Single Mom Adopted 4 Siblings After Fostering Over 50 Kids in Six Years: It Was 'Meant to Be'

Melissa Servetz, a former teacher, adopted four siblings after becoming a foster mom in 2015

Photo: Courtesy Melissa Servetz

Melissa Servetz has always had a lot of love to give.

The 45-year-old former elementary teacher from Florida fostered 60 children over six years — a selfless journey that eventually led her to give four young siblings a forever home.

Over the last few years, Servetz adopted siblings Jade, 8, Destiny, 6, Matthew, 4, and Emerson, 2, after their biological mother made "bad choices" and got involved with "unsafe things," she tells PEOPLE. Choosing to adopt the siblings was not difficult, Servetz says — it was simply "meant to be."

"I think about where they would've been if I didn't save them," she says. "It breaks my heart, but at the same time, it makes my heart overflow because I know they have a great life now."

Their path to becoming a family began in May 2016, when Servetz fostered Jade, then 2. Just days later, she also took in then-16-month-old Destiny. In December of the following year, Servetz adopted both sisters.

"It was like a waterfall," she says of the moment the adoption became official. "Everybody in the room was crying. My attorney was crying. The judge was crying."

In June 2018, she received a call that the sisters' biological mother had given birth to a boy. So just three days after he was born, Servetz welcomed Matthew into their home.

Courtesy Melissa Servetz

"He was born happy," Servetz says of Matthew, whom she adopted in April 2019. "He's a little heartbreaker. He's the ladies' man."

And in March 2020, when he was just a few days old, Emerson joined the family. He was officially adopted in July 2021.

Servetz, who suffered a miscarriage during a previous marriage, says the experience of motherhood has been life-changing.

"You don't realize how much you can love another human, times four — it's unconditional, really," Servetz, who is now single, says. "No matter how rough of a day…I'm going to love them no matter what. I'm going to be there to support them."

"It's not easy — but at the end of the day, they're mine forever. Every day is a brand new day," she continues. "We're going to start this new day on a happy note and just go from there. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have no regrets. I would do it all over again."

Courtesy Melissa Servetz

Servetz hopes to teach the siblings to "pay it forward when they grow up" — and says that Jade already told her she would like to be a foster parent one day.

"They all have huge hearts," she says. "It takes good people with good hearts to make the world a good place."

"They're learning how to be good human beings," she adds. "I'm really proud of them."

For Servetz, part of her choice to adopt stemmed from her desire to keep the siblings together. If their biological mother becomes pregnant again, Servetz says there's going to be a "place for that baby" in her family.

"I can't in my heart let them go somewhere else," she explains. "If I find out that there's another baby in another place, in another home, I mean, there's no doubt that I will try to get that baby. At the end of the day, if it's too much for me, my sister is open to adopting that baby, because she's always wanted to adopt, too. There's a place for that baby to go to stay in the family."

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In sharing her family's story, Servetz hopes to inspire others to think about adoption and changing the life of a child in need.

"There are so many children out there who want to be part of a family, especially teenagers, and they come with heavy shoulders," she says. "But, in the end, the difference and impact a loving person can make to these children are incredible. My hope is that every child who needs one is able to find that loving, caring forever home for them."

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