Denver Adoption Day brings stability and love to teenager

Fourteen-year-old Jassir wore a navy blue suit coat, dark pants and a pair of clean-white Vans while sitting in a chair in courtroom of the Lindsey Flanagan Courthouse. He had to look how he felt — great. Because Friday was the day that he was adopted by Morgan and Jeff Richards, bringing an end to seven years of meandering through the foster care system.

He was one of 23 Denver children who found new homes Friday during the 15th annual Denver Adoption Day, an event that was held in conjunction with National Adoption Day. A celebration at the courthouse featured therapy dogs, free food and four adoption hearings where the families were completed. Jassier was the only teenager officially joining a new family; teenagers generally are the least likely age group to be adopted, multiple people attending the event said.

“To be honest, it’s a weird feeling. It’s kind of sad because I’ve been in foster care for as long as I remember,” Jassir said. “But the happiness outweighs that. Because now I can live my life with one family and not have to worry about moving so much.”

About three years ago, the Richards decided that they wanted to adopt again. Jeff, 56, and Morgan, 55, adopted their daughter, Teagan, 16, when she was an infant.  They wanted Teagan to be the older sibling, but bringing in an infant and committing to those early-morning feedings was out of the question, Jeff said. They also wanted a child close to Teagan’s age.

When they narrowed their choices to three kids, Teagan pushed her parents to Jassir. The match fit like a glove when he arrived in the Richards’ household in June 2018.

Nick Cote, Special to The Denver PostJassir, 14 (center), is adopted during a hearing with his parents, Morgan and Jeff Richards, during the Denver Adoption Day event at the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019 in Denver, CO. 23 children were adopted during the event.

“I was in a group home previously,” Jassir said. “My case worker found them and they found me. We linked up and the rest is history.”

In what has become his permanent home, Jassir has fostered his passions thanks to the newfound stability.

Right now, he plays guitar and piano. But, as he puts it, show him any instrument and he’ll “figure it out pretty soon.”

If Jassir isn’t playing or listening to music, he’s either on the lacrosse field, basketball court or exploring new hobbies.