Followup Story: Faculty and Admin Adopt and Foster Children

Judge+Clark+officially+announces+that+the+girls+are+adopted.+Art+teacher+Rebecca+Harrison+and+her+husband+have+been+fostering+their+daughters+for+16+months.

Rebecca Harrison

Judge Clark officially announces that the girls are adopted. Art teacher Rebecca Harrison and her husband have been fostering their daughters for 16 months.

Art teacher Rebecca Harrison adopted her five and three year old daughters on April 18 at the Smith County Courthouse. Assistant principal Ryan Tomlin is also currently fostering 3 children under the age of 2 years old.

“It feels fantastic knowing that this is done, and there is an amazing feeling knowing that this is their forever home,” Harrison said. “The girls’ relationship with us has not changed, and our relationship with the girls has not changed.”

Harrison and her husband have fostered their daughters for sixteen months. They have known since October that they would be able to adopt the girls. However, going through the process with lawyers and case workers at times was difficult.

“All of these people were working together to basically fulfill their piece of the same puzzle,” Harrison said. “We were super blessed to get people who worked really hard and were really efficient with their time to get the adoption finalized.”

We also do this to try and give hope and encouragement to the parent(s) who have lost their child. Hopefully, this leads to sharing the Gospel with them as this decision is what will change their course of life.”

— Ryan Tomlin

Even though Harrison’s daughters did not fully comprehend that anything in their lives were changing, they were really excited for the day. Harrison and her daughters did their nails and hair in order to be ready for the judge to declare that the girls legally belong to Harrison.

“I tried to reinforce with them that the judge is going to sign some papers and declare their new names,” Harrison said. “One day, I hope they will see the pictures and know and understand what a big deal it was.”

While there are many different reasons to foster, Tomlin and his wife take a step in faith to foster their children. Not only do they have children of their own, but they also feel that it is their duty to foster children.

“We foster because God tells us to visit orphans in their affliction,” Tomlin said. “We also do this to try and give hope and encouragement to the parent(s) who have lost their child. Hopefully, this leads to sharing the Gospel with them as this decision is what will change their course of life.”

There are many changes when you bring in another child from different dynamics that Tomlin’s wife handles seamlessly. Many times, the children are not used to structure, so this can be a tough adjustment. This adjustment  has also taught Tomlin’s biological children valuable life lessons.

“We have three biological children that are fourteen, twelve and nine, and it has really taught them a lot about hospitality, sacrifice, spiritual warfare and patience,” Tomlin said. “My wife is amazing, and I do not know any other that serves unnoticed as she does.  She is the one who teaches our children at home while trying to meet all doctor appointments, therapy appointments and parent visits of the children we take in.”