What makes a parent? Is it just the process of giving birth and welcoming a bundle of joy into the world, or is it the process of guiding that child through life and being there for them when they need you the most?
Sadly, there are a number of moms and dads out there who give up on their precious jewels because of one reason or another and that is why the number of children who end up in the foster care system is so huge.
Many youngsters go from one home to another without ever getting adopted. They age out of the system and are left to fend for themselves, with many being forced into homelessness. The sad reality is that most adoptive families are looking for babies when they decide to adopt, and older children are often overlooked, without ever being given the chance to feel the warmth of a cozy home and parents’ love.
Barry Farmer grew up in the foster system. Eventually, he was given the chance to live with his grandmother, but he never forgot what all his foster families did for him over the years.
When he was just 21, he got his foster care licence and welcomed a boy named Jaxon. In the years that followed, Barry took in two other boys, Xavier and Jeremiah, and then adopted all three of them before he turned 30.
“I look in the mirror all the time, and if you would have told me 10 years ago that this would happen, I wouldn’t believe you,” Barry said. “I wished to be a father, but it wasn’t going to be this soon.”
Speaking of the entire experience, this loving and dedicated father explained how his road to fatherhood began.
“My oldest has been calling me Dad since the day I got him. I really didn’t know how to respond to it — I was so young at the time. And I just said, ‘OK, I guess we’re gonna do this. I guess this is the role that I must play now.’ Knowing that the adoption was very final — that means I’m finally his father. He accepted me as his father. So those moments are unforgettable,” he told CBS 6.
He knows firsthand that being part of the system is not easy, so he encourages others to give older children a chance and adopt them.
“Older children are the babies that you’re looking for,” Barry says. “There are a lot of firsts to the experience as well: You can still have your first bike ride, your first trip to the beach, first roller coaster, first day of school. All of that can be experienced through foster care adoptions.”
Asked whether people comment on his decision to adopt white kids, Barry says that skin color doesn’t separate them.
“It does not define our family. It’s just a part of our family. So when it comes to things of, you know, push-back or ignorance, we’re really not paying attention to that, because they don’t know us.
“Fatherhood has brought me lots of joy. I can’t imagine my sons not being with me,” he adds.
We wish this beautiful family only the best life can bring. If more people follow Barry’s example, this world would be much better place for so many children.
Take a look at the video below to learn more of Barry and his kids.