The Evans family has eight children, four with special needs. The parents, Melanie and Mike, have adopted three of their eight children.
The Evans adopted Andrew, who is now 23, when he was almost 5 years old. A few years later they had their first biological son, Jeremey, who is now 16 years old. Two years after that they had biological triplets - Mariah, Ethan and Savanah - who are now 14 years old. Mariah and Ethan have Cerebral Palsy.
The triplets are the reason the Evans family considered adoption and fostering children with special needs as they wanted to be able to help others. “We tried to do an international adoption in Vietnam and Ethiopia but that didn’t work out, so we decided to put it on hold,” said Melanie. “It wasn’t until five years later that we were approached by a family friend who was looking for families to foster children with special needs. We decided to attend an informational session.”
After their initial meeting, the Evans family learned that the respite foster care organization was looking for people with experience and who were open to fostering a child with special needs. It wasn’t long after that they were introduced to Forever, a little girl with Cerebral Palsy. “We had to wait 15 long months before being able to adopt her and bring her home from California. She is the most challenging and definitely keeps us on our toes at 10 years old,” said Melanie.
Four short years later another little boy came into their lives, Timothy, who is now eight, and has Down Syndrome and Autism. After just five months, the Evans were asked if they wanted to adopt Timothy. Melanie and Mike jumped at the opportunity to make a permanent difference in Timothy’s life.
Shortly after adopting Timothy, Melanie and Mike found out they were pregnant and had their fifth biological child, Christian, who is now 15 months old.
Mariah, Ethan, Forever and Timothy use adaptive equipment such as manual and power wheelchairs as well as a stander. While things can be hectic in a family of 10, they enjoy doing things together such as watching movies and traveling. “Mike and I have been together for 20 years,” said Melanie. “We put our marriage first because we know how important it is that we are strong and unified for our children. Caring for special needs children is rewarding but there can be some rough days.”
The Evans purchased a shuttle bus on eBay that allows them to travel as a family to just about anywhere they want to go, including their favorite destination – Starbucks. “We have full time nurses that help us tremendously,” said Melanie. “We have learned to make the medical stuff fun and maximize our time when we are all out together or traveling to and from the hospital.”
Numotion has been able to help the Evans navigate the CRT industry and provide the adaptive equipment their children need. “I can’t say enough great things about Numotion,” said Melanie. “We were able to get Ethan a power and manual chair and they are perfect, just what he needed.”
“None of the other companies we worked with were paying attention to our needs, looking at our space and trying to customize it. Every chair for our kids needs some kind of modification and adjustment and Numotion is great about making that happen and getting someone out there to fix anything we need,” said Melanie. “The shower chairs in particular are awesome because they allow us to easily transfer the kids to the shower without having to lift them. No one else could help us get the shower chairs and make that possible.”
The Evans work with Andy, their ATP
, and his team on all of their mobility needs. “One time we were traveling and needed something fixed. They were able to send out someone to the hotel to help us,” said Melanie. “You really don’t need to be a small company to have great customer service like Numotion does.”