JoDee was only four days old when she was placed in a Harlingen Foster In Texas (FIT) home belonging to Jorge and Lydia Abundiz. She had tested positive for cocaine at the time of her birth on April 25, 2013 and was immediately removed from her parent’s custody. In addition, parental rights were terminated for JoDee’s three older siblings; two are now in the custody of their great-grandparents and the other sibling was adopted by a nonrelative. At the time, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) approached the great-grandparents about also taking JoDee, but they were not up to the task of caring for a newborn. Without a suitable placement available with her biological family members, JoDee came into FIT’s care.
As JoDee’s legal case developed, the Abundiz family voiced their interest in becoming her forever family. They felt she would truly make their family complete and submitted their letter of intent to DFPS. JoDee stole their hearts from day one – along with the hearts of everyone around her – and had formed a tight bond with the family. She is a very happy child, always smiling and affectionate.
Diana Leon, FIT Family Service Worker, has worked with JoDee and the Abundiz family throughout their journey. “It has been a wonderful experience watching JoDee grow, and knowing that she is now part of such a wonderful family,” said Diana. “I remember holding her for the first time, seeing her crawl, take her first step and attempting to say my name. It has been just beautiful!”
Today, Jorge and Lydia continue to care for other foster children in their home.
If you are ready to make a difference in the life of a child, visit – www.lsss.org/go/fit – for more information.
FIT is a program of Lutheran Social Services of the South.