Central Texas teen adopted by Ohio woman who watched KWTX anchor Pete Sousa’s report

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 12:58 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A Central Texas teen who was in foster care now has a place to call home, and her adopted mother actually found her by watching a KWTX report all the way in Ohio.

Luvlee was living in a group home when Pete Sousa featured her in one of his Foster Care Project stories.

“The video of Luvlee just popped up on my phone, and I’m like, oh, ‘Wow, let me just look at the video,” Tonjia Coverdale, Luvlee’s now-adopted mother, said. “When I saw her, there was this spark in her eye. I can see this bright light, and, immediately, I said, ‘She has to come with me.’”

From there, she started the process to adopt Luvlee from over a thousand miles away.


“I only knew that she was in Texas, Central Texas, and that’s all I knew,” Coverdale said. “I knew how old she was, and I knew that she was in Central Texas. That’s it.”

Coverdale never planned on adopting, but she said Luvlee’s intelligent and wise personality changed that.

Luvlee could not believe it when her adoption case worker told her.

“I was like, ‘what?’ I kind of thought Ms. Amanda was kind of like, playing with me because she said someone from Ohio,” Luvlee said. “I was like, ‘Ohio?’ I forgot Ohio existed, and, then, that’s when Ms. Amanda came and I facetimed I was like, ‘yeah, I want to go there.’”

Now, Luvlee said she is living with a loving and welcoming family in Ohio.

“It feels good because they’re always there,” she said. “They’re such like a talkative family, and I don’t think my family was like that. I’m still not kind of used to it, but it’s good. I like it because it shows, like, the love.”

Coverdale said they are focusing on helping Luvlee transition schools and environments, but her two new siblings and dogs have enjoyed their time together over the past month.

“She’s like the missing piece of a puzzle,” she said. “She just kind of fit right in here, and I just am so happy she’s here.”

While Luvlee is grateful for finding her forever home, she hopes her story will inspire her peers to never give up hope on finding theirs.

“Don’t be discouraged because I know for the longest time, I was like, ‘Okay, I’m going to hit 18 years... in this place, and I’m here now,” she said. “It’s like, ‘have faith and have hope.’”

Coverdale hopes others parents will consider giving faith and hope to more teens in foster care to give them a home during a crucial part in their lives.

“I really feel like more people need to consider adopting older children, but I think the wisdom...that they can bring you just from their life experiences is just so enriching,” she said. “Why not share your life with someone who would really love it and appreciate it and just really benefit from just a small amount of guidance?”

Luvlee plans to continue striving to be an example of defying the odds while living in foster care. She is determined to go to Harvard and being a criminal defense attorney. She looks forward to also continue to get to know and love her new family.