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Adoption fulfills God’s promise to La Vernia mom

 
Adoption fulfills God’s promise to La Vernia mom
Gary and Christine Jackson have had their joy multiplied, after becoming adoptive parents to three of her brother’s children — Jayden, Freedom, and little August, known as “Gus.” They also share their La Vernia-area home with two lovable dogs.

“Women prophesied over me and told me I’d be a mother,” Christine Jackson recalled. “God told me I’d have a baby with a ‘J’ in his name.”

It seemed motherhood was her destiny, but despite 25 years of marriage and lots of trying, Christine experienced three miscarriages and was unable to become a biological mom.

However, when she married her husband, Gary, he had four children from his first marriage, and two of his sons had “J” names --Jeremy and James.

But that wasn’t the end of her motherhood story. It was merely the prelude.

Christine’s brother had fathered 11 children, all with different mothers. The eldest of his children was 21 years old when Christine discovered that the young woman’s mother had died. Christine sought out her niece, who came to live with the couple at their home near La Vernia. Subsequently, they adopted her.

Christine and Gary -- both veterans, she served in Operation Desert Storm and Gary served in Vietnam -- then received a letter from CPS, saying that her brother’s youngest children had been taken into protective custody. His son, Jayden, was just about to turn 2 years old; his daughter Freedom was 3 months old when they first met her. Jayden was living with his maternal grandparents and Freedom was in foster care.

Christine and Gary advocated to foster the children; by the time this was granted, there was another child, named August. Jayden and Freedom came to live with the Jacksons in September 2015 as foster children. Baby Gus joined them the following January.

“I do believe there are times in your life when you are faced with a decision to do something that will better someone else’s life on this earth,” Christine said. “And you have a choice. ... You can either step up and do something, or turn your back and deny that it even existed. Too often, we shut our doors and windows to problems. Life is messy. It’s not easy.”

She knows this firsthand, and is thankful to have had a stepfather and step-grandfather who loved her.

These were men who “did not turn their backs on me, who never said the word ‘step’ to me, who picked up the pieces of some other man, and I did not become ‘damaged goods,’” Christine recalled.

She and Gary adopted all three children May 5. Mother’s Day this year was especially poignant.

“We all have a responsibility,” she continued. “Not that you go out searching for what you’re called to do, but it comes to us. There are opportunities out there for people to do something good for someone else. Even if you’ve missed an opportunity, there are still other opportunities that come up.”

Becoming the mother of these children has led to Christine advocating for others.

“I want to advocate for those that if there is a deep calling and this [story] stirs someone, to do something,” she urged. “If there were faces to the statistics, I don’t think there would be a problem. Because look at these kids. They’re so darn cute. I’d gobble them up.

“The statistics say that if one out of every three families who attend church would foster children, we would not have a foster care system,” she continued. “There are families out there who have children from their family in foster care. That is not OK. They are all tied to families. It is a mental health issue. And it’s just getting bigger and bigger.”

Christine and Gary know, though they have chosen this path late in life, that it’s the right path.

“We are better because of what we have done,” she said adamantly. “Our quality of life has improved significantly because we faced the fear to adopt. It wasn’t as difficult as people think it is. The kids are not guilty. It’s not their fault.”

So now this blended family is thriving. Gary will retire from civil service in October, and will be a full-time, stay-at-home dad. His grandchildren from his first marriage just love the three little ones. They want to be called “uncle” and “aunt” by the trio.

Gary has a grandson, 12, named Jayden, whom they call “JayMan.”

And now Christine has a several sons with “J” names.

“God knew that was a promise he was going to keep to me,” Christine said, a tinge of wonder in her voice. “I just had my doubts.”

Jayden is now 5 and has graduated from pre-K. He shares a room with Gus; it’s just adorable, with decorations Christine made.

Freedom’s room is beautiful, with ribbons on the walls and beautiful plaques with scriptures on them. One proclaims, “For this child I have prayed and the Lord has granted the desires of my heart” (1 Samuel 1:27).

“These kids did not grow up together, but you’d never know that because of how well they get along with each other,” Christine marveled.

The family has two lovable dogs, and plenty of room outdoors for the children to run and play.

Photos of her brother’s other children also adorn the wall, because Christine and Gary have reached out to them and helped them overcome their challenges. One is a successful real estate agent in California, and one is a successful hairdresser. Their aunt is very proud of how well they are doing.

Learn more

To learn more about fostering and adoption, contact the Texas Department of Family Protective Services:

•Floresville, 830-393-5418

•New Braunfels, 830-608-3244

•San Antonio, 210-337-3117.

 
 
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