Parents will do anything for their child’s happiness. But as we all know, life can get in the way. The Fisher family from Utah did everything they could to ensure their daughter’s dreams would come true but at a certain point, it was simply out of their hands. They waited patiently for two years to learn the news that would either be their daughter’s biggest wish or tear her life apart. When their daughter did finally receive the news, the world couldn’t stop talking about her reaction.
A Life-Changing Decision
Jen and Jeff Fisher of South Jordan, Utah were a lovely couple with two kids who would soon be faced with a life-changing decision. Not only would it change the dynamics of the family that they already had but it would also alter the lives of three young children that came into their home.
Of course, the decision in question was one of adoption. But it would turn out that the process was anything but seamless.
The Fishers Had More Love To Give
The Fishers already had two children of their own: 13-year-old Aiden and 10-year-old Macy. However, any hope of expanding their family didn’t seem to be in the cards. “My husband and I had a lot of infertility problems and we had wanted more,” Jen told ABC News.
The Fishers decided to look at other options and were introduced to the foster system. It was through foster care that they’d meet three kids who would change everything.
They Fostered The Butterfield Siblings
A social worker who worked with the foster system introduced the Fishers to an 11-year-old girl named Tannah Butterfield. She and her two younger siblings lost their parents and no longer had a home of their own. Tannah wanted nothing more than a family of her own.
As is typical with the foster system, siblings are at risk of being separated from each other and sent off to different homes. But that’s when the Fishers did something extraordinary.
Tannah And Her Siblings Fit Right In
The Fishers welcomed Tannah and her siblings, six-year-old Teagun and two-year-old Tallie, into their home. It was an incredibly gracious gesture, especially since some foster families won’t accept siblings together due to their age differences.
When Tannah and her siblings set foot in the Fisher household for the first time, the transition couldn’t have been easier. They got along with Aiden and Macy as if they’d all known each other their whole lives.
Tannah Was Already Adjusting To Her New Life
It wasn’t certain that Tannah and her siblings would be staying with the Fishers for long. Still, Tannah began attending middle school at a private school called American Heritage of South Jordan.
She easily made friends with her classmates and even forged relationships with the school’s faculty and staff. Kids in the foster system don’t always open up in new schools, especially since they risk having to leave at a moment’s notice.
Tannah Had A Close Confidante
Tannah found an instant connection with one of the school administrators, office manager Jackie Alexander. Tannah stopped by Ms. Jackie’s desk regularly to say hello and talk about her day. Of course, Ms. Jackie knew all about Tannah’s circumstances at home and was close to Tannah’s foster mom Jen.
“Our school is small enough to where we get to know the families well. I was aware of the situation,” Jackie told Daily Advertiser.
The Adults Worried About Tannah’s Fate
Despite Tannah’s sunny disposition about her current situation, the adults in her life were concerned about breaking her heart. They know that not all foster children are as lucky as Tannah and her siblings were at that moment.
A majority of kids in foster care don’t stay in assigned homes for more than a year and often float around until they age out of the system. This is especially the case for siblings, who often end up separated.
After Two Years, The Fishers Wanted To Adopt Them
Luckily for Tannah, Teagun, and Tallie, they were able to stay with the Fisher family for a whole two years. At that point, Jen and Jeff Fisher decided they wanted to adopt the three kiddos that they’d come to love as their own.
But adopting Tannah and her siblings turned out to be a long and frustrating process. The Fishers wanted the three kids to have security before the foster system took them somewhere else.
Ms. Jackie Told Them Not To Give Up
The Fishers were anxious to see if the judge would approve the adoption. “Jen went to court and thought she would get the kids – but she didn’t. I told her to hold on, to keep fighting the good fight… that it’s gonna be okay,” Ms. Jackie told Daily Advertiser.
All the Fishers and Tannah could do was wait as patiently as they could but it was hard considering the system could’ve taken her back at any moment.
Tannah Didn’t Want To Leave
The Butterfield siblings became part of the family within the two years that they stayed with the Fishers. But Jen and Jeff Fisher technically didn’t have parental rights, which meant that a social worker could drop by at any moment and deliver some bad news.
