A Place to Call Home: Three Sisters, Two Parents, One Family
GOSHEN, Ind. (WNDU) - We’ve shared a number of stories of Indiana foster kinds in need of adoption.
We’re happy to report, 17 of these children featured in our Wednesday’s Child segments have been adopted. Another 16 have been placed.
Jaimee, Jazmine, and Nevaeh are sisters who found their forever home.
When we first met the girls in 2020, twins Jaimee and Jazmine were 14. Nevaeh was 13.
We caught up with the girls in Goshen. So much has changed.
“It’s very emotional from watching the Wednesday’s Child. And now watching them back here interviewing with you. Just seeing how far they really have come,” said Mercede Gonzalez Springer, the girls’ adoptive mother.
“I never expected to have teenagers at such a young age,” Mercede said.
Mercede is 27. Her husband, Alex Springer, is 30. Infertility struggles led them to consider adoption. Our weekly segments helped them consider adoption from foster care.
“I saw the Wednesday’s Child on Facebook,” Mercede said. “And I shared it. I said, ‘I pray these girls find a home that will meet their needs. I pray a family will come up for them. That they will have a great family.’ Little did I know that would be us.”
The couple was in the process of getting their foster license. Once approved, they got a call from DCS, the Indiana Department of Child Services.
“The next week they said, ‘We have three girls for you.’ I was like, ‘What three girls? Is this the three girls I’ve been praying about? Is it Jaimee, Jazmine, and Nevaeh? What?”
Soon, the girls moved in, and things were far from perfect.
“I immediately thought that it’s not going to work out,” said Jazmine. “But after a while, I don’t know, something changed.”
“Yeah, no, I didn’t like them,” Jaimee said. “I guess, over time, they just grew on me.”
It took some adjusting.
“I remember when we did our first Christmas photo, when we did Christmas cards, and they didn’t want to be a part of our family photos because they were never included in family photos. They didn’t think they needed to be.
“They didn’t think they would be staying for Christmas, so why would they take pictures a month in advance if we weren’t being here for Christmas?” Mercede said.
Among their holidays, it’s Valentine’s Day that’s perhaps the most special. After 3,674 days in foster care, the girls were finally adopted.
“It’s ironic because we were adopted on February 14th,” Jaimee said.
They celebrated last year with a trip to Disney.
Nevaeh explains the best part of being adopted.
“Getting what I need,” she said.
There was a time when Nevaeh needed a lot. Born with cerebral palsy, Nevaeh was using a wheelchair. It was how she got around during our interview just three years ago.
She told us why she doesn’t use the wheelchair anymore.
“Because I want to walk,” Nevaeh said. “Because it’s making me stronger.”
Nevaeh had surgery to help her mobility.
“It loosened her up so much that she’s been able to work as hard as she has,” Alex said.
She plays basketball now and is even involved in track and field.
“I do the shot put and 100 meter,” Nevaeh said.
“She has improved 33 seconds this season alone,” Mercede said. However, at the time of this report, her time has improved 38 seconds.
“We don’t really do anything anymore. She’s completely independent,” Mercede said.
“If she needs help she’ll express it, but she’s like, ‘No, I got it!’,” Alex added.
“The amount of progress she has made is amazing,” Jaimee said.
Jaimee and Jazmine are proud big sisters, but their lives have changed a lot, too. They both have jobs and they’re working on their grades.
“Mom makes sure we stay on task and get everything done,” Jazmine said.
That took some getting used to. Jazmine was surprised that her new mom would attend parent teacher conferences.
“I did not know that parents went to the schools for me,” Jazmine said.
“They need someone to be fighting for them,” Mercede said.
And hold them accountable.
“Even though they’re strict, they’re extremely caring. And they love us to death,” Jaimee said. “It makes me feel more comfortable around people.”
Jazmine says her life is better after adoption.
“A lot of funny memories and chaos. Chaos happening at our house,” Jazmine said.
“The growth we’ve seen in all three girls is amazing and that’s all that matters to us,” Mercede said. “A lot of prayer had to go into it. It’s not an easy journey. Especially adopting teenagers.”
“The Wednesday’s Child started it all for us,” Mercede said. “It started our family.”
Meanwhile, Tricia Sloma shared the happy story of these three sisters on Facebook Live Wednesday morning. She also talked about Tyina, who we featured last week on Wednesday’s Child and is hoping for a happy story of her own one day.
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