September 23, 2023

Bruce and Shelby Faltynski of Mishawaka, Indiana, went from a family of two to a family of four this year, thanks to the work being done in the state to protect unwanted newborns.

The couple knows all about serving their community. Bruce Faltynski is an officer with the Mishawaka Police Department, and Shelby Faltynski, who describes herself as a “Jesus Follower” on her Facebook page, is also a nurse. This year, they officially added the titles “dad” and “mom.”

In March, they adopted 8-year-old Kaia, and on Friday, they finalized the adoption of Myah, just a few months old.

Myah had a rough start to life — but it could have been much worse. She was surrendered to a Safe Haven Baby Box at a firehouse and spent some time in a neonatal intensive care unit, where it was determined that she had suffered a stroke.


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Despite the medical issues, though, she’s been doing very well and meeting all her developmental milestones.

“The doctor thought [she was] maybe less than 24 hours old when she was initially surrendered in the safe haven box in Lake County,” Shelby Faltynski recalled to WNDU. “We are so grateful for Myah’s birth mom, she made a really courageous decision.”

The couple stepped up to the plate when DCS called them about little Myah, and welcomed her in.

The Faltynskis are clearly enjoying their new parental roles, and appear to have nothing but gratitude for Myah’s mother and hope that these safe haven boxes will help both mothers and babies.

“It just makes, I think, moms know that they have an option,” Shelby Faltynski said, according to WLKY. “Myah was an answer to our prayer, and hopefully we were the answer to a prayer of her mommy as well.”

A new Safe Haven Baby Box was recently installed at a fire station in Mishawaka. Indiana has certainly done its due diligence in installing these life-saving boxes around the state: This box is the 89th location in the state and the 122nd in the nation.

“We now have plans to go to every single fire station in Mishawaka,” Mishawaka Mayor Dave Wood said, according to WSBT. “That begins next year with the construction, in about February, of our new fire station number two. That will replace the fire station on Main Street near McKinley.”


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Some people are worried that the information about these boxes hasn’t been getting out, and that more needs to be done to advertise their locations and existence, especially in the face of changing abortion laws.

So far, 19 babies across the state have been saved, thanks to the boxes.

According to a recent article by NPR, many of the boxes are funded by local churches and offer mothers of unwanted newborns a no-strings-attached way to surrender their babies without choosing less savory methods.

“Through this additional doorway into the fire station for them to drop the baby off than for us to go out and search for a missing baby … and we can fill in the blank on many horrific things that have happened prior to the Safe Haven Program here in the state of Indiana,” Fire Chief David Haboush of the Carmel Fire Station told NPR.

“This is an opportunity for us to take care of another human being,” Haboush said. “And it will be exciting to see, if the families allow us, what place in history these people, these human beings that are be entrusted to the firefighters, to see where they end up.”

Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she’s strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.

As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn’t really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she’s had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children’s books with her husband, Edward.


Austin, Texas

Languages Spoken

English und ein bißchen Deutsch

Topics of Expertise

Faith, Animals, Cooking