Where parenthood is concerned, the challenges never end. Mention that, and Tammy and Jeff Jarrett chuckle in agreement.
Not that it will stop them from taking on an extra helping of hurdles — such as going to China to adopt a child with special needs and then deciding to go back and adopt another with even greater needs.
Already the parents of three biological sons, the Jarretts felt they had room in their lives for another child. The couple, who live in Randolph, south of Ravenna, decided they would adopt.
That path eventually took them to China, where they found Wan Jin Si.
“We were told she was completely blind, and that didn’t bother us — she was too cute to pass up,” says Jeff Jarrett, a chef at North End in Hudson. His wife, Tammy, is a nursing supervisor at Anna Maria of Aurora, a privately operated rehabilitation center, “so she was prepared to help with whatever [the girl] needed.”
The couple brought home the toddler in 2008 and named her Jasmine. Within weeks, they realized that the then-2-year-old was bending over and picking up things from the floor, indicating some visual ability. As their newest family member quickly integrated into the household — which includes Jordan, now 12; Jonathan, 10; and Jacob, 7 — the Jarretts realized something more.
There was still room in their home, and in their hearts.
As Jeff Jarrett tells it, while he and Tammy were pursuing the Foster to Adopt training offered by Stark County, “my wife and I turned to each other and said, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice just to adopt from China once again?’ ” The couple returned to the Chinese agency that had facilitated Jasmine’s adoption and its “Waiting Child List” — which posts orphans and boys and girls who face special needs.
They spotted an infant, Yang Cheng Bing, born in Fujian Province on Valentine’s Day 2009.
Born without eyes, according to the Chinese officials.
“I hurried to contact the adoption agency and they told me, ‘Don’t rush. There won’t be many people in a hurry for such a child,’ ” says Tammy Jarrett. “There are people who will take a visually impaired child but not many willing to take a completely blind child.”
They decided to name her Jewel.
Challenges come in all forms, the Jarretts say. This is one they believe they can handle. Must handle, Jeff adds.
A greater challenge, the couple discovered, is the changing landscape of Chinese adoption laws and the fees related to adoption. On Friday the Jarretts learned that their adoption will go through. That will entail roughly $20,000 to $25,000 in expenses. Private fundraising among family, friends and co-workers produced only a fraction of the necessary outlay.
Then other chefs got involved.
A squadron, more than 20 of them, took up the cause. Jeff’s friends, then their friends, offered to lend a hand. Representing many of the area’s most popular restaurants — Bar Cento, Dante, The Leopard, AMP 150, L’Albatros, Greenhouse Tavern, Lucky’s Caf — the chefs joined forces with the Cleveland Sight Center for a benefit, “Cleveland Chefs Cooking to Bring Jewel Home,” set for Monday at the Sight Center.
Read Full Story
Article courtesy cleveland.com