NICU Nurse Adopts Teen Mom With Triplets After Helping Her In The Hospital

When an 8th-grade girl gave birth to preemie triplets back in 2020, she sat at the hospital with no one to support her but the nurses. Little did she know that one of those nurses was going to change her life for the better.

14-year-old Shariya Small’s three babies, Serenitee, Samari, and Sarayah had to spend several weeks in the NICU where neonatal nurse Katrina Mullen worked.

Photo: YouTube/TODAY

In an interview with TODAY, Mullen explained that she quickly noticed the young mom seemed to be alone. She said: “She’d be there alone for days at a time sitting at her babies’ bedside.”

Despite being a child herself, Small never came to the hospital with her own parents or a support system. She’d show up by herself, without a packed lunch or even snacks to eat. Mullen couldn’t help but wonder if Small was getting the care she needed at home, but she didn’t want to pry.

Photo: YouTube/TODAY

As Mullen and Small spent more time together in the NICU, the 45-year-old nurse shared that she’d also been a teen mom. According to TODAY, Mullen told Small that she’d had a son when she was just 16-years-old and she’d chosen to place him up for adoption.

After that, Small started to open up a bit more about her personal life. By the time the triplets were discharged from the hospital, Mullen felt comfortable giving Small her personal cellphone number and telling her to text or call anytime.

While Mullen had offered her support to Small, she was surprised that the young mom actually accepted it and started video calling and texting regularly. Mullen grew more concerned by Small’s lack of support and ended up driving an hour to visit her.

Photo: YouTube/TODAY

Sadly, the 14-year-old mom was living with a relative in unsuitable conditions. It wasn’t long before child services removed the teen mom and triplets from the home and put them into the foster care system.

Small immediately called Mullen and asked if they could live with her. Speaking with TODAY, Mullen said: “I knew it would be impossible to find a foster home that would take all four of them. No one was going to take a teen mom and her preemie triplets. I just kept thinking, ‘I have to do this.’ I knew Shariya was intelligent and resilient and she just needed a safe place to put her roots. I knew it would be hard, but we’d figure it out.”

Mullen ended up not only become Small’s foster mom, but her adoptive mom as well!

Photo: YouTube/TODAY

According to the Indianapolis Recorder, Mullen officially adopted Small at the beginning of this year.

The now-17-year-old mom is planning to attend college and Mullen has set up a GoFundMe to help support her and her babies as she pursues an education and career.

Check out the video below:

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