When most teenagers start a summer business, it’s to earn money for their first car, a new iPhone, college, or fun trips with friends.

But one teenager recently started his lawnmowing business for a far more personal reason: to raise enough money for his stepfather to be able to adopt him and his big brother.

As Today reports, Tyce Pender is 14 years old and lives in Cayce, South Carolina. Twelve years ago, Tyce’s stepdad, Eric Jenkins, started dating Tyce’s mother, Marcy.

“He’s been a father figure to me since I was 2. He’s always been there for us and helps me with anything I need like homework,” Tyce said.

Eric and Marcy have wanted Eric to adopt Tyce and his brother Tylee for years, and recently found a lawyer who was willing to work pro bono.

But other legal costs ensure the adoption will still cost the family thousands of dollars.

“This is important because Eric teaches me respect, independence and what a man is supposed to be. If anything ever happens to my mom, Eric is who I’d want to live with,” Tyce explained.

Marcy bought Tyce a $192 battery-powered lawnmower so he could start his business: Tyce & Company Lawn Service.

Today notes that Tyce’s first customer, Sarah Larrabee, was impressed with the work he did.

“It went so well, he was such a sweet kid, so polite and like, just so happy to be there and excited to have his first job, and it was just so sweet,” Larrabee said.

So far, Tyce has earned $400 by working after school and on weekends.

Tyce’s stepdad Eric said that he and Marcy will cover most of the cost of the adoption, adding, “I’m extremely proud of Tyce. He’s a good kid.”

Currently, the United States has more than 440,000 children in foster care. Focus on the Family’s Wait No More program helps inspire families to become involved in the lives of waiting kids, whether through adoption or in a different way.

To learn more about Wait No More, click here.

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Wait No More

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