What does it take to foster more than 100 teenagers? Patience, fortitude and occasionally a great success story. This is the story of David and Samantha Farr, some of the most patient and loving foster parents we have ever seen.
David and Samantha Farr started their foster care journey sixteen years ago. At the time, they were both working for the Texas Youth Commission with some kids who had experienced a lot of challenges. They met a number of kids who wanted to get their lives back on track, but David and Samantha worried that going back home would not be the best plan for them. David took some of the boys under his wing, even bringing them home with him during the holidays. Yet, David and Samantha still wanted to do more; so, they decided to become foster parents for teenagers.
Any parent knows that most teenagers are difficult to manage. They often need counseling related to relationships, school and all sorts of drama that comes with that time of life. What makes it even more difficult for teenagers in foster care is that most of them have already spent time in several other foster homes or institutions. They are understandably disappointed and sometimes angry about being moved from place to place, and they expect to be moved again.
“They are just waiting for us to give up on them too, but we don’t. We don’t care what the paperwork says or what the therapist’s diagnosis is,” said David. “The State wants us to treat them as our own kids; so, we do. We meet them when they come to our home and start from square one.”
With four to five teenage boys in the home at any given time, life can be challenging to say the least, but the Farrs have come up with some creative ways to manage disagreements between the boys. “Sometimes the boys don’t get along with one another, so we eat dinner in shifts or send some of them out on the porch to separate them,” said Samantha.
The Farrs have had tremendous success with helping some of their boys make it through high school graduation, which is a huge accomplishment for kids that may be severely behind in school when they arrive.
Nathan is one of the Farr’s recent success stories. Nathan and his brother came to the Farr’s home almost four years ago when he was 16. He was not happy about being in foster care after being placed with a previous foster family who did not really care for him and his siblings. However, Nathan was happy to be with his brother at the Farrs and began to trust that David and Samantha were going to stick by him. When graduation was on the horizon, Nathan worried about what that would mean for him, but the Farrs reassured him that even after graduation he could stay with them.
Nathan graduated from high school last year, and he and his brother are still living with the Farrs. Nathan has a job and is considering starting community college this fall. Like many boys his age, Nathan really likes video games, but his real passion is fashion. He would love to design streetwear someday and work in the fashion industry.
“Knowing that we have made a difference for some kids and seeing them succeed; that’s what keeps us going. That’s what makes it all worth it,” David said.
If you would like to find out more about becoming a foster or adoptive family, fill out our online inquiry form here to connect with our local staff.
By Blaine Hamilton