Jessika Reed grew up in a family who strongly supported the foster care system. Their home welcomed 14 foster children through its doors. She knows there was a need for more homes to help more children and speaks passionately about fostering and adoption. You can see it’s really a part of who she is. She is also raising awareness of the dire need for foster homes in Arizona. The state is so desperate, one child was moved 53 times in an attempt to find a long-term placement.
Jessika Reed always knew that she would be a foster parent. While attending community college to be a sign language interpreter, she learned of a set of triplets available for adoption. They were born two months early, underweight, and with fetal alcohol syndrome. She immediately took the necessary classes so she could be certified the instant she turned 21. The triplets, who were initially placed in three separate homes, were reunited when Jessika took them home. Ajah, Erykah, and Kenyah had many medical needs and needed frequent doctor visits. She quit school and moved in with her sister to help offset costs. She watched them like a hawk to ensure all of their needs were met. She adopted her “little miracles” about a year later.
When the triplets were two, Reed was contacted by a social worker about a newborn with complications who needed a home. She went to Phoenix Children’s Hospital to meet the baby, Cassara, who was lying there so fragile, and she fell in love. She suffered a stroke from her mother’s drug use. She also had a heart condition that required surgery. She was not expected to live over six months. The doctor told Reed not to bother. She changed doctors and took Cassara home. Over the years, other calls of desperation came and were answered.
In 2007, she had a biological daughter, Irelynd, and also adopted Parys. Cassara was seven years old when she was adopted in 2011. She has two cochlear implants, but otherwise seems like a regular teenager. Just last year, Reed adopted Fynnlynd and Zealynd. Fynn is developmentally delayed and nonverbal. He signs with his mom. He is believed to be on the autism spectrum, but they are waiting on a definitive diagnosis. Zealynd must be fed through a gastrostomy tube. Sometimes the family also fosters a kinship placement.
Her boyfriend of several years, Clark Pace, has two grown children of his own. He never pictured himself as part of a large family. Nevertheless, he has fit right into the fold. He has been supportive and caring. He is very involved in the children’s lives.
Life with so many special needs can be difficult, but Jessika is running it like a boss. She is very organized and has become an expert shopper. She takes the time to maximize the store sales and coupons. She keeps the family running smoothly. Even still, the family is currently in need of a wheelchair van. A fundraising account has been set up. If you would like to donate, visit their GoFundMe page.
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