Meet Adib & Meredith Dixon

Why do you think someone should love bravely and become a foster parent?

Meredith: I think fostering requires bravery. So, I think brave love is a great way to describe it. It can be really difficult to have a new child come into your home, maybe a little scary. And I think that it requires a different kind of love. But it teaches you a lot.

Adib: And I also believe that all children deserve love and support. And if that was not provided in the biological home, then it is the responsibility of the foster parents to provide it.


What’s something that you’d like to share with someone considering becoming a foster parent?

Adib: I think that the best advice that I’ve never received is to understand that foster care is unpredictable. It’s not something that comes with a lot of met expectations, but the benefits and the fulfillment that you get from being a foster parent is just second to none.

Meredith: It’s a great thing. It takes a lot of flexibility, a lot of flexibility and a lot of patience.


What’s different about foster care for teens and how did you address that?

Adib: So for us, teens were our first placement. Our kinship placement was supposed to be for two weeks, and then ended up being for two years. With teenagers, one thing that has helped us is to understand that developmentally, they’re at an age where they really, really desire autonomy. And autonomy needs to come with appropriate boundaries. And so, you know, we found our greatest joy and greatest success, when we’ve been able to establish boundaries, set goals, and help our teenagers to achieve.

Meredith: I think that teenagers are unique because they’re trying to figure out who they are. And so there’s this balance of trying to lead them and guide them through life. But then also being that caregiver, a parent who’s redirecting them and walking them through their mistakes. I think that it’s also really important to understand social media when you have a teenager. It is one of the most difficult aspects in this day and age. It’s really important to track their social media; I really think that it’s a part of your job as a caregiver.


What did you gain from fostering personally?

Meredith: I gained a lot of empathy. I had a lot of empathy before, but I think that fostering has brought out even more empathy in ways that I didn’t know that I needed it.

Adib: I think for me, it’s really stretched some of the skill sets that are organic to my work. But for sure it has definitely deepened my patience and my understanding of truly what not only some of the students in my building are going through, but also what some of the parents are going through as well. I feel like that’s been the greatest growth for me as a foster parent.


How has Beech Acres helped?

Adib: They’ve been amazing. Yeah, I mean, we love Beech Acres. We’ve had two caseworkers, and they have both been amazing. So supportive, kind, patient, empathetic, visible.

Meredith: They’ve always had our backs even when times were difficult. And even when we were in a rocky place, I feel like we were always supported.

Adib: And they always kept the kids at the center of all the decisions. That’s what it’s all about.


What’s kept you moving forward? And how do you find balance?

Meredith: I think it’s really important to prioritize self-care. And also time, especially if you have a partner, time with your partner. Because if you don’t have that alone time, if you don’t have that self-care, I think it’s really easy to burnout.

And to be honest, I think we’re still finding that balance, because it’s different for every placement. You know, there are some kids who require a lot more attention and a lot more supervision and support than others. And so it’s being flexible, with the needs of your foster children are and in making sure that you’re also taking care of the needs of your of your marriage in your house.


What about fostering brings you joy?

Adib: I just think it’s everything. I mean, it’s, it’s really small moments, like, sitting on a couch and having a kid open up to you or going to a soccer game or picking them up from school or helping them with a project. It’s so fulfilling, just helping to support a child.

Meredith: I also love experiencing things through our foster kids, especially if it’s their first time doing something. First time going to the beach or first time seeing a dolphin or first time flying on an airplane. Those are big things, but it’s really cool to experience them together.