Considering how long Tannah and her siblings had been with the Fishers, it would have been very hard on everyone to have to leave a life that they had grown accustomed to.
The Judge Finally Approved The Adoption
Finally, one morning in October 2017 a judge reached a decision in the case of the Butterfield siblings. The judge ruled that Tannah, Teagun, and Tallie would officially become members of the Fisher family!
Jen and Jeff Fisher were thrilled and couldn’t wait to let Tannah know. “Tannah was kind of stressed that day and wanted to know what happened in court the minute we got done,” Jeff explained to My U-Haul Story.
They Called The School Right Away
As much as Jeff and Jen wanted to tell Tannah the good news, it was a school day when they found out. Still, they couldn’t keep the news to themselves and they called the school to tell Ms. Jackie.
“I got a call from Jen and she told me that they got the kids. She said, ‘I know Tannah comes to your desk and I want you to be the one to tell her,'” Ms. Jackie explained to Daily Advertiser.
Ms. Jackie Told Tannah The Big News
“I said, ‘Are you sure? This is big news. [Jen] said, ‘No, I know she loves you… go ahead and tell her. She gets to be adopted.’ So I did,” Ms. Jackie said. Later that day, Tannah stopped by the school office to see Ms. Jackie.
“I grabbed her by the shoulders and said, ‘Hey baby, have you heard the news? Do you know? Sweetheart, you get your forever family, today’s the day,” Ms. Jackie recalled.
The Moment Was Caught On Film
At that moment, Tannah leaped into Ms. Jackie’s arms. She was elated to hear that she and her siblings had finally been adopted. The heartwarming moment was captured on the school’s security cameras and when Ms. Jackie saw the footage, she knew she couldn’t keep it to herself.
Later that day, she posted the clip on her Instagram page. It wasn’t long before the clip went viral. Ms. Jackie didn’t see it coming.
Good News During A Very Sad Time
Ms. Jackie had a very good reason for sharing such a personal moment online. Tannah’s good news came the day after the tragic massacre that occurred at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ms. Jackie was sad on her way to work that day. “It’s so horrible to see more tragedy in the world. We wake up to fires, shootings, earthquakes… but we have to remember – there is still good in this world,” she said.
Ms. Jackie Could Feel Tannah’s Excitement
Tannah wouldn’t let go of Ms. Jackie when she heard the news. She just kept hugging the bearer of good news tighter and tighter. “In 12 years at this job, this is by far my best moment ever,” Ms. Jackie wrote.
“Everything [Tannah] was feeling came right through to me… You don’t get to tell someone every day they get a family. Her reaction was so authentic and priceless and sweet,” Ms. Jackie also told Daily Advertiser.
The Biggest Thing That Ever Happened To Her
Tannah could hardly contain herself. “This is the biggest thing that’s ever happened to me.. My heart was so happy. It was like ‘ah!’ I was like screaming,” she told KUTV.
“They’re just caring, loving, they take really good care of me,” Tannah said of her new parents. She also wanted people to know that if you believe something long enough, it just might come true. “Never, ever, ever give up,” she added.
They Didn’t Expect To Go Viral
While the Fisher family was celebrating over their good news, they didn’t expect for the video of Tannah and Ms. Jackie to go viral. But they were pleased to know that their special moment helped warm the hearts of people around the world.
“It was a crazy week or so, doing media interviews for local stations and national networks… We understand people want to see our happy story and see something positive,” Jeff Fisher told My U-Haul Story.
“It Was All A Blessing”
As all the hoopla around their story was going on, the Fishers were mostly relieved that the arduous adoption process was finally over. What they thought would be a simple application turned out to be two years of legal setbacks.
“In the long run, it seems like it was all a blessing. We’ve treated the kids as if they were part of our family from the get-go… we try to be like any other family,” Jeff said.
Their Happily Ever After
Jeff’s co-workers kindly set up a crowdfunding account to help the Fisher family work through all the legal bills they’ve racked up. The family surpassed their goal and even had enough to treat the kids to a celebratory vacation.
“We really wanted the kids to be a part of our family. If might take a long time but just stick with it and it will be worth it,” Jen Fisher told KSL.com.