PLANT CITY, Florida. – A Plant City woman who dreamed of being a foster parent since middle school uses a Facebook blog to raise awareness about fostering, adoption and children with special needs.
Among the goat, pig, and horse that roam free on a Plant City farm, you’ll find a determined and sweet 5-year-old boy named Luca June.
“His favorite thing is definitely anything to do with water,” said his mother, Destiny Fiaschetti.
She calls her Junie.
“Strong as juniper. Strong and tough,” Fiaschetti said.
Junie’s strength can be drawn from the obstacles he has already faced in his young life.
“Junie has septo-optic dysplasia which is an umbrella disorder that includes optic nerve hypoplasia where his optic nerves have not developed properly so he is blind. He has a seizure disorder that accompanies septo-optic dysplasia and he is also autistic,” Fiaschetti explained.
He was also in foster care.
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“I’ve known I’ve wanted to be a foster since I was in college. It’s been a huge passion for me. I always knew I wanted to adopt and it always seemed like a very obvious need, you know. I was specifically cleared for high-risk kids. Kids with high special needs or high behavioral issues or large groups of siblings,” Fiaschetti explained.
A few years ago, she received a call that changed her life.
“We have this 2 year old blind kid in a shelter. He’s been in the shelter for a few months. Is there any chance you could take him for a little while and it was like a moment yes why is Is he still at the shelter and why wasn’t I called sooner? Please bring him to my house,” she said.
She said Junie was initially worried.
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“When they brought him in they actually warned me don’t get too close he’s going to bite you and I just slowly climbed up and started talking to him and explaining where he was and who he was. i was and why he was there and i asked if he wanted a hug and he immediately clung to me and he didn’t let go of me and he stole my heart in one instant,” recalls Fiaschetti.
Now they are part of the family forever.
“At first it was just a foster case where parental rights were still intact and they had the option of seeking services. About a year into the case, it became clear that Junie was going to need an adoptive placement and so they asked if you are considering adopting him and it was like yes a thousand times like he was my baby. I would love to adopt him,” Fiaschetti exclaimed.
And they added another family member named Merlot from Southeastern Guide Dogs.
“She gives him that extra confidence, gives him that experience of what it will be like to have a dog with him 24/7 when he’s old enough to have a guide dog,” said said Fiaschetti.
Fiaschetti documents Junie’s accomplishments in a Facebook blog titled “Adventures of a June Bug.”
“A kind of awareness, firstly, for foster children. but also to raise awareness about blindness and you know that blindness is not that end, everything to be a disability that stops your life,” Fiaschetti explained. . “He’s a kid that a whole foster home state said no to and he sat in a shelter at age 2 and everyone loves him. So that’s what you leave your fear will stop. These children are beautiful and they need love and they need homes.”
She wants everyone to see that there are limitless possibilities for children like her son.
“He runs around playing with his friends and he helps out on the farm. He likes to ride horses. He’s learning to swim. He rides a bike,” she said. “He’s perfect and I want him to grow up in a world that believes him too.”
LINK: Click here for more information on ‘Adventures of a June Bug’.