One family’s journey toward adoption

*Names have been changed to protect privacy of individuals in this real-life story. 

Jenny Simmons has been volunteering for four years as a tutor with Charterhouse School’s Courage to Succeed program.  Last year she was administering SOLs to the youth at Charterhouse School where she met a young man named Jason. Jason was clearly distressed and struggling to take the test. As Jenny sat in front of him trying to read him the instructions to the test, he lashed out, telling her he could not possibly focus on the test and that all he could think about was the fact that he didn’t have a family. Jenny thought for a minute that Jason was trying to manipulate her to get out of taking the test. But then, after taking the time to do a little collaborative problem solving with Jason, she realized that he truly was struggling with the pain and loss of not having a family. Jenny offered to administer the test in a couple of days after Jason solemnly promised to put the time to good use in more studying and more focus. Afterwards, Jenny began to ask staff about this young boy and what his situation was. They learned that he was open for adoption but a previous foster family was considering adopting him but still uncertain.

Jenny and her husband Tim began a period of “thought and prayer” and decided to attend preservice foster parent training last summer. Jason eventually became freed for adoption and spent more and more time with the Simmons family as they started the adoption journey with him. Jenny is a stay-at-home mother; Tim travels for work but works from home as well. They have two children who are grown and out of the home–one 24 and the other 21.

Jenny is 1 of 5 siblings with a large clan that usually translates into a typical Thanksgiving meal of 30+ and Tim also has a loving family nearby. Both sides and a strong group of loving friends have all welcomed and embraced Jason into the fold. After he commenced from the CFHC program, he began preplacement in the Simmons home. With her teaching background, Jenny advocated for Jason’s wish to enter a mainstream public school setting. He now gardens with Tim, has joined the Jr ROTC and is getting to classes. There are still challenges that come with the transition, but no matter what – Jenny and Tim are committed to Jason unconditionally. As the adoption process is heading down the homestretch, these unwavering champions are looking forward to the newest addition to the family. From volunteer to foster parent to adoptive parents – this was path of deep satisfaction and joy for this family.