Kerry stated, ‘If you need a backup plan for Jake, then our family is happy to make him part of our family.’
There are numerous people in the world with large and generous hearts. Their compassion and generosity are evident when they make exceptional life decisions. This is an illustration of Kerry Bremer. She is a teacher from Massachusetts who adopted her student with Down syndrome after his mother passed away from breast cancer, thereby incorporating him into her family. In 2015, Jean Manning and her son Jake relocated from Florida to Massachusetts for better breast cancer treatment. ABC News reported that she did not know how the action would affect her son’s life.
Jake, who has Down syndrome, was enrolled in a school by Manning. They lived close to the school in Ayer, Massachusetts. Jake’s teacher, Kerry Bremer, stated that she “fell in love with him instantly.” She pondered what would become of Jake after his mother’s passing. Kerry later spoke with her husband and devised a plan. She stated, “If you need a backup plan for Jake, then our family is happy to make him part of our family.”
When she told Jake’s mother about her plan, her joy knew no bounds. She told Bremer, “I’ll sleep better tonight than I have in a long time.” In the next few years, Jake got to know the Bremer family better and became relaxed with them. Dave Bremer said, “But when we first decided to do this and I met him again, he said: ‘You’re the dad? You’re Dave, the dad?’ That was it for a very long time. I was Dave the dad.”
In 2019, Manning sent her son to school before taking a nap from which she never awoke. Kerry was constantly prepared for this moment. Officially welcoming Jake into their home, she and her family decided to raise him as one of their own. “My mom went to heaven,” Jake said. “She’s always in my heart.”
In another heartwarming adoption story, Oksana Masters, age 7, was adopted by Gay Masters. She was born with one kidney, a half stomach, six toes on each foot, webbed fingers on each thumbless hand, missing shinbones in both legs, and a left leg that was six inches shorter than the right. And today, she is a multi-sport paralympic athlete.
Gay shared with the Courier Journal the first time she met Oksana. She stated, “I had intended to adopt an infant because I know through my line of work how important the first year is for development, but then I was given a black and white photograph of this little girl. There was a sparkle in her eyes and I knew, even though this child was not who I had set out to find, this was my daughter.”
A speech pathologist from the University of Louisville advised her not to adopt a girl of that age with so many physical challenges. However, Gay went ahead and did what she desired. It took Gay 24 months to complete the necessary paperwork and arrive to retrieve her.
And upon her arrival, she recognized who it was. “I know who you are; you are my mother,” she pulled a picture of Gay, which was kept safe on the bedside table. Once they moved to America, Gay “had figured out by that point that sports were a kind of therapy for her, and I signed her up for horseback riding lesson.”
“I didn’t like the idea of a sport that was geared towards people with disabilities,” she said. “I wanted to feel like everyone else.”