V ERA WREN was her first respited child.
“I fell in love with her immediately. As soon as her feet
crossed the threshold of my front door, she flew right into my
heart,” Holloman says. “I went back to the agency and said, ‘If
she comes up for adoption, I want to adopt her.’”
That wouldn’t happen for a while. In the meantime, she
decided to go beyond respite care and accept long-term place-ments.
She proceeded to foster eight kids, ages 4 days to 20
years old, in three years.
They included a 16-month-old boy and a 5-week-old girl she
parented for nine months. She accepted the children reluctantly.
As a single parent and successful businesswoman, she didn’t
know if she could provide the right level of care for a toddler
and a baby.
Yet she fell in love with them, and was ready to adopt. Both,
though, were taken in by relatives and she had to go through
the painful process of saying goodbye.
“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” she says. “I still miss
those kids. But I know I made a difference in their lives, and
you have to hang onto that. I gave them a start in their life they
might not have had otherwise.”
Moore hears similar stories from other foster parents. She says
although fostering can be a tough job, most people called to it
not only provide room in their homes, they also have room in
their hearts to provide a safe, loving, nurturing environment for
children and babies in care.
Holloman knew becoming a foster parent — with the ulti-mate
goal of adopting — was the right thing to do. However,
she says no foster parent ever feels fully prepared for the first
“You have to remember, you’re not doing it for yourself,” she
says. “You’re doing it for the kid.”
Holloman compares her emotional experience with a roll-ercoaster
WBM august 2017
ride; however, she learned that happy and sad can
“If you don’t give it everything you have, then you’re not
doing it right,” she says. “It should hurt every time they have to
leave. That means you’re doing it right.”
While the foster system is painful for adults when they have
to say goodbye, it can also be traumatic for the children.
Chris Montgomery was a sixth-grader at Williston Middle
School when he went into foster care. He arrived home from a
friend’s birthday party when his mom told him, “They’re going
to come and get you.”
The department of social services kept him in the dark about
his case. Montgomery says no one ever told him why he was
separated from his mother. He had many questions and received
few answers as he bounced from one group foster home to the
next. Eventually, social services settled him at the Boys and Girls
Home of North Carolina in Lake Waccamaw.
It was a tumultuous time for Montgomery, who, after almost
three years, was reunited with his mother. He was glad to be
back home but resented the fact that social services did not
give him the opportunity to voice his feelings throughout the
“The system is broken,” he says.