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Jonesboro family shares adoption story of faith and love

Published: Jun. 27, 2021 at 5:13 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 28, 2021 at 8:27 AM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) -Family isn’t defined by blood, it’s defined by commitment and love.

Both Tyler and Jerry Jackson, a married couple of six years, not only understand that; they are a testimony of it. After prayer and faith, the couple looked into the process of adoption and they documented their journey through their Facebook page name: Jerry & Tyler’s Adoption Diary.

“We knew that we wanted to adopt, but we know that God’s timing is perfect. So, with that we prayed, we cried, and we prayed more,” Tyler said.

The pair struggled with fertility and could not conceive. However, while not giving up on expanding their family, they needed some help with that process.

“I’m blessed to have a wife that’s willing to jump out there and get it done. We contacted Woodruff Law Firm, which is Jennifer Woodruff and Caleigh Parker and she got the ball rolling,” the Jacksons said.

For six months, they waited and documented everything on Facebook, and then in April, their prayers were answered. The two say the moment was “surreal” when they found out.

While they were matched, their new addition, TJ, had several challenges to overcome before he was released from the hospital.

“TJ was born at 29-weeks gestation. We met him when he was 11 days old. He was in the NICU at St. Bernards,” Tyler said.

The first time they meet TJ, he was on a CPAP machine. But, they loved him the same. The family says they would spend their days at work, anxiously waiting for bonding moments.

“That was probably my favorite part of the day. We look forward to that. Every day at work, I couldn’t wait to get off to go to the hospital to get that skin to skin,” Jerry said.

But, after 50-plus days of fighting and gaining his strength, Baby TJ was finally released from the hospital.

However, anxiety started to build in the new family now without the help of their beloved nurses and doctors.

“TJ struggles with acid reflux and when he was discharged home, he was four pounds and nine ounces. He spits up through his nose and out of his mouth and he couldn’t breathe, it hurt because of the acid and that scared us,” Tyler said.

They, too, have overcome and the last four months have been a learning, living and loving process for the now-family of four.

Baby TJ also has a new big sister named Madisyn, who is already protective and has plans to take TJ out for cookies and ice cream when they are old enough.

The Jacksons also have a simple message of vulnerability and understanding to mothers of families who have concerns about having or keeping their children.

“If you’ve ever had any second thoughts or second guesses about rather you want to adopt or keep your baby or abort, just know that there are people in this world who would love to bring home a child, your child, take care of your child, love and support your child whole-heartedly and you wouldn’t have to worry about a thing,” Tyler said.

As Stevie Wonder would say, “Don’t you worry ‘bout a thing, mama”; the family says they will be standing there ready to fight and live fearless for TJ.

“We have adopted TJ and we love him so much, but we are going to have him another baby. A baby brother and a baby sister. We are not going to give up,” Tyler said.

To read more on their story or follow them along their journey, click here.

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