NICU nurse adopts premature triplets… and their teen mom: ‘I wanted them to stay together’

By Laura Nicole 

After spending 23 years caring for neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) infants and their families, nurse Katrina Mullen has officially become an adoptive mother of a teen mom and her three babies.

Mullen, who works at Community Hospital North in Indianapolis, met the 14-year-old mother, Shariya Small, when she gave birth to her three premature babies at 26 weeks gestation. The triplets – a boy and two girls – weighed less than two pounds each at birth and had to spend four months in the NICU. During that time, Mullen formed a close bond with the young mother.

“If you need anything, I will be there for you,” Mullen, who herself had been a teen mother, told Small, according to Scrubs Mag. “I immediately thought that I needed to give her a shoulder to lean on.” 

As Small visited her babies in the NICU every day, Mullen was there for her. “I would go sit in the office with her and talk about basically anything,” Small said, according to 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.”

Mullen decided to stay in touch even after Small’s babies were discharged. The two would regularly talk on FaceTime, where Mullen offered parenting advice. She sent sleepers and chairs for the babies, and she would often make an hour-long drive from her home in Brownsburg to visit Small and her babies in Kokomo.

“People would ask me if I had brought those babies home with me yet, or ‘how is my adopted daughter doing?’ because people knew that I was keeping in touch with her,” Mullen said.

One day, when Small’s son required a trip to the hospital, Mullen agreed to look after Small’s two daughters. During the hospitalization, the Indiana Department of Child Services conducted an investigation into the living conditions in Small’s home and determined that her children needed to be placed in foster care, which prompted Small to call Mullen in a state of panic.

Mullen, who has five children of her own, including two in high school and a 7-year-old, decided to take in the young mother and her babies as her own. “Just from being a nurse, I knew there would not be many foster homes that would take a teen mother with three kids… I didn’t want them to be separated. I wanted them to stay together,” Mullen explained. 

Since officially adopting the triplets and their mother, Mullen says that they have all adjusted well to their new life together. The babies are healthy and thriving, and Small, who is now 15, was even able to go back to school and is on track to graduate this year.

“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,” Small said. 

Despite the sacrifices involved in taking in her adopted daughter, Mullen has no regrets. “It’s been great,” she said. “Stressful? Yes. Sleepless nights? Yes. But worth it? Absolutely.”

Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and is reposted with permission.

Recent Posts

Home of the free, because of the brave

Memorial Day ~ May 29, 2023 As we hope and pray to continue to be… Read More

12 hours ago

The inclusive Old Pledge is still the Best Pledge

By Jean Garton Editor’s note. It’s been almost exactly fix years since my friend of… Read More

12 hours ago

National Right to Life commends and thanks our affiliate, SC Citizens for Life (SCCL)

National Right to Life commends and thanks our affiliate, SC Citizens for Life (SCCL) for their hard… Read More

3 days ago

66 percent of respondents described would-be Biden reelection as either a “setback” or a “disaster”

Numbers “horrible” says CNN’s Jake Tapper By Dave Andrusko This week’sdevastating CNN poll gauging how the America… Read More

3 days ago

NRL Convention 2023 schedules are out now!

Check out the full convention schedule with speakers, dozens of workshops AND the Teens for… Read More

3 days ago

MCCL GO again highlights first 1,000 days of life at 76th World Health Assembly

GENEVA, Switzerland — The first 1,000 days in the life of human being—from conception… Read More

3 days ago