Pioneer Woman Ree Drummed opened up about her and husband Ladd's decision to foster a teenager, who she affectionately calls her "bonus" son.
Ree Drummond would like to introduce fans to her "bonus" son Jamar.
In a new blog post shared Monday, Nov. 9, the Pioneer Woman star revealed that she and husband Ladd Drummond have been fostering the teen for about a year and a half, but are only now able to speak freely about the process. She explained, "He's eighteen now, which means the state agency restrictions no longer apply—and most notably, he told me he's tired of feeling like we're trying to hide him from the world. He's ready to sing, to dance, to make his debut! Jazz hands, Jamar!"
She went on to describe how Jamar became a member of the family, explaining how the arrangement was "entirely situational."
"Fostering a kid was never something Ladd and I pursued or felt called to do, but Jamar's circumstances presented themselves to us in a way we couldn't ignore—so, long story short, all six foot five inches of him showed up at our house one afternoon, bag in hand, ready to move in," the chef recalled. "Ladd, who had the initial idea to have Jamar live with us, had met him a couple of times during high school football practice that summer. My boys knew him, too. I, on the other hand, had never officially met Jamar before that day."
Ree added that she and kids Alex, 23, Paige, 21, Bryce, 18, and Todd, 16, got to know the teen over the next few weeks, with her and Jamar bonding as she nursed him back to health following an injury on the family's ATV. She shared, "We were all up in Jamar's business, and if there'd been any hesitation on any of our parts to interact and get comfortable with one another, his injury quickly knocked down those walls and gave us all a reason to come together. Jamar had to learn to trust us, which wasn't easy. But again: crash course."
Nowadays, Ree said he's a "full-fledged member" of the family, having gone through a "few bumps in the road here and there."
Those so-called "bumps" are largely because of his close proximity in age to Bryce. Ree described their bickering as "natural turf wars and personality clashes," which she and Ladd are managing to the best of their ability.
"It can be tricky, because we're mindful not to make Bryce feel like his whole life at home has changed, but we're also mindful not to default to taking Bryce's side over Jamar's," she said. "Bottom line, we make them shake hands a lot."
But she shared that Jamar has found ways to bond with each member of the family in his own unique way. For Bryce, they've taken to fishing together, while he and Ree love "weird, off-the-beaten-path supermarket items."
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All in all, Ree said she's excited that she can speak freely about Jamar now. "I could go on and on about Jamar, my bonus son. He's larger than life, has a hilarious laugh, and is extremely smart—both book and street. He's a great kid who's overcome some difficulties in his life, not to mention a tough accident," she gushed. "Through a ton of determination, Jamar has excelled in football, and he's already received a couple of college offers, with more sure to come in! I'm proud of the kid, and I can't wait to see where life takes him… I'll be in the stands cheering him on."
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