In 2013, Chelsea Haley joined Teach for America and started teaching in a Baton Rogue elementary school. Later, she met Jerome Robinson, a fourth-grade student with a behavior so bad she actually considered quitting her profession for good.
Things, however, took a different turn and she ended up adopting the 12-year-old boy, along with his 1-year-old brother. How did she have a change of heart and what exactly happened? Read on and maybe we can all learn something from this story.
Chelsea almost quit teaching because of Jerome.
In a CNN interview, Chelsea reflected:
“At certain points, his behavior got so bad. I thought, ‘I can’t do this anymore. I can’t be a teacher.'”
Despite that, the two later formed a bond and it came to a point when other teachers looked at Chelsea as the only one who could help him.
When she was drawing closer to the completion of her 2-year teaching experience, the school principal requested that she stick around “for Jerome” and so she signed up for another year as special education teacher.
According to Chelsea, God spoke to her in a dream.
One night, she dreamed as if God was telling her to be the mother of Jerome. He and his young brother lived with their grandparents and birth mother and they were very poor. In fact, they struggled financially after losing two family members.
She woke up from the dream laughing, thinking it was such a ridiculous idea.
Much to her surprise, Jerome asked her if he could live with her during a test the following day. So she took it as a sign and she soon made arrangements to have dinner with his mother.
Chelsea shared that she was finishing her third year teaching and is planning to go back to Georgia. The mother told her:
“You can go back. But I want you to take Jerome and Jace with you.”
After several months, the two boys are now living with Chelea in Marietta, Georgia.
“I never thought I’d be a single mom at age 24, especially of two boys, one of which was my 12-year-old student. And the other one who was only a year-and-a-half.”
Watch the short feature here:
As for Jerome, he hasn’t “gotten any suspensions or anything” and has even made the honor roll, according to Chelsea.
It’s definitely a “huge improvement from life in Louisiana,” she said. “I always knew I wanted to be a mom and I wouldn’t trade this for anything.”
Since their story went viral, Chelsea has since put up a GoFundMe page to accommodate those interested to support their family.
“I am absolutely blown away by all the kind encouraging messages I’ve received since our little story went viral. I’ve had people from all over the world reach out to see if they could help with Jerome and Jace’s education. I’ve been super hesitant to accept money because I am a pretty independent person, but I am reading about pride in my Bible Study currently and it has made me realize that ‘performance and achievement’ keep us distant from God. I can’t do it alone. I need to put pride aside and make decisions for my boys with the community God has given us. Any and all money will go straight to getting Jace back to his preschool in the Fall and the remainder immediately to a college savings account for both boys.”
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