‘It’s like it was always meant to be:’ Local family is giving a foster care child a forever home

JACKSONVILLE, fla — November is National Adoption Month and one Jacksonville couple is ready to grow their family.

“It’s like it was always meant to be,” said Robert Thompson, a new parent.

AJ and Robert aways knew they wanted to become parents.

“It’s always been a very organic conversation in our household,” said AJ Rodriguez, a new parent.

The couple got married 9 years ago.


“We constantly have been feeling like we were missing something, and it’s been what’s missing in our household,” said AJ.

And finally, they’ve found that missing piece to complete their family. AJ and Robert first met 14-year-old Jacquez this past Mother’s Day weekend.

“The first time we met him, we loved him immediately,” said Robert. “He’s been in the foster care system for almost 2 years.”

The couple said back in June, Jacquez moved into their home, and now five months later, it will be his home forever.

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ReaAJ and Robert are just one of about 5 local families planning to finalize their adoptions at the Duval County Courthouse on Friday.

“We are very excited to just get it on paper,” said AJ.

The Family Support Services of Duval and Nassau counties is continuing the work to find children in the foster care system their forever families.

Jodi Pliska, the adoptions manager, said right now the need is for teenagers. Adding there are around 250 area teenagers in out-of-home care.

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“So many of our teenagers are facing aging out of foster care and not having a place to call home and not having a place to go back home for thanksgiving,” said Jodi

And that forever home just before the holidays, is so special for AJ and Robert as new parents.

“Our house is complete, we have a dog, we have a kid, we have each other,” said AJ. “We are able to give him the support that he needs so he can grow into the person that he’s meant to be.”

For more information on Family Support Services click here.

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