• Devereux New Jersey

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Aisha's Journey with Devereux

“When I was referred to Devereux’s Treatment Foster Care Program, I knew that their warm and welcoming staff would help me realize my dream of becoming a foster mom.”

 

I am often asked why I would choose to become involved with Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health’s Treatment Foster Care Program after all the challenges I have faced in my own life. Let me share my story and you will see the impact that Devereux had on my life-changing decision to become a foster parent.

My family has battled a history of abandonment, addiction, and severe mental illness for generations. Despite her best efforts, my mom suffered from severe depression, and was unable to work or care for my brother and me. We moved constantly from one relative’s home to another, and eventually had to rely on strangers to take us in off the streets. We attended as many schools as there were grades. Along the way, everyone labeled me a “bad child,” even though I was just trying to survive the constant trauma of our daily lives. My brother and I began to engage in numerous destructive behaviors, fighting constantly with other kids, stealing from local shops, and receiving almost routine school suspensions for our out of control behavior.

After many years of abandonment and neglect, I followed the examples of my mom and grandmother and became a teenage mother. Shortly after giving birth to my daughter, I was placed in my first foster home. This remarkable foster mom, Mrs. Gloria, was the best thing that ever happened to us. She fully accepted me, with my many challenges, and treated us as her own family. With her incredible support, I was able to turn my life around, graduated a year early from high school, enrolled in a local university, and earned a good job at the US Mint. Years later, when we lost Mrs. Gloria to cancer, it gave me an opportunity to reevaluate my life. Seeing the tremendous impact that this foster mother had on so many troubled young lives, I vowed to keep her legacy alive.

I soon began my own journey as a foster mom, which eventually led me to Devereux. I had been with other agencies before Devereux but none of them offered the right kind of support. When I was referred to Devereux’s Treatment Foster Care Program, I knew that their warm and welcoming staff would help me realize my dream of becoming a foster mom. Their family-focused training sessions were excellent, as were the case managers who were available at all times—day or night—to assist foster parents with any possible crises. I soon felt very prepared to welcome children in need of specialty mental health care into my home. Devereux’s excellent support did not end with their training, as they remained involved and supportive for many months. Their frequent visits to our home ensured that we had access to any needed community resources, helping to set our family up for continued success.

Please consider making a gift to Devereux to help individuals like my foster children access high quality therapeutic services and other programs that inspire hope, ensure well-being, and promote meaningful life choices. 

 

Devereux’s care and training provided me with a toolkit for how to successfully foster (and eventually) adopt children with diverse histories and needs. Earlier this year, I was honored to receive the Montgomery County Foster Parent of The Year Award. My greatest achievement, however, has been witnessing the many accomplishments of the children and adolescents in my care. One of my adopted sons is now a junior in college, majoring in business and is a star rugby player. I also recently completed a Permanency Plan for a family of siblings. It was important to Devereux and me that these siblings stay together, so I accepted them all. It has been heartwarming to see how a stable, loving home has given them all unparalleled opportunity. The ability to make such a difference in the lives of these children has also helped to inspire several of my close friends and family to also become foster parents. 

I would not have my amazing family today if it were not for Devereux. Despite our difference in origin, we are just like other families. We celebrate birthdays and holidays, enjoy our weekly family movie night with bowls of popcorn, and love to travel. Like other mothers, I attend every sporting event and I embarrass them with my loud cheering. As a Devereux foster parent, it is important for me to try to replace their tragic memories with ones of fun, happiness and hope. These children come to me with so many challenges, and when I look at them, I see a reflection of my childhood self in their eyes. Where would I be now if Mrs. Gloria had not reached out a hand to me at a time when I felt so alone? I like to think that she would be so proud to know, that with Devereux’s support, I have been able to continue her legacy and commitment to loving and cherishing these special children. 

Thank you for helping Devereux to support individuals – like my own children – who have navigated foster care, as well as other emotional, behavioral, and cognitive obstacles. As you may now, a gift to Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health unlocks human potential and is needed now. You have the power to help us change lives and nurture human potential. Please make your gift today by clicking here.

With gratitude,

Aisha Holman
Devereux Parent