Nikki is a mom of three, grandmother of two, a native Austinite, and lover of all things gluten free. In June 2019, Nikki retired from the City of Austin, Development Services Department, as a Senior Planner with over 24 years of service; she describes it as nothing less than a blessing. After retiring she was able to stay home to care for her grandsons Nicholas (9) and Jeremiah (4) since they were already in her custody by this time. She also continued to help her daughter finish her high school career to begin college.
Nikki was connected with Austin Angels through a CPS caseworker after she was given guardianship of her grandsons in June 2018. One day she was a mom of a high school senior, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel to being an "empty nester," and the next day she became a full time grandma to a then 7-year-old and 2.5-year-old. Austin Angels was a godsend to her and the boys. Going through such a difficult time with readjusting, working full-time, and parenting a soon-to-be college freshman, Austin Angels helped her feel appreciated for what she was doing (because as she came to find out, not all grandparents accept this tremendous responsibility of kinship care––an unimaginable thought to her). They also helped her know she wasn't alone and that there were many others in the same situation.
Nikki recently adopted the boys and believes everything happens for a reason. She is often reminded of the scripture "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Nicholas was extremely excited he would be adopted, and very open to talking about it, and Nikki feels that Austin Angels has definitely helped make this a positive experience. Nikki feels that the Love Box group that their family is matched with is the perfect––a young couple with lots of energy and a love for kids that's unbelievable.
Nikki's other children are Nicholas Sr. (27), Tristen (24), and Laura (18). She's gone back to work part-time at the law firm of Drenner Group. She loves to read memoirs and CIA mysteries. She enjoys binge watching Homeland and This Is Us (when she has time) and is a news fanatic––watching, listening, or reading about it. These days, Nikki has embraced this new role of grandma/mom, walking that fine line of giving in to Jeremiah by letting him eat M&Ms for breakfast or making him eat an actual meal.