Three Little Words: My Life in Foster Care and as a Foster Parent

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In the child welfare system, we often hear about the cycle of abuse and neglect. In my family, we have the cycle of adoption. I spent almost 10 years in foster care, bouncing around to 14 different placements as a child—many of them very abusive. My adverse childhood experiences inspired me to become a social worker, advocate, and foster/adoptive parent. In our early 20s, my husband, Erick, and I cared for more than 25 children over a 5-year period. Today, we stay busy with our three kiddos (ages 4, 5, and 6), one of whom was adopted from foster care.

In 2015, we began a nonprofit organization—The Foundation for Sustainable Families—to bridge service gaps and encourage wellness, educational, and mental health opportunities in our community. I also chronicled my childhood and life as a foster parent in my New York Times bestselling book, Three Little Words, and my experiences as a foster parent in the sequel, Three More Words.  

To learn more about The Foundation for Sustainable Families, please visit

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