A mother reunites her family after years of drug addiction

ST. LOUIS - A St. Louis mother is reunited with her two daughters after putting them up for adoption at birth more than 20 years ago. The reunion comes after her recovery, as she fought drug addiction.

Now, her prayers have been answered.

Writing a letter to God asking him would this day ever come again and if it's in his will, let it be," said Lashaun Jenkins.

More than 26 years later 53-year-old Lashaun Jenkins prayers were answered.

"At that time, I had an addiction. I would not want to have another child go through that with me."

It’s a picture worth a thousand words as the family gathered for photos at Portrait Innovation in Richmond Heights Sunday morning.  The family of five was reunited but it was a journey for Jenkins to see this day become a reality.

Jenkins was in her twenties when she already had two children Brandon and Brandy.  Within three years she had two more kids, Dominique and Elizabeth.

Jenkins says it was a struggle as she battled her drug addiction.  She had to made tough decision to put Elizabeth and Dominique up for adoption.  "I chose the adoption, I did not want to abort her.  I did not use drugs at times with my children.  I carried them fully, nine months. Both were healthy not addicted to anything.  The reason I chose adoption and not abortion cause I wanted to give them a chance at life, that would have been so selfish of me to get rid of them."

Jenkins says she’s been clean for the last 10 years and it was painful to give up her kids for adoption.  But it was the best thing to do.

26 years later she received a letter in the mail from the adoption agency notifying her that both of her daughters were looking for her.  "Growing up I knew I was different. My parents were white.  I'm the youngest of 9, so I always knew I was adopted," said Elizabeth Schlereth.

I was ready to fill that hole and move on with my life and I have filled that hole.  My heart is filled now so I feel better," said Dominique Miller.

Jenkins' other two kids Brandy and Brandon never knew they had two younger sisters. "We don’t have new found sisters, we have new found lifelong best friends and we will keep in contact every day and pick up where we left off," said Brandy Jenkins.

Jenkins says she never gave up that one day they would be reunited again.