U-Haul Family’s Adoption Garners National Attention

Nov 3, 2017

You may have seen the video of a little girl literally jumping into the arms of a friend who had just delivered the best news of her life. It was captured on security cameras at American Heritage School, and it has been seen around the world. In the video, 11-year-old Tannah Butterfield finds out that a judge has ruled that the adoption proceedings for her and her two siblings can move forward.

Her reaction is priceless! Watch the video and CBS News report on the YouTube video link. Also, try not to cry.

Tannah, her 6-year-old brother, Teagun, and 2-year-old sister, Tallie, are being adopted by Jen and Jeff Fisher. Jeff is a tire and detail specialist at U-Haul Repair Shop of Salt Lake City.

“Tannah was kind of stressed that day and wanted to know what happened in court the minute we got done,” Jeff explained. “She goes to see Miss Jackie, the school’s office manager, every day. Jen and Jackie have become friends. So as soon as we got done in court, Jen called Miss Jackie to deliver the good news.”

That’s what elicited Tannah’s amazing reaction. After the video went viral, it set off a whirlwind of events for the family.

“It was a crazy week or so, doing media interviews for local stations and national networks,” Jeff said. “It was kind of stressful at times, but we hung in there. We understand people want to see our happy story and see something positive, because this happened the day after the tragedy in Las Vegas.”

Fisher Kids Horizontal

One big, happy family: (from left) Aiden, Tannah, Tallie, Macy and Teagun

Long adoption journey

Tannah’s euphoria marked the culmination of a long journey for the Fishers, who also have two biological children: 13-year-old Aiden and 11-year-old Macy. They’ve been foster parents for Tannah, Teagun and Tallie for two years. Barring any unexpected legal delays, the adoptions will be official in late November or December.

“We hoped it wouldn’t take this long, but we’re glad now that it’s almost over,” Jeff said. “In the long run, it seems like it was all a blessing. We’ve treated the kids as if they were part of our family from the get-go. We take trips together, and we just try to be like any other family. The kids all have sibling disagreements like every family does. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s been pretty seamless.”

Jeff Fisher and Kids

Jeff Fisher draws on the driveway with sons Teagun (left) and Aiden (middle).

Support at U-Haul workplace

Throughout the entire process, the Fishers had an extensive support system that included his U-Haul family.

“The support I’ve received at work has been phenomenal,” Jeff noted. “Most of the people at work have met my family and know our situation, so their support has helped me get through this.

“My wife was actually worried that I might lose my job because I’ve had to miss so much time for court appearances and things like that. But my shop manager, Jake Mangum, has been very supportive. Anytime I’ve needed to take time off, he’s told me not to worry about it.”

Return to normal

Fisher Kids 2 VERTICAL

The Fishers say the transition has been seamless, and the kids act like any other siblings would.

The family is planning to go on a vacation at some point to celebrate and reward the kids for being patient and understanding with everything they’ve gone through over the last couple of years.

With the family’s blessing, Mangum and Office Clerk Brittany Kuoha decided to set up a GoFundMe account to help the Fishers offset the mounting legal bills they’ve racked up, and also to help send them all on a relaxing getaway.

“Jeff and Jen are humble, hardworking parents who have nobly and selflessly taken these children into their hearts and home,” Mangum said. “They are the kind of people who carry their responsibilities and would never ask for help. The children are lucky to have them, and vice-versa.

“Raising a family is a costly endeavor, not to mention adopting three more children on top of it. That’s why we are hoping to give them a bit of help that they would never ask for themselves.”

Are you also interested in joining U-Haul and becoming a terrific Team Member like Jeff Fisher? Find out what careers are available by visiting uhauljobs.com.

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