Barry Farmer, the 32-year-old radio host from Richmond, Virginia, didn’t have the easiest childhood, but it was an experience that made him who he is today – a father to three children.
Losing his parents when was just a toddler, Farmer and his three sisters went into “kinship care,” a form of foster care where relatives or friends take care of someone’s children. For Barry, becoming a foster parent and adopting children of his own was especially meaningful due to his own past.
“I missed out on having that father-son relationship growing up,” Barry said. “Being a father means everything to me.”
Farmer lived with his aunt, then when he was four, he moved in with his grandmother. It was a hard transition for him in the beginning as he did not know her before.
Please know, children in Kinship Care could possibly carry the same feelings of loss as an adoptee. This my first Christmas living with my Grandmother. I was still getting to know her since we didn’t have a relationship prior to me moving in. Check out the MC Hammer doll lol. This was my new normal, my new beginning, stability. My Grandmother didn’t have a lot to give me but it was more than what I ever had up until that point. I was fed, well groomed, my own room and loved. I may not have had what other children around me had growing up, but I did have a CHANCE. Because I realize not everyone gets a CHANCE. Anyone that tries to tell you that you don’t need to be grateful for a CHANCE to heal, only want you to suffer in their misery, I refuse to do that. I choose to react to my present so that my future can be peaceful. THIS PICTURE BRINGS ME PEACE. To my fellow KinshipCare/FosterCare/Adoptees, I hope you find your peace. Foster Parents and Adoptive Parents I hope the children in your care find their peace.
He had neighborhood friends, a good school and a sense of community there. It turned out that stability was incredibly beneficial to Farmer. Seeing his grandmother doing that inspired him to become a foster parent.
“I’ve always pictured myself being a father, but it wasn’t going to be at 21, and I definitely didn’t see my children being white,” Farmer told POPSUGAR.
In 2010, Barry received his foster care license and took in 8-year-old Jaxon. It was hard for him to wrap his head around it because he realized there would be cultural differences between himself and his new “son.”
“Culturally, it’s different than what I’m used to,” he said. “I didn’t want to turn him down.”
Well…. it was 8years ago Today I Adopted my oldest son. It was this month 9yrs ago he showed up at my door in need of a home 😢. I can’t began to explain how lucky I am to call him Son. Anyone would be lucky to have someone like him as a son. He’s respectful and a hard worker, I know he’s going to be an amazing man! Time sure does fly.
Farmer decided to adopt Jaxon when he was placed to be adopted by a family that he didn’t like.
Jaxon seemingly had everything he needed living in Farmer’s loving home. But one more thing he wished. That was when Farmer found Xavier.
Holiday Throwback 2013 …. #happyholidays #merrychristmas #fostercare #fostertoadopt #adoption #meetthefarmers #love #mistafarma #adoptivedad #singledad #fostercareadoption #fatherhood #connected #transracialadoption #adoptiveParent #Dadgoals #fathergoals #blessed
When Xavier moved in with Farmer and Jaxon, he was 8 years old. 3 years later, Farmer officially adopted him.
Farmer took in another foster child, Jeremiah, giving his sons a new little brother.
“They welcomed him with open arms, as did I, so we adopted him as well,” Farmer said. “It’s not like I planned it.”
Farmer officially adopted Jeremiah when he was five.
“The moment I met them I knew they were strong, brave boys who had endured a lot,” Barry said. “The boys were yearning for normalcy and permanency . . . I could see that they were intelligent individuals, and if I could just be someone who could offer them stability and consistency, then maybe they could allow themselves to heal emotionally.”
Farmer, now 32, admitted that as a black person, he had issues in adopting three white kids.
“If you’re in an interracial adoption, you must give them racial mirrors all the time, someone to relate to them,” Farmer said.
Everyone survived the Haunted Farm lol they had an awesome time! And was scared half to death !!!! 💀😂😂#singledad #fosterparent #mistafarma #fostercare #fostertoadopt #ashlandberryfarmhaunt #fostercare #fostertoadopt #adoption #meetthefarmers #love #mistafarma #adoptivedad #singledad #fostercareadoption #fatherhood #connected #transracialadoption #adoptiveParent #Dadgoals #fathergoals #blessed #Foster2Adoption #fostertoadoption #connectinghearts #adoptioncommunity #thisisfostercare #adoptionawareness #fosterlove
To do so, he sends his sons to a diverse school and keeps them involved in activities that promote diversity.
Today, Barry and his sons — now 17, 15, and 9 years old — keep busy as a family, “growing upward and outward,” but they always find time to watch movies together and keep nurturing their relationships with one another.
First official family photo 😀👨🏾👱🏻👱🏼👦🏼 #fostertoadopt #adoption #transracialadoption #fostercare #love #family #fostercare #fostertoadopt #adoption #meetthefarmers #love #mistafarma #adoptivedad #singledad #fostercareadoption #fatherhood #connected #transracialadoption #adoptiveParent #Dadgoals #fathergoals #blessed #Foster2Adoption #fostertoadoption #connectinghearts #adoptioncommunity #thisisfostercare #adoptionawareness #fosterlove
“Foster care itself is so unpredictable, you don’t know what to expect once you signed up,” Farmer said. “This is not what I signed up for but I embraced it.” He hopes other parents considering fostering and adopting know it is difficult.
“There’s no easy way to foster… it’s an emotional journey. Adoption is emotional. And you have to have to put your own personal feelings aside to make sure you’re doing what’s best for the children,” Farmer said.