There is nothing more precious than a kid, yet not all moms have the means to raise them.
Safe Haven Baby Boxes in Indiana are designed to do just that: offer mothers in distress with a safe haven where they may surrender their infants without feeling guilty or blamed.
Tessa and Keegan Higgs of Paoli, Indiana, were able to complete their family thanks to these baby boxes located at fire stations.
The pair had only ever dreamed of being parents, but it is now a great reality for them.
With Jax and Nola, I can’t think of anything better.” Tessa claimed she couldn’t fathom living without her children.
They are now a family of four, owing to a mother who had the courage to decide that her kid would be better off in the care of another family.
When Tessa and Keegan received a baby package in 2019, it contained Nola, their third child.
The program provides a safe environment for mothers who are having difficulty giving birth to their children.
“She’s a role model for me. The only way I could thank her (Nola’s birth mother) was with a bear embrace, which I would deliver if I saw her today. Keegan is a volunteer fireman in Paoli.
For years, the Higgs had been trying to start a family. When they discovered that a newborn had been abandoned in a baby box in northern Indiana, they were caring for their oldest foster kid, Jax.
To protect her kid’s identity, the mother of the infant saw a baby box billboard and called the hotline.
Tessa said that Nola’s birth mother certainly adored her. The newborn was well-fed, drug-free, and snuggled up in a warm towel when he or she was delivered.
Towels are on their way. The only link we have to her original mother is via this. “We know she was loved because she nursed her baby before she surrendered,” she added.
With 400 applicants, the Higgs was selected as Nola’s parents following a panel interview with nine DCS workers.
They brought Nola back a week later. The adoption of both children has been finalized.
Nola is an essential part of our family. My family is now complete, in my view! That’s what Keegan said.
Monica Kelsey started the program because she wanted to see happy endings.
“When I look at my own past, being abandoned as a baby in a period when there was no safe haven legislation, and now we’ve developed something to provide these moms the privacy that they desire,” she remarked.
“Seeing Nola grow up happy, healthy, and beautiful has always been a part of my objective.”
Keegan is doing his bit to ensure the mission continues since he has personally seen how Safe Haven Baby Boxes benefits families.
Last fall, he assisted with the first baby box installation at a volunteer fire station in Paoli.
As of July 20, 2021, a new provision in the legislation will let volunteer departments that meet certain requirements put in place a baby box.
For example, Tessa noted that the boxes must be located within one mile of an emergency medical facility or ambulance station, that the service must be available within four minutes, and that a camera is installed within the box so that a baby is always being recorded until help can reach them.
Nineteen newborns have been abandoned in Indiana baby boxes since 2016, while 121 have been handed up to a fireman or nurse in person since that timeframe began.
There are already 110 boxes in the state, the most recent of which was put in Mitchell earlier this month. The Higgs family was in attendance during the event.