For parents, there’s no greater anxiety than a child’s happiness and well-being. As much as moms and dads want to give their kids everything, they know that life has a way of taking carefully crafted plans and tossing them out the window.
One Utah couple waited on the edge of their seats for a piece of news that would either solidify their child’s happiness or break it apart forever. And once the ultimate decision came in, a nearby camera caught the unforgettable emotional aftermath…
Jeff and Jen Fisher had an important decision to make. The South Jordan, Utah, couple weighed the positives and negatives of an action that would not only change their family forever, but would quite likely make a world of change for someone in need, too.
Facebook / Jeff Fisher
Jeff and Jen already had two children of their own, Aiden and Macy. Yet by 2015, they were considering expanding their family, but any plans about having a third child proved unproductive. Why not, they thought, explore options in the foster system?
A representative for the foster system told Jeff and Jen about Tannah Butterfield. This girl wanted nothing more than a family of her own. Sadly, she had no home or parents, no place really to call her own. But Jeff and Jen didn’t invite Tannah to stay with them…
They brought Tannah AND her two younger siblings into their home. Later that year, Tannah, Teagun, and Tallie stepped into the Fisher household for the first time. The new arrivals blended in seamlessly with Aiden and Macy, almost as if they’d been family all along.
Facebook / Jen Fisher
Tannah flourished in her fresh surroundings. She attended middle school at American Heritage of South Jordan, where she became fast friends with her classmates and endeared herself to faculty and staff.
Tannah’s closest confidante at school was Jackie Alexander, the school’s office manager. She stopped by Ms. Jackie’s desk each day to talk about her day. All in all, South Jordan had everything Tannah needed — except there was no guarantee she would stay there.
But nevertheless, her courage was admirable. Too many children find themselves in the same predicament and, unable to find a permanent living situation, float around the foster system for years. Sometimes, they hang in foster system limbo until they reach adulthood.
After two years, Jen and Jeff sought to adopt their foster kids, but it wasn’t so easy. On top of the hefty legal fees, the court moved at a snail’s pace. Would they be able to obtain guardianship over Tannah and her siblings before the foster system whisked them away?
The Fisher family hoped so. They waited patiently for their requests to be processed and kept up a brave face for the kids. It was important for their well-being to have some sense of stability amid their precarious situation.
One morning in October of 2017, the fateful news arrived: the judge had announced his ruling. Tannah Butterfield and her siblings were now official members of the Fisher family!
Jen and Jeff were overjoyed. Because it was a school day, they were the only ones in the family who heard the good news. Of course, this type of message couldn’t wait, so Jen reached out to Tannah’s closest friend at school.
Facebook / Jen Fisher
Ms. Jackie called Tannah into her office that afternoon without explanation. She knelt down and told her that her adoption papers had gone through. Tannah leaped up and wrapped Ms. Jackie in a big hug!
In particular, Jackie was responding to a mass shooting in Las Vegas, which occurred just days earlier. After such a terrible national tragedy, she understood people needed proof there was indeed still good in the world.
There’s no doubt that the biggest fans of the video were the Fishers themselves. The other children could hardly believe the wonderful news, and they all shared an emotional moment together. They were now, as Tannah called them, “forever family.”
As an added bonus, Tannah got a big moment in the spotlight. News outlets all over the country picked up the viral video, and they picked up her side of the story with an exclusive interview.
Knowing that the Fishers endured years of emotional turmoil and a mountain of legal fees, Jeff’s co-workers set up a crowdfunding account to help out the family. It raised enough to get them back on their feet — plus a little bit more.
The remaining money allowed the Fishers to take a celebratory vacation. Looking back, Tannah was blown away that she ended up with such a perfect family. It was as if all her dreams came true.
Facebook / Jen Fisher
When you check out the news clip below, you’ll see the actual CCTV footage of Fannah receiving the good news. Just watch the way her body moves — that’s pure excitement, no doubt about it!
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