Guy Who Grew Up in Foster Care Adopts Three Boys and Becomes the Dad He Wished He Had

Having grown up in foster care, 34-year-old Barry Farmer knows exactly what displacement feels like. His own parents were unable to care for him, but his Grandma Cora took him in when he was 5 years old, and he finally found the loving home he needed. Inspired by her kindness, Farmer decided to also open his heart and home to children in the foster care system. At 20 years old, the Virginia-based man became a foster father with a local agency, and now, he’s raising his three adopted sons as a single parent.

Farmer, who is the radio host of The Barry Farmer Morning Show, met his first placement a year after he got his foster parent license. The then 16-year-old teenager stayed with Farmer for six months, then two months later, Farmer received another call. “They asked if I want to try another teenager or do I want to go with a 7-year-old,” Farmer recalls. “[I thought] ‘Why don’t we go with the 7-year-old and see how it is going to go?’ It seemed like I could be a little more active and take him places.” Farmer didn’t know anything about the child, named Jackson, but he decided to meet him.

“This child, in my head, is Black,” Farmer recalls. “When I got there, he was just the whitest white child that I ever worked with.” He continues, “I thought, ‘Wow, this is going to be interesting.’ Because I have no clue what I am doing.” Despite their physical differences, the two bonded immediately, and Farmer understood that Jackson just needed a family. “He was so loving and caring,” Farmer recalls. “He just wanted some hugs and to call me Dad.”

Jackson was supposed to be adopted by another family, but when he left Farmer’s home, the pair missed each other. That was when Farmer, who was just 22 at the time, decided to adopt Jackson. “You’re responsible for somebody else’s life on purpose,” he says. “Going from true strangers, we built a bond in six months where we felt comfortable enough to be father and son.”

Shortly after finalizing Jackson’s adoption in 2011, Farmer was already considering extending his family. “We were on our way back from the courthouse and I heard a little voice in the backseat saying, ‘So am I going to have a brother?’ and I’m like ‘I just became your dad like 30 minutes ago can we just calm down?’” Farmer reveals. “Once I was taking care of him, he did need a sibling.”

In 2013, Farmer adopted then 11-year-old Xavier. Then, in just over a year, he welcomed 4-year-old Jeremiah into the family, and later officially adopted him in 2016. Jackson is now 19, Xavier is 17, and Jeremiah is 11. The family enjoys going on road trips along the East coast and exploring new places. “We have a bunch of laughs,” Farmer says. “That really brought us all together. Every time we did it, they got to meet some of my extended family along the way.”

Being a parent has been incredibly rewarding for Farmer. “Fatherhood has been everything I imagine it to be because I’m the father I wish I had growing up,” he says. “I’m involved, I’m there when my boys go to sleep and when they wake up.” The proud dad adds, “I’m their biggest cheerleader when helping them achieve their goals. I try not to miss a beat in their lives. I take the responsibility of being their father very seriously and never for granted.”

Farmer wants to encourage other people to consider fostering and adoption, especially for older kids who are often overlooked. “This is about the hundreds of thousands of children who need permanent homes and closure on their traumatic past and how we need hundreds of thousands of individuals to step forward and help them,” he says. “There is no need to be afraid of older children in America waiting for their forever homes. They need your understanding, your compassion, and your guidance.”

Check out photos of Farmer and his sons below and find out more about his story on his website.

This is Barry Farmer and his three adopted sons, Jackson (now 19), Xavier (17), and Jeremiah (11).

Farmer was raised by his Grandma Cora, who took him in when his own parents couldn’t care for him.

Inspired by her kindness, he became a foster parent when he was just 20 years old.

He adopted Jackson in 2011, and later adopted Xavier and Jeremiah.

He’s happily raising all three as a single dad, and wants to encourage others to consider fostering and adopting.

Barry Farmer: Website | Facebook | Instagram
h/t: [Today]

All images via Barry Farmer.

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READ: Guy Who Grew Up in Foster Care Adopts Three Boys and Becomes the Dad He Wished He Had

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