Siblings found chained up in backyard celebrate finding forever family

Josiah, Naomi, Matthew adopted by Lakenya, Allen Shaw

SAN ANTONIO – Three San Antonio siblings found living in deplorable conditions in the backyard of a Bexar County home in 2016 have a new chance at life.

Two of the siblings were found chained up in a backyard in Bexar County when they were just 3 and 4 year’s old.

The children had dog collars around their ankles and wrists and were surrounded by their own feces.

Their mother had left them in the care of two people who are now in jail.

A neighbor heard little Josiah and Naomi crying and called the police.

Two years later Josiah and Naomi and their 18-month-old brother Matthew are now part of Lakenya and Allen Shaw’s family.

“They are not the same kids when they first came into the system, but I think it’s owed to the people that have prayed to see these beautiful kids. Ain’t they beautiful? Absolutely,” Lakenya Shaw said.

The same day a judge made the adoption official, Allen Shaw celebrated his birthday.

Allen Shaw said this birthday was at the "top of the list."

"(Adoption is) amazing. I just really am honored to be able to do this for these children, to give them a safe place that they know they can lay their heads down and not worry about having the problems that they had before," he said.

Danny and Theresa Nealy know the Shaws from church. The Nealys have fostered more than 100 children and knew the Shaws were looking to adopt.

The Nealys remembered the first time the children came to live with the Shaws after they were rescued from a backyard.

Theresa described the children as feeling fearful and sad at first and, now, the children are happy to be in a loving home.

“They are living the best life they ever lived, and I’m just glad they are able to be here and enjoy a moment like this and be on the mic, and people celebrate them,” Danny Nealy said.

Bexar County Prosecutor Carl Alexander said, “It's nice to see that some of the hard stories we deal with actually have a happy ending, which is really rare in our business. It’s nice to see them so happy and so healed.”

Naomi said, “I like my house, and I like my new bedroom with my mom by me.”

After the adoption ceremony, KSAT anchor Steve Spriester asked if Naomi wanted to ask a question of her official forever mom.

"Can you polish my nails?" Naomi asked.

Lakenya Shaw replied, “Absolutely. What color would you like?

Naomi said, "Pink!”

About the Author:

Steve Spriester started at KSAT in 1995 as a general assignments reporter. Now, he anchors the station's top-rated 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts.