Adoptions
Young teacher drains life savings to adopt “problem child” and his little brother
Chelsea knew it would be hard to raise them on her own and that it would cost everything she had. But what she showed is that money can't hold a candle to love and family.
Jessica Adler
11.08.21

There’s no doubt that teaching can be at once one of the most challenging and rewarding careers there is.

Being huddled with your students for upwards of 6 hours a day, you get to know them pretty well. You know when things are going great and you instantly know when something is off.

Of course, you always want to help those children.

But sometimes giving the help they need is easier said than done.

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Pexels

Teachers often feel overlooked by authorities.

Frustrated that there isn’t something you could personally do to help a vulnerable member of your class.

That’s exactly how Chelsea Haley, aged 24 at the time, felt when she met fourth-grade student Jerome Robinson while working for Teach for America in Louisiana.

Chelsea Haley - Facebook
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Chelsea Haley - Facebook

The pair didn’t get off to the best start.

Jerome was the “problem child” who almost drove Chelsea to quit.

But when Chelsea put her foot down and became determined to work more closely with Jerome, she learned the cause of his unruly behavior: a bad home situation.

Chelsea was now desperate to help Jerome and realized that he needed more than just academic support.

Chelsea Haley - Facebook
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Chelsea Haley - Facebook

Then, God gave Chelsea a dream to adopt Jerome and his baby brother, Jace.

By 2016, a year after meeting them, Chelsea had been granted full custody of Jerome and Jace. At 24 years of age, she gave up her freedom and her savings to become a single mom to two boys.

Adopting a child doesn’t come cheap, and Chelsea spent all the money in her bank to see the process through.

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In her first few years of raising the boys, she lived off credit cards and deferred her student loan.

But speaking to Good Morning America, Chelsea said it was all worth it, adding:

“Being their mom is the greatest blessing of my life. I get to wake up in the morning and love two little guys.”

Chelsea Haley - Facebook
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Chelsea Haley - Facebook

As Chelsea bonded with her adopted sons, she worked hard to repay her debts.

She took on extra tutoring jobs outside of school hours, moved in with her parents, and even delivered groceries for cash.

Along the way, she was learning how to be the best mom to Jerome and Jace, cooking for them and cheering them on at football matches.

Chelsea Haley - Facebook
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Chelsea Haley - Facebook

5 years later, Chelsea can proudly say she’s paid off nearly $50K in debt.

She shared a picture on her Facebook account that shows her posing with her family. On the left, Jerome holds a sign that reads:

“At 24-years-old, she wiped out her savings to adopt us as a single mom”.

Little Jace stands between them, and on the right, Chelsea holds up a sign that reads:

“Today, at 29 years old, she has officially paid off $48,683.41 and is DEBT FREE!”

Chelsea Haley - Facebook
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Chelsea Haley - Facebook

Now she’s finally out of debt, Chelsea has plans to buy a house and save up for the boys’ college education.

“It allows me to focus on the boys’ future,” she said. “Saving money for them, and not spending it on my past.”

Chelsea Haley - Facebook
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Chelsea Haley - Facebook

She offered a word of advice to anyone else who was dealing with debt, suggesting that they focused on the expenses that had the highest amount of interest first.

She added that what made the effort worth it was “knowing you’ll have a lot more freedom once it’s paid off”.

And freedom she has.

Chelsea Haley - Facebook
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Chelsea Haley - Facebook

Chelsea is one of the most inspiring stories we’ve heard. She isn’t superhuman and she isn’t made of money.

She is made of faith, perseverance, and love, and she’s proven that’s all it really takes to meet life’s challenges one decision at a time.

See more of Chelsea’s beautiful, hand-knit family in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Jessica Adler
hi@sbly.com
Jessica Adler is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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