Jennifer Adams was born to Hugh and Doris Adams, July 3, 2000, in Oxford, Mississippi. Her parents love to tell the story of Jennifer's birth. Doris went into labor so quickly there wasn't time to get to the hospital, so Hugh had no choice but to help Doris deliver the baby at home. Older daughter Janice named her new sister Jennifer. The family tells the tale so often that Jennifer complains it's embarrassing, even though she sometimes recounts the story herself.
Hugh and Doris are members of the Leonberger Club of America and are listed as approved breeders of the rare dogs. They hire local teenagers to help socialize the puppies by playing with them. Jennifer helped out too, always playing tug of war with the puppies, and she hated when they were sold. Her favorite was, "Queen Elizabeth," who Jennifer had nicknamed "Queenie."
Jennifer loved watching her older sister, who became a cheerleader when Jen was 12 years old, practicing her routines. Janice taught her how to do the cheers alongside her when she practiced. Jen was very proud of her because she was the captain of the squad.
Her happy life was ended when Janice drowned in Sardis Lake the day after her 16th birthday. Jennifer was determined to become the captain of the cheerleader's squad when she was old enough, just like Jan. She vowed to make Janice proud.
To help Jennifer cope with her grief, Hugh and Doris enrolled her in the "Patsy's School of Gymnastics" in Oxford, hoping the activity would give her something else to focus on. They were relieved when Jennifer loved gymnastics and worked hard to become the best. She won many awards in contests and tournaments over the years, and each time, her mother celebrated by throwing lavish parties and inviting Jennifer's classmates, though few seemed particularly close with her daughter.
All the adulation made Jennifer difficult to deal with sometimes. If she got a grade that she thought was too low, the teacher became her enemy, and she took no pains to hide her feelings. When that strategy resulted in visits to the school counselor and the principal's office, Jennifer realized that if she wanted things to go her way, she would have to at least act like she respected her teachers, and as each school year passed, her performance improved.
At home, Jennifer helped her father hire kids to socialize the Leos, which made her something of a power broker since she decided who got paid to do little more than play. Her popularity was bolstered by always appearing in the latest styles and driving a bright red, convertible sports car, her nickname "Foxy" emblazoned on the hood of the car.
When she won a spot on the high school cheerleading team, she was thrilled and worked hard to distinguish herself on the squad. For their senior year as cheerleaders, Jennifer and Katy Brown competed to become team captain. When Katy won by a significant margin, Jennifer was furious, but she put on a happy face like any good cheerleader would.