Family made complete by Safe Haven Baby Box surrender


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Tessa and Keegan Higgs say their household of 4 was made entire by an additional mother’s bravery.

PAOLI, Ind. — You have likely read numerous stories about Harmless Haven Toddler Packing containers in Indiana — when they’re installed at fireplace stations, when babies are surrendered inside — but what comes about afterward doesn’t normally get shared publicly.

What lies “beyond the box” is the greatest part for Tessa and Keegan Higgs of Paoli. It assisted make their family.

For the Higgs, parenthood — which was at the time their greatest challenge — is now their biggest joy.

“I can’t imagine just about anything superior than acquiring Jax and Nola. Like, I just cannot envision lifestyle with no them,” Tessa Higgs stated.

Their spouse and children of four was produced finish by a different mother’s courage.

In 2019, a Safe Haven Newborn Box introduced the family members their final blessing, Nola, who is now 3 yrs aged. 

The newborn box application makes it possible for mothers in crisis to safely and securely surrender their new child with no thoughts questioned.

“She’s my hero. I indicate, if I could meet her (Nola’s organic mother) currently, I would give her a huge hug and, you know, I could not thank her enough,” Keegan Higgs said.

Immediately after hoping for a long time for a relatives, the Higgs had been fostering their oldest boy or girl, Jax, when they figured out a little one was surrendered in northern Indiana.

The kid’s mom, whose id is protected less than the secure haven law, saw a child box billboard and referred to as the hotline for assistance.

“What we do know is her mom really significantly loved her. It was obvious in her care. She was born at a nutritious fat. She was cost-free of substances. She was wrapped in a warm towel,” Tessa stated. “We have the towel. It truly is the only link we have to her organic mom. She also breastfed her newborn just before surrendering, so we know she was cherished.”

Out of 400 persons who applied to be the baby’s mom and dad, and following an interview with a panel of 9 people with DCS, the Higgs received the cell phone get in touch with.

“She was like, ‘I want to be the initially to congratulate you, Mr. Higgs – your family’s been chosen,'” Keegan explained.

They introduced Nola residence a 7 days later. Both equally young children are now formally adopted.

“I couldn’t envision our everyday living with no Nola,” Keegan stated. “So, I mean, our loved ones, in my eyes, is total!”

This ending is the purpose Monica Kelsey, abandoned as an infant herself, produced the software. She’s the founder and CEO of Harmless Haven Toddler Boxes.

“When I appear at my very own existence, getting deserted as an toddler, in an era exactly where there was no safe and sound haven regulation, and now we have designed this to enable these mothers the anonymity that they want, it is extremely satisfying to see the daily life that I saved simply just simply because my lifetime was saved,” Kelsey said. “Seeing Nola mature up satisfied and healthy and wonderful has been section of my mission all together.”

Relevant: 3rd newborn surrendered at Carmel hearth station in 2 months

Keegan, a volunteer firefighter in Paoli, is earning sure that mission carries on.

He served put in the 1st-at any time baby box at a volunteer fire department final drop, appropriate in Paoli.

The regulation adjusted in July 2021, allowing volunteer departments to home a baby box, if they satisfied certain requirements.

“They have to be inside of a mile of a hospital or EMS station, have to have a four-moment response time and there has to be a digicam on the inside of of the box,” Tessa described, “so a camera’s on a little one at all times till a person can get to the boy or girl.”

“I’m really very pleased of that and, if we at any time get that phone, it’s gonna be tricky to conquer me there,” Keegan added.

Connected: 2 babies surrendered at Indiana Harmless Haven Little one Containers in times

Since he appreciates what happens over and above the box.

He’s living it: a relatives — grateful for their very little lady.

Infant Boxes by the quantities:

Considering that 2016, 19 infants have been surrendered in Indiana infant bins and 121 have been handed to a firefighter or nurse in particular person. 

There are now 110 infant boxes statewide. The most current box was mounted this thirty day period in Mitchell, Indiana. The Higgs were there for the installation ceremony.