Nurse Spots Teen Mom Of Triplets In The NICU, Knows What She Has To Do Next.

Shariya Small was 14 years old when she became pregnant with triplets at 26 weeks gestation. With no family to lean on, the adolescent mother sat forlornly by her premature babies’ sides for days on end. No one came to sit with her or take her hand in theirs. Nothing was brought to her to eat or drink. Katrina Mullen, a NICU nurse, was the only one who seemed to notice Shariya.

Katrina Mullen

Katrina, a mother of five, identified with Shariya because she placed a child for adoption when she was 16 years old. She eventually told Shariya about this aspect of her life.”After I told her I was a teen mom, something changed,” Katrina recalled. “That’s when we really developed trust.” They chatted and got to know each other for over 5 months as Shariya learned how to care for her newborns in the NICU of Community Hospital North in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Katrina kept things light on the outside, but she was quietly concerned about the eighth-grader’s home life and future. Katrina gave Shariya her phone number just before the triplets were discharged. “I said, ‘If you need anything, just call me,'” Katrina remembered. “‘If you need to talk, or have a question, I’m here.'”Shariya and Katrina started texting and FaceTiming each other.

Shariya Small making a peace sign standing next to Katrina Mullen

The young mother relied on her older mentor to help her care for her children, and Katrina gained a better understanding of Shariya’s family situation. The nurse drove over an hour to Shariya’s house to pay her a visit one day. She was astounded to discover that things at home were even worse than she had anticipated. Shariya and her three children did not have their own beds, and one of the children was sick.

The Department of Social Services became involved, and Katrina soon received a call asking if she would accept Shariya and her babies. Katrina knew she couldn’t say no, even though three of her children were still living at home.”I knew it was going to be impossible to find a foster home that would take all four of them,” she explained. “No one would take a teen mother and her preemie triplets.”

Shariya Smalls in graduation cap and gown pushing triplets in stroller.

I kept telling myself, ‘I have to do this.’ Shariya was intelligent and resilient, and all she needed was a safe place to plant her roots. I knew it would be difficult, but we’d work it out.” Katrina went through the certification process and welcomed all four of her new family members into her home with open arms. She assisted Shariya in learning how to parent her infants, but she now says she is taking a back seat because the teen mom has come so far.

Shariya, now 17, has an A- average in high school and plans to study social work in college Shariya became Katrina’s mother after 668 days of fostering at an adoption ceremony in October 2022. Her children now have a real grandmother, whom they refer to as “Lala.””I’m so proud to be Shariya’s mom,” Katrina said. “She never ceases to amaze me.” She never raises her voice when she is frustrated with the babies.

Katrina Mullen adopting Shariya Smalls.

She’s just starting to blossom into this incredible woman.” We are constantly astounded by how life places us exactly where we need to be! Katrina was meant to be Shariya’s mother, and being the parent she required required a lot of strength and courage. We’re overjoyed that everything worked out so well for this lovely family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *