Cayce, SC

Teen runs lawn care business to help stepfather adopt him: "When I think of the word 'dad,' it's him"

Amy Christie

A teenager who dearly loves his stepfather started his own business for lawn care to help cover the fees needed in the adoption process.

And the boy isn't doing this just for himself; he wants to support his stepdad in adopting both him and his brother.

What are the details?

Tyce Rey Diaz Pender lives with his family in Cayce, South Carolina. Marcy, his mom, started dating Eric Jenkins when Tyce was just a toddler. After Eric proposed to her, they've been a tight-knit family finding happiness in the little things and bonding closer each day.

"I remember him with us and for my third birthday party; he was so tall!" Tyce shared with The Epoch Times.

The boy also has an older brother, Tylee, and a stepsister, Tierrianna. The teenager doesn't remember life without Eric and has loved him as a father from the beginning.

"When I think of the word 'dad,' it's him," Tyce said.

Their bond grew stronger as Eric became a full-time dad for a few years in Tyce's childhood.

"When I was younger, my mom worked; Eric was in college, so he was a stay-at-home dad. He was the one always taking us to practice, then coming to lunch at school. I don't remember not ever having Eric in my life," Tyce shared.

And when his mom had issues with allergies, it was always Eric who encouraged them and told them it would all work out for the best.

"Sometimes my mom has allergies and needs treatment, and Eric lets us know everything will be fine; he makes sure our life continues like normal," Tyce shared.

Marcy and Eric have discussed adopting Tylee and Tyce and even tried to hire a lawyer, but the costs were more than they could handle. That's how Tyce came up with the idea of helping them pay for it.

Tyce's mom got the boy a lawn mower and has been driving him to jobs in the past few months.

"We put my mower in her car; I have to vacuum a lot! I have safety glasses and gloves, and I hope to find yards to maintain. I go to school during the week, but I'm available some afternoons plus all day on Saturdays and Sundays. I have an electric leaf blower and a rake, too," the boy explained on social media about his business.

Eric has also been helping Tyce with the heavier jobs and over the weekends. As the weeks passed, Tyce realized this was something he would like to keep doing even after the adoption took place. The teenager earned between $25 and $50 per job and has also been mowing some of the lawns for free.

"Eric taught me there's a time to play and also a time to work; they're not usually the same time. I got my work ethic from him; I want to make him and mom proud," Tyce said.

The boy made flyers, yard signs, and business cards to highlight his services, and he's mowed more than 40 yards to help his parents.

"It's a powerful thing about Tyce wanting to give this recognition to Eric," the boy's mom said about the project Tyce has put his determination into.

"Caring for Tyce is my job. His heart is in the right place," Eric added, touched by Tyce's initiative.


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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX

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