By Intisar Seraaj
Bobbie Simpson is a foster parent and an adoptive parent along with her husband Terry Simpson with Seraaj Family Homes, Inc. They’ve been with the company for about seven years and live in Midway, Alabama. They adopted a sibling duo (their son Jamal and daughter Contrell) through the agency. They also have two biological sons.
Q: Please tell me about you and Terry?
A: Terry and I have been together for approximately 23 years. We like to go out and have a nice, juicy steak. We like to fish and just sit out on the porch and have quiet time. And we like to travel.
Q: What about your childhood?
A: One thing about my childhood, I always loved working with little kids.
Q: That’s what led you to become a foster parent?
Q: Besides adopting Jamal and Contrell, do you currently have any foster children, as well?
A: Yes, we have an 18-year-old. We got him in June .
Q: How old are Jamal and Contrell now and how old were they when you got them?
A: Jamal is 18 now and Contrell is 17. They were 15 and 16 [when we got them.] (*The siblings were adopted officially in February 2019.)
Q: What led you to want to adopt your two kids?
A: I knew the family. Their grandmother lived a couple of doors down from my sister and I used to keep (babysit) one of their older siblings. I used to help her a lot. One of their siblings was the same age as my son, so I’d have them over [our house]. Before they went into the system, their grandmother passed. I didn’t want them to have to go back into the [foster care] system. I felt like I wanted to give them a better chance at life.
Q: Do you all still live in the same neighborhood?
Q: Do you think it was helpful for the kids to remain in the same community?
A: Yes, it’s been very positive. They were able to reunite with their friends and continue going to the same school, and they do have family members around.
Q: How would you describe your parenting style?
A: Unique, because I’m always a parent and I’m sometimes a friend. I’m open-minded, funny, and always listening. I make it so that they feel comfortable talking with me.
Q: What do you think makes a good parent?
A: There’s a lot of things—being able to love, being understanding.
Q: You mentioned love. What does love mean to you?
A: Love means the world to me. You have to have love in your heart.
Q: Do you feel some of the services that are given to kids in foster care should continue even after they’ve left care through adoption, emancipation, or aging out?
A: I think some of them do need it. They need any kind of support they can give them.