UHV staff member crosses paths again with abandoned baby he helped find a home
The abandoned baby University of Houston-Victoria staff member Ovidio Garcia helped 19 years ago has entered his life once again as he works with her to continue her college education.
Garcia spent 20 years as a Child Protective Services investigator before he became the community college program coordinator in UHV’s Letting Education Achieve Dreams program a year ago.
One night 19 years ago, he was assigned the case of a 2-day-old baby abandoned in the parking lot of the DeTar Navarro hospital in Victoria.
“She only had a note that said her name was Angel and asked someone to please find her a good home,” Garcia said.
He held her in his arms and became determined to find her the best home possible.
“Baby Angel” became a cause célèbre in the media, and more than 100 people offered to adopt her. In the end, after much thought and deliberation, Garcia made the decision to place her with a single mother.
“He picked my mom,” said Hannah Angel Davis, now 19 years old. “He picked the right one for me.”
That family grew to include a father and seven adopted brothers and sisters who Hannah helped look after. She blossomed in that loving environment and even formed relationships with several members of her birth family, including a sister, brother, uncles and cousins.
And that could have been the end of the story if her mom, Yvette Davis Jackson, hadn’t run into Garcia at an event at UHV earlier this year. She still recognized him after almost 20 years.
About that time, Hannah had moved back to Victoria after attending school in Missouri because she couldn’t bear to be that far away from her beloved parents and siblings.
Jackson mentioned that Hannah needed some help getting situated in college now that she was back, and Ovidio said he could help. Getting students into and through school is the mission of the LEAD program and part of Garcia’s current job.
“When I was first supposed to go in and meet him, I was anxious,” Davis said. “I was meeting the person who placed me in a home where I am so happy.”
The two had not been in contact since Garcia placed Hannah with her family.
“It’s just kind of weird that our paths crossed again,” Garcia said. “It’s amazing because I held her in my arms when she was just a baby.”
The meeting was a good one, both said.
“We talked and caught up on the last several years,” Hannah said.
Garcia helped her register for summer classes at UHV and get set up for fall classes at another school with her chosen degree.
“I’ve been doubly blessed to get to help this girl twice in one lifetime,” Garcia said.
Garcia’s advice as a counselor for Hannah carries a special weight given his track record.
“I know whatever he does or says, he means well, and in the end, it will benefit me,” she said.
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.
Thomas Doyle 361-570-4342