Makaila Nevil

Carly Parkinson, Staff Reporter

In most ways, junior Makaila Nevil is just like any other teenage girl; she participates in color guard, is an art student, and is active in her church. However, Nevil’s unique family sets her apart. In addition to her 3 brothers, the Nevils have adopted 3 children with special needs into their home.

“Jordan is 24, he’s the oldest. Then there’s Broox, who is 19, Parker is 18, and I’m 16,” Nevil said. “Ashleigh is 14 and she was adopted 2 weeks after she was born. Savannah is 9. Malachi was born January 5, 2010. Ashleigh, Savannah, and Malachi were all adopted and have special needs”.

The Nevils adopted Ashleigh in 1997.

“Usually it’s hard to adopt, especially when a child has special needs, but with Ashleigh her birth mom knew she couldn’t take care of her, so she was willing to give her up for adoption,” Nevil said.

After that initial adoption, the family was accepted into the Hydran Group, an organization that is dedicated to supporting children born with Hydranencephaly, a neurological disease. The Hydran group was made aware of Savannah soon after she was adopted.

“Savannah was 3 month old, and she was a premature baby. She was in the hospital in Houston, and my mom had to go down a couple of times before we could bring her home,” Nevil said. “Savannah’s birth mother had cancer, so she couldn’t take care of her, so we went and got her. The hospital didn’t want to release her, so it took a while to get the adoption finalized.”

A few years after Savannah’s adoption, the Nevils adopted their final son, Malachi.

“The hospital didn’t think Malachi was going to live very long, so they didn’t want us to adopt him,” Nevil said. “We had him in foster care and guardianship for a long time before the adoption was finalized.”

Overall, the long wait was worth it.

“I was really excited, because I love little kids and babies. Adoption is always a fun process,” Nevil said.

In addition to her regular school activities, Nevil has many responsibilities in helping out with her siblings.

“Since they’re special needs they have special feeding times,” Nevil said. “They have to have their diapers changed a lot.”

“Growing up with Ashleigh I used to feed her a bottle after school. She was basically like any other baby, so I just watched out for her and played with her,” Nevil said. “Savannah was in the hospital a lot when we first got her, so I had to help my dad with Ashleigh while my mom was in the hospital with her. Malachi was a lot of work. He cried a lot, so we had to hold him most of the time.”

Recently, Ashleigh and Malachi passed away due to complications brought on by their physical difficulties. Even with their passing, Nevil feels that her siblings have blessed her life in many ways.

“They taught me a lot of responsibility and patience, and kindness to others,” Nevil said. “And then, after 2 of them passed away, it gave me a different outlook on life. I just know where I need to be, and the things I should be doing.”

Makaila’s dad agrees.

“Since we’ve adopted Ashleigh, Savannah, and Malachi, our family has been so much more unified,” Daris Nevil said. “They’ve brought so much love into our home.”