A former teacher has opened up about adopting four biological siblings as a single parent after fostering a total of 56 children, saying they made her a ‘forever mum’.
Melissa Servetz, 45, from Florida, is mother to Jade, eight, Destiny, six, Matthew, four, and Emerson, two. She adopted her daughters first and took in their younger brothers right after they were born.
‘I didn’t see myself as a single mother of four. I thought maybe two, you know,’ she shared Good morning America. ‘But there was no way I could let the boys go to someone else and be away from their siblings. There is no way.’
Melissa Servetz, 45, from Florida, adopted four biological siblings – Jade, eight, Destiny, six, Matthew, four, and Emerson, two – as a single mother
The former teacher began volunteering at an orphanage before becoming a foster mother in 2015. She adopted Jade and Destiny in 2017 when they were two and 16 months old respectively
Servetz, who has worked in social services for the past five years, began volunteering at an orphanage before becoming a foster mother in 2015. She fostered mainly babies and toddlers aged five and under.
In 2017, she was working as a teacher in the Tampa Bay area when one of her former student’s parents told her that Jade and Destiny were living with a non-relative and needed a place to go because they were kicked out.
After calling the agency she worked with, she was told she could care for the girls, who were then two and 16 months old.
‘About a week later I picked Jade up in a car park with her case manager. And then a week after that, I switched Destiny and it was like [the] most natural thing ever,” she recalled.
‘I remember the days like it was yesterday when I picked them up and just wore them.’
Servetz took both Matthew and Emerson home straight from the hospital after they were born and has raised them their entire lives
The mother noted that her children were all born drug-exposed and are in therapy to work through the trauma they experienced, but they are ‘doing well’
Servetz said her children ‘have overcome obstacles like there’s no tomorrow’ and all ‘have really bright futures’ ahead of them
Servetz took both Matthew and Emerson home straight from the hospital after they were born and have raised them all their lives. She calls her children her ‘last four’ because they were the last four children she fostered.
“They still have trauma that they’re going to therapy for, that they’ve worked through tremendously,” she explained. ‘They were all born drug-exposed.’
Noting that they have ‘overcome obstacles like there’s no tomorrow’ and are ‘doing great’, she said the ‘bond they have is unbreakable’.
The mother added that all her children ‘have really bright futures’ ahead of them.
Jade is super smart, funny, outgoing, [and] Fate [is] very silly, light-hearted, loves to joke, loves her little brother,” she said of her daughters.
“The bond they have is unbreakable,” she said of siblings who all look out for each other
Servetz insisted she would adopt her children again if she could because ‘the rewards and benefits definitely outweigh everything’
‘Matthew is the happiest child you will ever meet. He was born happy. I’ve had him since he was three days old and he’s rarely upset,” she continued.
‘He loves dinosaurs and trucks and Paw Patrol… then Emerson is right behind him. Happy. the source. They are all super fun and super active and just a lot of fun to be around.’
Servetz admitted that fostering or adopting a child is ‘not easy’, especially as a single parent, and said there are constant appointments, trips and caseworkers coming in and out of her home.
However, she insisted she would adopt her children again if she could because ‘the rewards and benefits definitely outweigh everything.’
“There are so many things that are great about being a mom, but … knowing that I’ve made a difference and given them a life that they would never have had before is truly the most rewarding,” said she.