NICU Nurse Adopts Teen Mom and Her Premature Triplets to Help Them Avoid Foster Care

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 21, 2023   |   1:42PM   |   Indianapolis, Indiana

An Indiana nurse who bonded with a young mother about teen pregnancy went above and beyond her duty by adopting the teenager and her triplet babies this winter.

Live Action News reports Katrina Mullen, of Brownsburg, opened up her home to 14-year-old Shariya Small and her triplets so that they would not be separated in foster care.

Then, on Feb. 6, Mullen officially added Shariya and her babies to her family of five by adopting them in Indiana court.

A NICU nurse at Community Hospital North in Indianapolis, Mullen said she met Shariya and her babies when the triplets were born prematurely at 26 weeks of pregnancy, according to Scrubs Magazine.

During the triplets’ four month hospital stay, Mullen said she began to connect with the teen, sharing how she also had been a teenage mother.

“I would go sit in the office with her and talk about basically anything,” Shariya told the Indy Star. “I would tell her some of my secrets, and she talked to me about her experiences with being a teen mom. That’s one of the things we clicked on while I was in the hospital.”

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At one point, Mullen remembered telling Shariya: “If you need anything, I will be there for you.” And she meant it. She kept in contact with the young family after the triplets were discharged from the hospital, sending gifts and driving the hour-long trip to visit them. People began to refer to Shariya as Mullen’s “adopted daughter,” according to the report.

But, being so young and having three infants to care for, the family did struggle, and Indiana Department of Child Services became involved. One day, Mullen said Shariya called her in a panic about the situation, and she invited them to live with her and her family.

Months later, Mullen adopted the young mother and her triplets, making them officially mother and daughter, the report continues. Although they have had to make adjustments, Mullen and Shariya both said they all are doing well together as a new, large family.

“It’s been great,” Mullen said. “Stressful? Yes. Sleepless nights? Yes. But worth it? Absolutely.”

Shariya added: “Everybody told me that I wouldn’t finish school, that I wouldn’t achieve my goals, but now I’m graduating as a junior and was accepted into two colleges with academic scholarships.”

Some children in foster care return home, but others cannot; and there are thousands of older children waiting to be adopted from foster care across the United States. The Indiana family’s story demonstrates that every child is wanted by someone, and Americans are eager to step up and provide loving, caring homes for children who need a family.