Families come in all different shapes and sizes, and no one knows that better than Barry Farmer.
Farmer grew up in foster care, moving from home to home. From an early age, he knew that family was important to him. When Farmer was met with the chance to give back to kids who needed homes just like he did, Farmer happily took the opportunity to become a dad three times.
Barry Farmer was a foster kid and now he’s a single dad to three adopted sons.
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Parenting can be stressful, overwhelming, Thankless, unpredictable, yet satisfying. Adopting 3 children before the age of 26 is unheard of by many. Being a male adopting raises a lot of eyebrows for sure and adopting outside your race as a African American Male turns a lot of heads. When you care about the well being of HUMANS in general, the color of their skin doesn’t come into play when it comes to having compassion. If you only knew what I endured in my own journey to reach this moment of reflection, only then would you even begin to understand why I didn’t put stipulations as far as race on my role as Father. I’m here for all children in need. That’s just who I am. So, Dont ask “Why did he choose this path to parenthood”, ask yourself “Why haven’t I chosen this path to parenthood”
“I was 17 years old when I wrote in my journal, ‘I want to adopt a child from foster care,’ ” Farmer told the AdoptUS Kids blog.
Farmer was pretty familiar with the foster care system from his firsthand experience. He grew up in the organization Kinship Care, which facilitates family members fostering kids when their parents can’t care for them. His grandmother mostly raised him, and then when he was 21 years old he got his license to be a foster parent. He took in 8-year-old Jaxon as a foster parent, but when the time came for Jaxon to move in with other prospective parents, Jaxon asked Farmer if he could be his “father forever,” according to PEOPLE.
Farmer adopted Jaxon in 2011, and Jaxon’s two brothers soon joined the family.
In 2013, Farmer adopted then 11-year-old Xavier. The next year, he adopted then 4-year-old Jeremiah.
“Fatherhood has been everything I imagine it to be because I’m the father I wish I had growing up.”
Farmer told PEOPLE, “I’m involved, I’m there when my boys go to sleep and when they wake up. 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.”
The family doesn’t look very similar, but they do share one thing in common: Long hairstyles. Farmer grew his hair out after he adopted Jaxon, and soon the boys followed their dad’s lead.
Farmer doesn’t foster children any more. He told AdoptUS Kids blog:
It’s time for me to step back and enjoy my sons. Being a foster family can be demanding and stressful at times. I’m ready to step away from that for a while and focus on my sons’ futures. They have made so much progress that I want to enjoy it with them. Also, I have set a few goals for myself that I would like to accomplish before opening my home to more who are in need.
Farmer is still actively involved in advocating for foster and adopted kids. He’s a spokesman for AdoptUS Kids and Foster Care Adoption Advocate for children awaiting adoption. Farmer told PEOPLE:
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. 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.
Farmer posts updates on his Instagram. On his account, you can learn more about fostering and adoption – plus, see some really cute pics of his family.