(INSIDE EDITION) -- A 30-year-old single dad has taken on the task of raising three children who he has adopted over the last six years.
Barry Farmer, of Virginia, was just 22 years old in 2011 when he adopted his 15-year-old son Jaxon. He had been fostering the then-8-year-old for six months when the question of adoption came up.
Farmer thought adoption made sense because they’d already formed such a strong bond.
“Personally, I grew up in kinship care, which is another form of foster care. My grandmother raised me,” Farmer told InsideEdition.com. “Her doing that for me, there was no way I could actually pay her back so I decided it’d be a good way to pay it forward.”
Jaxon and Farmer had already started to build a life together.
“He was definitely comfortable with me and my family,” Farmer said.
In hopes of giving Jaxon a normal upbringing, with siblings, Farmer began looking for another child to adopt from the foster care system in 2013.
Approximately 400,000 children are in foster care at any given time in the United States, according to statistics.
Farmer searched on the website “Adopt U.S. Kids,” which lists adoptable kids in the system, and found his now-adopted son Xavier, who came to live with them soon after.
“I saw him on there and I went to meet him and I took Jackson to meet him so we all wanted to see if we were going to be a good match together,” Farmer said. “We all agreed.”
Xavier, who is now 13 years old, was 11 when he was officially adopted by Farmer.
The dad had no intentions of adopting a third child but when a third foster child, Jeremiah, who was just 4 at the time, came to his home for respite care, the family began to ponder the idea.
“While he was visiting us quite often, the conversation came up about adoption because he was now legally free as well,” Farmer said. “We’d been watching him so long; we had a meeting of the minds. We took him home and treated him as a brother.”
Jeremiah, who is now 8, was officially adopted in 2016. Farmer says that being a young, single dad is hard work, but he wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“There are no days off but I was up for the challenge to begin with,” Farmer said. “I am really not regretful of any moment with them. There’s been a lot of hard work, a lot of emotion. Foster care itself is very emotional and being young at the time, taking on those responsibilities, I didn’t think twice about it.”