State forest ranger and wife set up Easter egg hunts to raise money to adopt a child
Marshall, NC (WLOS) —
A Madison County assistant forest ranger and his wife are getting creative to help raise money to adopt a child.
Jeremy and Jenny Graves are spending the weekend decorating yards with candy-filled plastic Easter eggs for a small cost.
“We've always wanted to adopt someday,” said Jenny. “Of course, we wanted to try to have our own biological children, also, but knowing that the infertility didn't work, just made it clear that adoption was supposed to be the path that we were meant to be on.”
After working all day and being on call for the still-blazing Dobson Knob wildfire, Jeremy wasn’t sure he would be able to help his wife with decorating. Fortunately, co-workers who have become like family have been extremely supportive.
“My boss, who's the county ranger here, is going to cover my on-call tonight, so I can go out and hide Easter eggs,” Jeremy said.
The married couple who has several friends and relatives that are or have adopted, said the community has been extremely supportive of their journey. They started working with Quiver Full Adoptions for self-match open adoption about a month ago. The process allows the couple to get to know the expecting mother and her family.
“We really want to know the family that our child is coming from, and we want the child to know the family, also,” Jenny said.
Jeremy said their agency’s goal is “debt-free adoption.” An average adoption can cost $30,000 in America. As of Friday night, more than 50 families have signed up for decorating after hearing about couple or seeing the posts on their Facebook adoption page.
“It means everything to us. We've always wanted a family. We have such supportive families, nieces and nephews, and we want to bring a child into that family and be able to give that child the love and support that we got from our families,” Jenny said.
“Having a child to us is being able to pass down family traditions, educate, encourage, love and just watch someone grow into a wonderful human being,” Jeremy said. “Maybe this time next year we'll be doing just one yard.”
The Graveses will be doing most of the decorating late Friday and Saturday night, so the children can wake up to the surprise of a decorated yard and note from the Easter Bunny.
“It's going to be so exciting to see their faces when they get to see their yard’s been decorated and they have a note from the Easter Bunny,” said Jenny. “I think that's what makes this so fun for us.”
If you’d like them to decorate your yard, they’ve enlisted the help of some friends and have some availability or if you’d like to help them along their adoption journey, click here.