By ANNA CLAIRE O’CAIN
“We always wanted a big family,” says Adrienne Forman, native of the Franklin County community of Roxie, and wife of nine years to Alex. “We weren’t able to have children naturally, so that’s kind of what got us into foster care.
“We had been married like four years and we had conceived a couple of times but were never able to carry to term,” Adrienne says. “After a while, we just had peace about not trying anymore and had peace that there was going to be a plan for our lives and that God was going to have not what we wanted for ourselves but His best for us. We knew He had something far better than we could imagine for ourselves.”
As they prayed and obeyed God’s direction, He began opening doors for Adrienne and Alex. “Someone reached out to us and told us about Methodist (Children’s Homes of Mississippi), and there were so many things that lined up perfectly where we were able to go to all the classes, and it all fell together,” Adrienne says.
“(Methodist has) three homes on campus, and they also have a foster care program. Start to finish, we had a child in our home within six months of even hearing the words ‘Methodist Children’s Home.’ The classes were condensed into four classes that we spent every weekend for four weekends getting certified and doing our home study and our background checks and all of that. We had a placement by Christmas.
“It (foster care) has not been a stressful thing for us. It has been a beautiful thing from start to end. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s just a peace — I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.”
‘I can’t imagine not having them’
“We’ve been fostering for five years, and I think we’re on our 15th placement right now,” Adrienne says. “In December of 2019, we adopted our first child (Aria) from foster care. Less than a year later, her brother (Josh) got placed with us — her biological brother. We just completed his adoption in June as well.
“Now we’re fostering another child with the intentions of adopting. I can’t imagine not having them.”
‘They just need a family’
When asked what she wants others to know about adoption and foster care, Adrienne says there are a few facts that come to mind:
“You don’t have to be the perfect parent — they don’t need a perfect parent — they don’t need the nicest house or the nicest cars — they just need a family. They just need a home. They’re sleeping on the office (floors) of (the Mississippi Department of Human Services) because there’s not enough foster parents,” she says.
“(Foster kids) don’t have anything to their name but a bag of random clothes that don’t even fit half the time, with holes in them.
“Another thing that I would say is not to be afraid to foster older children. Everybody wants a baby, and I’ll say that Alex and I were no different than any other couple … when we got into this journey, we wanted to foster a baby, but there’s always somebody to take the babies. They don’t have a problem finding them a home. There are teenagers aging out of foster care every single day with no preparation — they are just dropped off at a bus stop with (only) enough money for a bus ticket. They need stability and a forever family too,” Adrienne says.
“(Older) children realize, sadly, they only have so many shots (at) adoption. … Most of them are great kids just wanting a family. Everybody thinks the teenagers will be terrible, but they are appreciative of stability for once in their lives because they’ve never really had it. It takes some time, but in the long run, they’re more appreciative of it.”
An answered prayer
Adrienne and Alex have dedicated their lives to advocating and taking care of children through foster care and adoption. Their love for Christ and His people is exemplified through Deuteronomy 10:18 –
“He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.”
“What we thought was the worst thing ever, as far as not being able to have kids (biologically), actually was a huge answered prayer in us finding our ministry and finding our purpose,” Adrienne says. “(Adoption and foster care is) our passion. This is what we do. I can’t picture my life without doing it. I love it so much. … that’s what we’re called to do — to protect the widows and orphans.”
In the United States alone, there are more than 400,000 children in foster care. Approximately 120,000 of those children are waiting to be adopted (adoptuskids.org). For more information on how to foster or adopt, visit the Methodist Children’s Homes of Mississippi website at mchms.org.