‘They Had to Be Loved Back to Life’: Children Who Had Been Chained, Abused Now Have Forever Family in Christian Home

Photo Credit: GoFundMe

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Two Texas children who had been rescued after being found chained in a couple’s back yard have now been placed with a forever family, and God is being credited with providing both the adoptive family and the children exactly what they needed to heal from life’s wounds.

According to the San Antonio Express News, Allen and LaKenya Shaw had been wanting children for nearly two decades, and their hearts had been hurting after experiencing a miscarriage.

One day, while LaKenya was singing at church, a woman in the pews who had been taking care of two foster children believed that God was telling her that Shaw was to be the mother of the children. Theresa Nealy felt compelled to obtain the Shaw’s phone number and introduce them to little Josiah and Naomi, siblings who had made headlines after they were found in horrid conditions in 2016.

According to reports, the children had been left by their mother in the care of an acquaintance and her boyfriend, but the couple abused them.

After police were called to the home due to reports of children crying for hours, sheriff’s deputies found Naomi, then 3, tied to a garage door with her hands above her head, and Josiah, 5, chained to a dog spike. They both had bruises and Josiah had used the ground for the bathroom.

The children’s mother later plead guilty to child abandonment and her friends were imprisoned for child abuse.

Nealy had no idea that the Shaws had been greatly desiring a child, but felt that God was telling her that Josiah and Naomi were meant to be placed with them.

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“This turned out to be a prayer answered. With tears flowing from her face, she responded, ‘These babies were purposed for us,'” she wrote on GoFundMe.

But not only did the Shaws adopt Josiah and Naomi, but also their baby brother Matthew, who the children’s mother gave birth to while in prison. Video footage of the adoption finalization at the courthouse last May—on Allen’s birthday—shows Naomi smiling and singing “Jesus Loves Me” into the microphone on the judge’s bench. The children also sang happy birthday to their new father.

“They had to be loved back to life,” Shaw told the San Antonio Express News, adding that the children’s background “just makes us want to love them more. I needed Josiah, I needed Naomi. God knew what we all needed.”

Nealy launched a GoFundMe page shortly after the adoption to help the family find a larger home to move into with the children.

Psalm 68:6 reads, “God setteth the solitary in families; He bringeth out those which are bound with chains.” Psalm 113:9 also states, “He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.”


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