Sebastian is a young boy who was growing up in Colombia with no biological relatives. A program called Kidsave’s Summer Miracles connected Sebastian with the Barkey family for a summer. During that time, the family fell in love with Sebastian and they decided to secretly adopt him after the program ended and he flew back to Colombia.
The Barkey family fell in love with Sebastian after hosting him for a summer so they decided to adopt him.
The adoption was a true family affair. All of the Barkey children and their parents boarded a flight to Colombia to collect the newest member of their family. The reunion was caught on camera and it is a sweet and honest representation of modern families.
The moment Sebastian sees the Barkey family is an emotional experience for everyone in the room.
Sebastian is walked through the hallways of the adoption agency and led into a room with the family he has grown to love. He is immediately surrounded by the Barkey family who smothers him in hugs. The feeling of excitement and love is palpable from the video.
Sebastian even signed the adoption papers using his new last name: Barkey.
Congratulations, Sebastian. And well done, Barkey family. What a touching and sweet moment captured on camera.
There’s no denying Jessica Marie Garcia’s vibrant, go-getter personality. She makes it known to audiences and fans both on and off-screen in her role as Jasmine in Netflix’s coming-of-age comedy, “On My Block.”
You know when Garcia walks into a room. She’s just as bold, daring and warm-hearted as she appears around Freeridge, the fictional Los Angeles neighborhood OMB is set in.
Before season 3 started streaming, mitú caught up with Garcia in between breaks while filming on location in Burbank, California. She discussed big hoop energy, how she connected on a personal level with some of Jasmine’s most emotional scenes, and how she unearthed more of her Mexican roots after moving to Los Angeles.
What audiences can be excited to see in season 3 is more dialogue between Jasmine and the ‘core four,’ especially with Jason Genao’s character Ruby Martinez in a will-they-or-won’t-they? crush dance throughout the current season.
A character with as much wise advice and heart as Jasmine needed to be given more lines and fans appreciate it.
Dare we say Jasmine’s energy is big hoop energy?
Garcia talked about how Jasmine’s personalized earrings helped her step into some added fierceness before the camera started rolling.
“I was the one that had their ears pierced at three months old, ok. That’s just like a given. Especially for Jasmine, hoops hold a lot of power. And even as an actor, her ‘Jasmine’ earrings that say Jasmine in them, I put a lot of that in Jasmine,” Garcia says. “I put a lot of love and power on those hoop earrings. I always had hoops growing up. You had to be able to put your fists in them or they’re not realistic. That’s a thing. I want different sizes, different shapes. They’re important for anyone really.”
One of Jasmine’s most relatable qualities was her ability to always see the positive in the direst of situations.
Garcia was an advocate for her character to showcase this multidimensionality. She didn’t want to have a character like Jasmine relegated to being a tag-along character on the outer orbit.
Representation on TV is better for it, especially when it comes to showing love and curves.
“Being a love interest, being a thicker girl and not having to be like the ‘thing’ they always talk about means everything to me because I don’t think that we see that a lot on TV,” Garcia says. “You know I just don’t talk about being a thicker girl 24 hours a day, it’s such a strange idea that that’s all we can talk about, so I appreciated it, and I also felt a responsibility for all those girls watching, like ‘OK, you gotta do it for me.’ I’m just honored that it’s me.”
Ruby starts catching feelings for her in the show for who Jasmine is as a person and who she makes him feel when she’s around him. And isn’t that just the kind of amor bonito you want to wish upon some of TV’s best breakout characters?
Audiences can also tell throughout the course of the show’s three seasons that Jasmine is there for Ruby in a deeper sense than some of his fellow friends. As much as Ruby’s friends try to support him after his PTSD, Jasmine truly gets what he is going through because of her dad’s disability coming back from war.
Garcia knows as Jasmine that Ruby’s PTSD will always affect him.
“I don’t think that that is something Ruby as a character is ever not going to think about. You see even in these beautiful moments when we won that dance competition, and he was put in that place,” Garcia says. “[It’s good] for kids to know that these situations don’t get cleaned up in 30 minutes. This is a lifetime of pain that he has to deal with and that’s going to affect him as an adult. That’s going to affect the choices he makes. And again, that loss of innocence, it’s a huge part of him. He’s never going to be season 1 Ruby. It was a near-death experience that will affect him—and the core four.”
Garcia was able to tap into that emotion for such a pivotal scene like bringing Ruby around her family because she experienced that moment.
“I’ve lived with my grandparents my whole life and my grandmother had dementia when I was, I want to say 13 years old, she got a stroke and got dementia,” Garcia says. “She moved out here and I was taking care of her out here with my mom. And it was something strange to have friends over, because I had to tell them she might scream or she might try to leave. It’s never something that as a teenager, you want to feel more different, so having to explain that is always something that was scary to me. Because I was always like, are my friends going to be able to understand that?”
“So when I played that with Jasmine and I was introducing Ruby to her father, that was nerve-wracking because I wanted it to be something that I could be able to accept but a lot of people don’t understand what that’s like,” Garcia recalls. “It was definitely a scene that I cared about a lot and I freaked out so much filming it. Just because as an actor we’re neurotic and I always want another take, and I never think something is good enough,” she continued.
It turned out to be one of the most-loved scenes by audiences of the show.
Fans connected to it as they saw Ruby and Jasmine’s friendship blossomed.
Garcia enjoys going through her fans’ messages and is known to reply back personally and even screenshot them.
“I’m lucky enough to say I get them a lot [fan messages], and it’s really just the message of being able to see that they see themselves in me. That is something that I will never get over because growing up, I didn’t,” Garcia admits. “I had to look onto other people in order to see any kind of representation. I say this all the time—Khadijah in Living Single is the reason why I’m here today. Seeing a thick, beautiful woman not be apologetic for any of that is what I wanted to see—but thinking like oh, I’ll be that token person, you know? And I think if it’s a White show, you have a Black friend or a Brown friend, but you never have both. And that’s just not life. So the fact that we have a cast of people of color and not having to completely talk about that the whole time, just being real, is amazing. Those kinds of messages mean everything to me. I save all of them, I screenshot them. I love responding to fans. I love responding to beautiful people, yes!”
She loves to encourage her fans to learn more about filmmaking and writing in order to be the next generation of content creators.
“You can’t decide that we’re going to write for a certain demographic and then not have that demographic writing, it just doesn’t make sense. That’s why we have the same stories. It’s exhausting,” Garcia says. “I think we also have to encourage our youth to go into screenwriting and take film school and just write. That’s the biggest thing is write down everything, because you’ll learn that acting may be something you saw and saw yourself in and you’ll find this love of this other craft because there are so many departments that make this a real thing.”
Garcia has been able to explore more of her roots now that she is living in Los Angeles thanks to the show.
“When I was in Florida, it’s a pretty mixed bag. But as far as Latinos, you’re in Orlando, you’re Puerto Rican. If you’re in Miami, you’re Cuban. And like that’s it,” Garcia recalls of Florida. “They used to call me ‘Mexico’ all the time in Orlando because it was so weird that I was Mexican (I don’t know how it is now). Coming here, I was surrounded by people that looked like me, but I didn’t know their traditions or anything, and then I just felt like I was missing out this whole time. So it’s been a beautiful discovery actually. I don’t speak Spanish, which is probably the bane of my existence, but I also think I speak for a lot of first-generation Latinos who understand it all, but when I speak it it’s a little sad. I say a little prayer and a wish, but you know I’m learning, and that’s part of it too.”
Perhaps in season 4 Jasmine will get to practice her Spanish on the show in some phrases.
As global leaders continue to instruct the public to stay at home and self-quarantine amidst the Coronavirus pandemic scare, we looked to our Latinas on Instagram. Curious to see how you all are handling the situation and assuring loved ones stay safe, we asked “what ways are you trying to keep your loved ones safe?”
Here’s what you had to say!
Keeping up with health measures.
“My parents (64 & 66) are staying active by gardening, going for walks, and spring cleaning. We are all staying hydrated, taking vitamins, and not going out. We are ordering everything we may need online or for pickup. We are also airing out our house daily.”– miss_davila27
Shopping for groceries online.
“Getting our groceries through instacart. I’ve been social distancing for years, so it pays off when you’re autistic and society already looks down upon people with disabilities.”– gnerdbriizy
Picking up pharmaceuticals for older family members.
“Please offer to pick up your loved ones medications from their pharmacy. Pharmacy distributors are currently allocating medications, meaning it’s difficult to get a hold on medications. And since lately we are taking every day day-by-day, smaller neighborhood pharmacies are worried about being forced to close for the mean time due to low stock. PLEASE OFFER TO PICK UP YOUR LOVED ONES MEDICATIONS AT THEIR PHARMACY”–theblurple
Eating the right kinds of foods.
“Making sure my husband is eating nutrient dense foods”– simply_bea_
Checking in on abuelos.
“Making sure my Abuelita’s r good. N my familia n I go get the things they need.”– nayelly_bean
Getting your exercise on lock.
“FaceTimed my mom last night (who is elderly & not the healthiest) to make sure she’s using those dumbbells at home while quarantining. Quarantine does not = sitting around doing nothing, I told her 😂😂💪🏽💪🏽 she probably hates me now.”–drtyd87
Share this story with all of your friends by tapping our little share buttons below!