RICHMOND, Va. (WSVN) — A young man became a single father of three boys after his own upbringing paved the way for him to have a family.
According to Inside Edition, Barry Farmer was just 22 years old in 2011 when he adopted his first son, Jackson. Farmer had only been fostering Jackson for six months when the question of adoption came up.
“My oldest has been calling me Dad since the day I got him,” Farmer told WTVR. “And 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.”
Farmer said adoption made sense to him because he and Jackson had already formed a strong bond.
“Personally, I grew up in kinship care, which is another form of foster care. My grandmother raised me,” Farmer told InsideEdition.com. “Her doing that for me, there was no way I could actually pay her back so I decided it’d be a good way to pay it forward.”
Farmer then went on to adopt another son because he wanted Jackson to have a sibling. That’s when they found 11-year-old Xavier and added him to the family.
Inside Edition reports that after adopting Xavier and Jackson, Farmer had no intention of adopting another child. However, when 4-year-old Jeremiah came to his home for respite care, he and his sons discussed it and decided to add him to the family as well. Jeremiah was then adopted in 2016.
“While he was visiting us quite often, the conversation came up about adoption because he was now legally free as well,” Farmer told Inside Edition. “We’d been watching him so long; we had a meeting of the minds. We took him home and treated him as a brother.”
The young father said that being a father is hard work, but he wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“Fatherhood has brought me lots of joy. I can’t imagine my sons not being with me,” Farmer told Fox 5. “They’re just dealing with typical teenage things right now, typical children things. And I can’t complain about that.”
Farmer says he hopes to encourage others to consider adopting children in the foster care system.
“There’s no reason to be afraid of our foster children who are waiting to be adopted,” Farmer said. “And all they need is some security, some love, some attention, stability. Because older children are the babies that you’re looking for. 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.”
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