The month of November is National Adoption month, a time when community organizations come together to share and celebrate positive adoption stories, challenge the myths, and draw attention to the thousands of children in foster care who are waiting for “forever” families. In honor of this very special month we are pleased to introduce you to one of Gateway’s foster parents, Promese Perry. Her story was also featured in July 2014 on Alabama’s 13/WVTM Birmingham morning program, Daytime Alabama. Ms. Perry has been a foster parent since 2008, and qualified to serve with Gateway’s Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) program in 2009.
Ms. Perry has two grown children, a daughter who is 21 and a son who is 26. When she sought more detail on a foster care program through Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth (SAFY), she decided that she truly felt a calling to open her heart to children in need. Ms. Perry fostered youth with SAFY for a year and then heard about Gateway and its Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) program. After meeting with TFC program director Jennifer Lackey, Ms. Perry decided to step up to being a therapeutic foster parent. She has been one ever since. She says that TFC’s “amazing support system” is what makes her continue working with Gateway.
In 2012, Ms. Perry chose to adopt one of the foster youth in her care, pictured here with her on the right. His placement was about to end when he won her heart with a special Thanksgiving letter. In that letter, he shared how important it was to him to have been a part of her family. He ended with telling her much he loved her, and that he did not want to move. Ms. Perry felt that bond too, and he joined her family. This year, her son entered the 9th grade.
“It is a pleasure to see the difference that providing care, guidance and structure for youth who have experienced trauma and neglect really makes in their lives,” Ms. Perry says. “For me, one of the most rewarding things to see is the growth and positive changes made both in my son’s life and in my foster daughter’s life as well.”
You can tell how much Ms. Perry truly loves the children in her care and is a wonderful example of how time, patience and love helps make a difference in the lives of youth in need in our community. Her advice is, “Anyone considering being a foster parent should know that being a foster parent can sometimes be challenging and foster parents need to seek support and never give up on a child because that child needs them.” Gateway is truly blessed by her desire to inspire others and to be an ambassador for our foster care program!
Posted on Thu, November 13, 2014
by Karin Park