Twelve years ago, Jennifer Schneider and Carolyn Schopp met at a local tennis club, The Buffalo Tennis and Squash Club in Buffalo, N.Y., and immediately formed a bond that inspired the two to pair as doubles partners.
Only later did the USTA Eastern duo realize that they shared another common interest – they were sisters in embracing a motherhood of a special kind.
Schopp and her husband, Mike, signed with an agency and adopted her son, Julius, age 4, from the Buffalo area and daughter, Garnet, age 2, from Indianapolis.
“My husband and I always wanted a family and unfortunately, we couldn’t have one,” said Schopp. “We decided to adopt domestically, and they have been such a blessing to us.”
In 2006, Schneider adopted twin sisters Tylie and Zoe from Vietnam when they were six months old. Two years later, Schneider adopted their brother, Adam, from South Korea when he was seven months old.
“I always wanted a bunch of kids from different countries,” said Schneider at the 2013 USTA League Mixed Doubles National Championships in Tucson, Ariz., her kids in tow. “I have always wanted five children but I stopped at three for now.”
Both Adam and Julius attended tennis practices and tournaments and cheered on as their mothers were rallying with their Mixed 18 & Over 10.0 teammates to reach Nationals. The two became fast friends in the process.
“Julius loves to play tennis,” said Schopp. “He even brought his racquet with him on this trip. [He] and Adam have become best buddies just by coming to our practices and playing together.”
Schneider enjoys her roles as both a mother and tennis player.
“Adopting my children was the best decision I ever made,” said Schneider. “They come with me everywhere I go. I feel like the luckiest mom in the world.”