BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - On December 4, 2019, Jewels Neason made a donation at the KBTX Food for Families Food drive and was chosen randomly to be interviewed on Brazos Valley This Morning.
But this wasn't 17-year-old Jewels’ first time on News Three. Exactly six years ago, Jewels was featured on Wednesday's Child, a monthly segment featuring a child living in foster care and up for adoption.
“If there's one thing 11-year-old Jeweliana could do every single day,” begins former KBTX reporter Nicole Morten in the 2013 video clip, and Jewels’ finishes the thought: “I would probably ride horses.”
“I just remembered being interviewed,” said Jewels, back in 2019 at the Food for Families Food Drive. “I was like, why am I being interviewed?”
Now Jewels knows that she was being interviewed so as to find her forever family. And when the segment aired on December 4, 2013, that family was watching.
“I turned the news on to see the weather, and I don't remember the weather, but I remember seeing to my memory, the only Wednesday's Child I had ever seen,” said Katie Neason. “And there was just something about her spunkiness and her personality that was calling to me, and I just couldn't get her out of my head.”
Katie Neason showed her then-8-year-old son Sam the video.
“ I was kind of excited because I had always wanted another sibling,” said Sam, now 14. “I said, ‘Mom, can we be her forever family?’”
Dad David Neason was the only one left to convince--and it didn't take long.
“Jewel is a family name,” said David. “My grandmother, my mother, and my sister are all named Jewel. Kind of makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.”
Plus, Jewel loved horses, and David is a working cowboy and trainer of horses.
The Neasons hadn’t been considering adoption.
“We had actually tried to have kids after Sam and it just didn't happen,” said David Neason. “So to see her story, it just kind of—it fit.”
The process to adopt took nearly a year, but now, exactly six years later, this family knows they were always meant to be together.
“The Neason family has a trait of being hardheaded and stubborn,” said Katie Neason. “[Jewels] brings a whole new element. She's light-hearted. She's funny.”
“She has progressed and changed and just transformed unbelievably from the background that she had and what she had gone through,” said David Neason.
Jewels at 11 on Wednesday’s Child knew what she was worth even then, saying into the camera: “Every child who's been through this stuff, they deserve a family. It's not fair to them.”
Back in 2019, Jewels says she’s “very grateful,” and she has a message for the other Wednesday’s Child out there:
“Don’t give up hope because there is a time and a place for you in the future,” said Jewels. “God has a plan for you.”