what would you say to a foster parent who’s – not a foster parent yet, but someone who has the ability to be a foster parent or someone who is thinking about it but hasn’t yet pulled the trigger to make it happen?
Mary: Yeah, and the reality of the experience from your perspective, the child’s perspective, not their perspective.
Madison: I would say treat them as if they were your child or son.
Steve: Okay. So, by treating them as your daughter or your son. So, what does that look like? Because I’m… From your experience.
Madison: From my per experience from living with the [Simbranos] they would – the whole family. They have kids of their own, so them bringing all four of us into their home meant a lot to me. It showed that they really cared. So, them coming to my games meant a lot and for them just being there for me whenever I needed them meant a lot as well. It just showed how much they cared and that’s when I started to build trust with them.
Mary: I imagine that when you guys went into a new home you wanted that experience for them to treat you as if you were their own. However, they had to have the patience to let you realize that they were going to do that because I’m sure you walked into some homes and you’re like this isn’t going to last.
[Lucci Quad]: Yeah, definitely.
Steve: And so let’s just round robin here real quick in the last couple of minutes. Bianca, who inspires you?
Bianca: When I went through the home I met two staff that are both now LA police officers, Ms. Asia and Ms. [Cashana]. I think they’ve been the most inspirational people in my life. They taught me like you have a future, like you go out there and make it and I love them for that.
Steve: Yeah, for sure. Tiffany, who inspires you?
Tiffany: My coaches, Nadine Jett, Dave – just a group of people inspire me and they really care about me, so…
Steve: Paris, who inspires you?
Paris: Nadine, Dave, my friends, and of course, Ruth Collins.
Steve: And of course, Ruth Collins, we’ve got to give it up – Yay, Ruth for bringing you here. Yay, that’s awesome. Yay, Ruth. And finally, Madison who inspires you?
Madison: My high school coach, Coach Nat and the people I live with the [Simbranos] and Ruth.
Steve: And Ruth, absolutely. Final words. Anything that you absolutely want our listeners to know.
[Lucci Quad]: Thank you for listening.
Mary: And then Facebook, what about… Can anyone reach out to you on Facebook?
[Lucci Quad]: You could reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook…
[Lucci Quad]: Instagram…
[Lucci Quad]: Instagram…
Steve: And, so, is it @Lucciquad…
[Lucci Quad]: @Lucciquadruplets and @ Lucciquads
Mary: How do you spell Lucci?
[Lucci Quad]: L-u-c-c-i.
Steve: Okay. Any other words? Final words here. Bianca, anything? What do you got?
Mary: Whatcha’ got?
Steve: I know you got something. Final words of inspiration.
Mary: Isn’t this fun for an interview?
Bianca: Any foster kid that’s listening, I would say don’t give up, we are here for you if you needs us, you could contact us through Facebook or Twitter.
Steve: And on Facebook there’s a Fan Page, that sort of thing…
[Lucci Quad]: Yeah.
Steve: Do you know what the Facebook Fan Page is?
[Lucci Quad]: It’s the Lucci Quadruplets. And you could subscribe to us too.
[Lucci Quad]: Yes.
Steve: Absolutely. See how good you’re getting. Now you’re… [talkover] Awesome. And it’s CaseofLove.org as well.
Steve: It’s another place where people can go. Paris, Madison, Bianca, Tiffany – the Lucci Quadruplets. It’s been a blast. Thank you for joining us here on Reinvention Radio. Mary Goulet, Rich Otey, I’m Steve Olsher. We’ll talk to you guys next time.
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