Then they went through their belongings, getting rid of anything they didn’t need. They’d sell it all in a yard sale. “Even if I sell this for just a quarter, we’re a quarter closer,” Davis, 40, said she’d reasoned over an item.
Her son, Tristan Jacobson, a shy 9-year-old who loves math and basketball, wanted to help, too. So Davis suggested he set up a lemonade stand during the sale.
Tristan has been under Davis’s legal guardianship since he was 5, she said, but they’ve never had the discretionary income to pay the costs of legally adopting him.
“To me and my husband he’s already our son, we’ve raised him,” Davis said. “It gives him the assurance that he has his family that he will always be with us.”
Word got around their community in Springfield, Mo., about Tristan’s upcoming lemonade business to fund his adoption, and a local newspaper did a story about it. So did a few of the local television stations and radio stations.
Over the weekend, people showed up at their home in droves. One couple drove 2 1/2 hours, Davis said. Another man was driving from California to Chicago and heard the story on the radio and detoured to get a bottle of Tristan’s lemonade. They were selling each lemonade for $1. Many people paid $20.
For each customer, Tristan opened up a water bottle and poured a packet of flavored lemonade mix inside. He’d shake it up and proudly hand it over and say, “Thank you for helping us with the adoption,” Davis said. “He was remarkable.”
By the end of the day Saturday, Davis estimates that more than 600 people came by to see Tristan and his lemonade stand. Between the yard sale and the lemonade, they raised more than $6,500, well over their goal of $5,000.
Davis, who works as a manager at a call center, said that her ex-husband cheated on her and the woman got pregnant. When Tristan was born, Davis raised him until he was almost 3, and then his biological mother took him. Davis said she had been trying for years to get Tristan back through child services when one day his mother left him at a children’s homeless shelter. He’s lived with Davis ever since.
Those few years apart were marked with trauma and neglect, and Davis said Tristan has been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, impulse control disorder and depression. They’re working hard to give him a normal, stable life.
One woman who stopped by the lemonade stand brought him a Native American necklace with a bear on it, which she told him stands for strength and power and will keep him safe.
“I think this helped to show him there are good people in the world,” Davis said. “So many people just wanted to give him a hug.”
And that weeks-old fundraising page that raised only about $60? As of Monday afternoon, there was $11,374 donated to help cover Tristan’s adoption.