Being a teacher is a lot of work. They’re notoriously overworked and underpaid, and the amount of care they hold for their students is sometimes extraordinary.
My mom is a 1-8th grade teacher and she puts in longer hours than anyone I know. The attention and care she gives to each and every student is astounding, and she’s not alone.
A first-grade teacher in Connecticut recently went above and beyond for one of her students by welcoming into her family forever.
37-year-old Jenna Niccio adopted one of her students when she discovered he was placed in foster care and that decision changed both of their lives in the best way.
In 2018, she welcomed a student named Nate into her classroom who quickly left an impression on her. According to PEOPLE, Nate has sickle cell anemia and complications from the condition led to the amputation of Nate’s legs below the knees, along with his left arm and two and a half fingers on his right hand.
Speaking to Good Morning America, Jenna explained: “He was a super sweet boy, really quiet. He was really shy. Sometimes he would just cry out of nowhere. I think it was a lot for him — transferring in mid-year, being the only kid in our classroom in a wheelchair. It took a long time for him to warm up and to open up to everyone.”
According to Good Morning America, Jenna learned that Nate had been removed from his biological family and placed into the foster care system during a visit to him at the hospital. Knowing he had no family to be with him, Jenna realized that she could step in as his family and could even foster him!
She immediately began the process to be approved as a foster home by taking classes and had a home-check performed. Within a few weeks, Nate was headed home with her and they instantly felt like family.
Nate remained in foster care with the Riccio family for a few years. He moved from a wheelchair to prosthetic legs and really began to thrive.
Beautifully, the Riccio family was able to adopt Nate and make him a permanent part of their home.
Check out the video below: