Foster Stories: Robin


Robin is a single mom and KIFS foster parent of four teenagers. She raised three children of her own who are now grown, one who is also a KIFS foster parent. We asked Robin to share a little about herself and why she is a foster parent.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up a military child and after my dad retired we moved to West Virginia and he became a police officer. My parents later divorced I moved with my mom to North Carolina. I went through my share of hard times and a lot of what these (foster) kids through have been through, I have also been through. My dad was my best friend and I felt like the world had come down on me when my parents divorced. My dad and I reunited later and were always close.  

What drove you to become a foster parent?

After I got hurt on the job I didn’t know what to do with all my spare time and my big house. My children are grown. Eventually I decided I wanted to share it with children. I have always loved children and their laughter in my home. The laughter makes it feel like a home.

My daughter is also a foster parent with KIFS. I talked with Jessica {KIFS executive director} and explained my reasons behind wanting to foster. I felt like I could relate to what they were going through.

What has been your experience as a foster parent?

It’s an emotional rollercoaster at times. I have a 17 year old that wants to challenge me all the time but after all is said and done we walk away and then sit down and talk after everyone is settled down. We don’t go to bed without resolving the argument. With my teenage girls I know we need to sit down and talk before it gets to the point of arguing and that taking the phone away makes it worse.

We have family meetings. We all sit down and hash the problem out. I think uniting as one and not letting the house become divided is important. I ask them what they think the correct approach is, you have to let them come to their own conclusions. We are all equal in this house.  

What is the biggest misconception you encounter about fostering?

That foster parents don’t get much help from the state financially. A lot of people say,“I’m not raising someone else’ kids” and if that’s your thought then you are in it for the wrong reasons. You can’t get in it for the money. There is enough money to take care of the child. 

Why should people consider becoming foster parents? 

It’s the little things and the enjoyment of seeing the kids happy. There are so many things that we take for granted that these kids have never experienced. I remember taking one of my kids to Applebees and at 16- years old he had never been to what he called a “fancy restaurant”. Seeing these kids happy makes it all worthwhile.

What could we do to make it better for your KIFS kids? 

Offer more activities for the kids to be involved in. I recently took my kids to Tennessee for a few days and we went to trampoline parks and the local attractions. All they want is for you to spend time with them.


How do you take care of yourself and rejuvenate?

Whether it’s just sitting and relaxing or taking the four wheeler out for a ride I find a way to have some me time. I live with a disability which affects speech and balance. There is no cure, it’s a hereditary form of muscular dystrophy and I try to find the bright side for my kids.

My (KIFS) kids are as good for me as I am for them. They keep me strong. When I am hurting or in pain I don’t let them know it, they have had enough of pain. I just want them to enjoy being kids.

Nicolette Meade