Ask anyone about 2-year-old Nayron, and they’ll typically respond in the same way: “He’s the happiest baby in the world.” They might just be right.
Nayron fills the Welch home with laughter – his own and that which he causes to erupt from others.
“Nayron’s just a loving little boy,” his father, Shain, said. “I love to be around him. He’s always smiling. He’s always happy. He loves to arm wrestle. He loves to do all the things a little boy does.”
Nayron is almost as unique as he is happy. He’s one of dozens of primary medical needs children who come through the Texas foster care system each year. He was shaken at three weeks old, which caused a brain bleed that led to a stroke. Half his body is paralyzed, he suffers seizures and has a shunt to drain fluid off his brain.
Primary medical needs children often are among the hardest to place in family care. If homes cannot be found for them, they live in institutions. Some never know the love of family.
“When you get a baby with shunts and all this, it is kind of scary. But once you get them in your home and start playing with them, they’re really no different than any other kid,” Shain said. The Welches have cared for several primary medical needs children.
“He was made in the image of God. He was made to be who Nayron is. For us to receive that blessing of taking him into our home means everything to us.”
The blessing goes both ways. Nayron has grown tremendously since coming into the Welches’ home.
“When we brought him into our home, we noticed he started thriving and gaining weight and doing well just with us holding him and loving him,” said mom, Cheryl. “He’s continuing to make progress. Even Buckner caseworkers are like ‘He was like this and now he’s like this.’ That’s what a little bit of love will do for these children.”
The changes are startling to Cheryl and Shain.
“He calls us Mamma and Daddy at the strangest times,” Cheryl said. “He’ll be in his bed calling, ‘Momma, Dadda.’ We’re amazed he’s even talking to us and verbalizing and communicating.”
Buckner Foster Care Case Manager/ Home Developer Melanie Rice loves Nayron and the Welches nearly as much as they love each other. She praised the Welches’ commitment to Nayron.
“Cheryl, Shain, [brother] Caleb and Nayron are simply incredible,” she said. “They’re meant to be together. You can feel the love when you walk into their home. Cheryl and Shain have gone beyond the extra mile to invest into Nayron’s life, and it’s a joy to be able to see all that’s happened here.”
Cheryl and Shain adopted Nayron in January, solidifying them as a forever family.
“The Lord adopted me in his family through all the blemishes I have,” Shain said. “Why shouldn’t I do that for someone else? He welcomed me with open arms. I feel like I should do the same thing if I have the opportunity.”
“He’s just the sweetest little boy,” Cheryl said. “I’ve had a lot of children around. We’ve fostered several. He, for some reason, is the sweetest. His little soul just grabs everybody. For what has been done to him, he is the happiest baby. He doesn’t realize the trauma he has been through. He doesn’t realize anything that has ever happened to him. He’s perfect to us.”