Adoption Not Part of Everyday Life; it's Simply Family
Oklahoma Capitol -- A recent photo of Neil and Kerri Jerry’s children tells the story—five kids grinning from ear to ear, happy to have found a forever family.
As the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) celebrates National Adoption Awareness Month, the Jerry’s story is one of inspiration, compassion and perhaps most importantly, love.
“When we first considered adoption, we were concerned about the biological parents changing their mind,” says Kerri Jerry. “Neil and I knew we could not handle the emotional issues of losing children we had gotten attached to, so we made a decision to only consider children whose parental rights had already been terminated.
“We were made aware of two children who were in need of adoption, and then the number of children grew to five because they were in separate homes in three different counties. Our DHS case worker was great and made it as simple as possible and overall it was a very positive experience,” Jerry recalls.
Recently one of their children was diagnosed with a serious illness, so the family relocated from their hometown of Antlers to McLoud to be closer to medical care. Their lives have changed, Jerry reports, all for the better.
“As parents you find out quickly there is nothing you would not do for your kids,” she observes. “Nothing about our life is the same since the adoption. They have changed everything about our routine. We have no free time and things change constantly, but we love it! The kids are amazing to watch and learn from; they are wonderful and smart.
“Adoption is not a part of our everyday life,” Jerry says. “It’s just our family. Kind of seems like they have always been with us. Life’s changes are unexpected and amazing. We have a wonderful family that we never expected to have, and it’s all because of adoption.”
Despite their hectic and changing schedule, Jerry says the adoption process was fairly straightforward, and given the opportunity, they would do it all again. What would she tell others who may be weighing adoption as a choice for building a family?
“I would tell them that adoption of these kids is a benefit to both you and them,” Jerry stresses. “They bring so much to your life and giving them this opportunity to have a so-called ‘normal life’ is very rewarding.”
Neil and Kerri Jerry say “adoption” is not part of their everyday life—it’s just their family.