When Natalie Young just completed the El Paso County Sheriff’s Academy and earned her badge from the Colorado sheriff’s office, it was a time for her that seemed like she had come full circle in her life.
The cop who pinned her badge was none other than the man who had rescued her from a drug home in Escondido, California, when she was a critically frail six-week-old infant.
Officer Jeff Valdivia was dispatched to a well-known drug house in Escondido on November 2, 2000, in response to a call for assistance in the arrest of a parole offender who was present there. When he arrived at the house, he saw that the conditions were appalling, and he left immediately.
He saw a teenage mother who displayed evidence of recent drug use as well as a badly malnourished newborn girl in front of him. Even though he had never taken a child into custody before, his colleagues police persuaded him that it was the appropriate action to take in this situation.
“You hope there are no cracks in the system and you hope everything works the way it’s supposed to,” Valdivia told CBS News. “You hope everything works the way it’s supposed to.”
To our great relief, everything turned out okay.
Shelley and Jeff Young got a phone call regarding a baby that might be available for adoption a few weeks after the baby was rescued by Valdivia.
“They told us, ‘we have a kid for you, but she is really sick from head to toe,’” the woman recalled. Shelley shared her thoughts with The San Diego Union-Tribune, saying, “It’s difficult to look at her, and she will always be severely crippled.” “It was a difficult time. But we’re firm believers. Since it is instructed in the Bible to care for widows and orphans, our group decided to participate. We assured her that we would take her, but the situation was really difficult.
The newborn, who would later be known as Natalie Young, had a difficult start to her life, but once her parents relocated to Colorado, she was able to start flourishing there.
Natalie explained, “Even when I was a child, I had challenges that I had to overcome.” “I participated in every sport that piqued my interest. I was adaptable and willing to try everything once. I never intended for my troubles to be an excuse for me.
As soon as she found out how she had been saved as a newborn, she decided that she wanted to work for the police department. She idolized the officer who had been instrumental in preventing her death and wanted to follow in his footsteps.
Natalie, too, was looking for a way to express her gratitude to him.
Shelley became a dispatcher for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office after attending the sheriff’s academy, from which she graduated, five years ago. She made use of her connections and was successful in locating the officer who had been the one to save the life of her daughter.
Shelley made contact with Valdivia a few weeks before Natalie’s graduation ceremony, and she described the issue to her. Would he be open to taking a trip all the way from California to Colorado for the important event?
“Knowing that I’m a part of her history gives me an indescribable sense. On the other hand, I came to a conclusion and completed some papers. He added that Jeff and Shelley Young were the ones who ended up saving her life. “Knowing that she wanted to be a police officer and that everything we did influenced her, it just validates an entire career,” said the officer. “It’s a great feeling.” It was all for a good cause.”
Since graduation, the two have continued to communicate with one another, and there are currently preparations being made for Natalie to meet Valdivia’s family.