Adapting to adoption: The truth behind an untold story

Fourth-year public relations student Jermain Kershner
Photo credit: Courtesy of Jermain Kershner

At 17 months Jermaine Kershner was adopted by a family that welcomed him in with open arms, but from the age of 7 to 13 he cried every night wondering what he did wrong to not have the opportunity to grow up with his biological family.

Stuck in a position of uncertainty, frustration and rejection, Kershner knew his adoptive family loved him, but he wanted that same love from his biological family.

Kershner, who is a fourth-year public relations student at Florida A&M University, was very serious about finding his biological family, so he realized crying was not going to get the job done. He decided to pray that one day he would receive the opportunity to meet them.

On Sept. 25, 2017 while sitting in his Spanish class, Kershner was in tears. It was a day unlike any other, but certainly a dream come true. After being away from Facebook a little over a year, Kershner decided to log on, and he saw that his inbox was flooded with messages from his biological family trying to reach out to him.

Kershner said he could not hold back any emotions when he realized his prayers had been answered. “I couldn’t control myself, I had messages from my family saying, ‘hey bro, hey son, we hope to see you soon.’ I was in shock and wanted the world to know I finally found my family,” Kershner said.

Going to college also allowed Kershner to form another family. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated where he has formed a relationship with brothers for life.

Kershner’s line brother Keenan Williams was sitting in front of him when his biological family contacted him.

“Jermaine is a caring brother, I’m glad I had the opportunity to witness such a beautiful moment and support his movement,” Williams said.

Unlike most adopted children, Kershner was one out of million to not bounce from home to home, but to have one family since birth. Many adopters fear that they might not adopt the best fitting child while some adopters do not mind taking that risk.

“There’s a lot of children out here that need a home. Being able to adopt is a blessing, while being able to bless other’s lives,” said Dr. Edith Davis, who has previously adopted.

Babies turn into children and children turn into adults and age out of the system. Other children like Jermaine Kershner got blessed by getting adopted by a family that make sure his well-being is protected.

Despite the skin color, Kershner still loves his family and appreciates everything they sacrifice for him and his siblings. His adoptive family makes him feel like family and have always been supportive.

Kershner has two adopted siblings and seven biological siblings, that he has formed a bond with. Although he has only known his biological family for five months, he feels as though he has known them his entire life.

Being able to fight all odds, remain patient and humble is what carried Kershner this far. He is excited that he now has a relationship with both of his families.

At the age of 22, Kershner finally had the weight of not knowing his biological family off his shoulders. When asked is there anything he plans to do for adopted kids, Jermaine said, “I would definitely love to get with some agencies to help others like me understand that there is hope.”