Duval County

Two local dads are celebrating their very first Father’s Day with their adopted son

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jamari will never forget the day he learned he would be adopted by Jason and Rush Tolbert, his new forever family.

“Jamari is like a perfect combination of me and Jason in some ways. He is amazing and enthusiastic, always happy, I’ll put it that way, always happy to see you,” said Rush Tolbert.

The couple told me the whole adoption process took nearly two years.

Before being adopted Jamari lived in 13 different foster homes, but this past January on Jamari’s 12th birthday he got the gift he had been dreaming of for years: he would finally get the family he had been waiting for with help from Family Support Services of North Florida.

“It’s just learning to be able to be with a nice family and not having to worry about who’s going to be my next parents or something like that. So it’s a fresh new start,” Jamari said.

According to Family Support Services of North Florida, last month there were 945 children in foster care in our area.

Of those children there are more than 200 that are currently up for adoption.

This Sunday the family is cooking up a big meal to help celebrate their first official Father’s Day as a family.

“It’s surreal,” Jason Tolbert said. “Just to know that we have a wonderful kid, not that we weren’t a family before but now we feel like we are a family.”

If you would like information about adopting a child, visit Family Support Service’s of North Florida’s website.