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By Aliya Kuykendall, The Stream, April 2, 2023

Aliya Kuykendall is a staff writer for The Stream. …


Aliya KuykendallKatrina Mullen, a NICU nurse of 23 years, met Shariya Small when Small was 14 years old, the mother of triplets born prematurely. Now, over two years later, she’s an adoptive mother to Small and grandmother to the three toddlers.

After five months as their NICU nurse and almost two years of fostering Small, Mullen officially adopted Small on Feb. 6, 2023. She did so to keep Small with her babies.

Mullen is a single mother with five sons ranging from adult to 7 years old. That didn’t stop her from sharing her love with four more children. She befriended Small as a mother in the NICU and kept up with her through text messages, phone calls and Facetime chats after Small was discharged from the hospital. Mullen also visited Small, driving an hour one-way. Eventually a case worker with Indiana Department of Child Services decided that Small needed to be placed in foster care, and Mullen became her foster mother. …

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