“Drug exposed.” That’s the term doctors used when brothers John and David were born and rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The boys’ parents were struggling with substance abuse and, try as they might, they could not get clean. For the first two years, John and David were left in a crib, neglected and malnourished. And when it became clear their parents could not properly care for them, the boys were placed with Olive Crest to find a safe, loving home.
That’s when Jacqueline and Jarred Upwall came into the picture. This amazing couple had fostered more than 30 children over the years. But because there was no chance of John and David being reunited with their parents, the Upwalls felt called to adopt the boys.
When the kids first arrived at their new home, they were withdrawn, developmentally behind, and suffering from severe muscle atrophy. But today paints a different story altogether. Through the Upwalls’ extraordinary love and care — and the continued support of Olive Crest — John and David, now 7, are absolutely thriving as fun-loving, giggling boys. They spend their time playing with Legos, going on bike rides, and visiting national parks with their family. And each moment with their new mom and dad is a wonderful first, with many more to come.