New York nurse adopts special needs boy she cared for since birth

A New York nurse’s family recently grew by one — when she adopted a special needs patient she’s been caring for since he was born.

Kelli Dabek brought 9-year-old Jashia home two years ago, when the boy was thrust into the foster care system following the unexpected death of his biological mother, WBTV reported.

And he’s not leaving anytime soon — Kelli officially adopted him on Sept. 1, expanding her family from three to four.

“We knew what we had to do,” Dabek, who had become certified for emergency foster care to initially take the boy in, told the network. “My whole family, we knew that’s what we wanted to do.”

Dabek, who lives in Ballston Spa, has been caring for Jashia ever since he was born prematurely at 23 weeks with a host of issues, ranging from chronic respiratory failure, epilepsy and asthma.

He also has developmental issues and has been diagnosed with failure to thrive, she said, so he sees a range of doctors including neurologists and gastroenterologists.

But at home, he loves hanging with his sisters, Alexa and Hayley, and strapping on his helmet and going for a bike ride.

Kelli’s two college-aged daughters, meanwhile, pitch in to help with their brother. Hayley is an aide who helps with his schoolwork and special diet and medications.

“I’ve got schoolwork. I have two jobs,” Alexa said. “He comes to dinner with me and my friends, and he’ll just spend time with us. All my friends love him.”

Kelli said adopting Jashia made perfect sense.

“It’s like everyday life for us,” the mom said. “We’ve known him for so long. It was just a natural thing for us to do.”

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