Superheroes are often easy to spot. They swoop into dire circumstances, brandish superhuman powers and miraculously save the day — often with a crowd nearby to applaud their heroism.
Superheroes, though, also take the form of selfless individuals, who, fueled by love, muster the bravery needed to make a daily difference in the world — including in the lives of children.
Christi Fisher is one such superhero.
A DePelchin foster and adoptive parent, Fisher exhibits heroism every day, from sunup to sundown. She’s a single mom, who, along with having a 10-year-old biological son, has adopted two children under the age of 3, will adopt a 21-month-old in November, and maintains an open door to foster more children.
A Drive to Do More
Fisher first considered fostering after she became aware of the plight of so many children in Houston who didn’t have a family to “stand up and fight for them.” Initially, she thought she might not qualify to be a foster parent, but after attending an information session at DePelchin, she learned that even as a single mom she could provide safe shelter for children in crisis.
After completing the required training, Fisher decided that she would be willing to accept two foster placements, especially after learning about the shortage of homes for siblings.
Her first placement was a brother and sister — one of them 3 days old, the other 10 months old.
Within a short time, Fisher’s compassionate heart drove her to open her home to even more children.
That’s when 8-month-old Jaxsen arrived.
Fisher says that before the CPS caseworker even placed Jaxsen’s car seat on the ground, he asked her if she might ultimately be open to adoption. Without hesitating, Fisher said yes.
“Adoption wasn’t on my radar, but after one look at Jaxsen and knowing the transformation that was happening in the siblings — that fueled me to want to do more,” she says.
Ultimately, the two siblings in her care were reunited with their biological family. Letting go of them was heartwrenching, but she knew that it was best for them.
Just hours after their departure, however, Fisher — who was still fighting back tears — received a phone call from DePelchin. A 5-week-old named Bailey needed a home.
“I felt like God was sending me a message,” Fisher says. “It’s like he was saying, ‘Everything’s going to be OK. Here is another child who needs you.’”
This last July, the adoptions for both Jaxsen and Bailey were finalized; and this November, Fisher plans to adopt her third child, Ember.
At times, even the bravest superhero needs the support of a dependable sidekick. For Fisher, one of those sidekicks is her 10-year-old biological son, Karsen.
Christi says prior to her becoming a foster parent, Karsen had often expressed to her his desire to have siblings. Today, of course, Karsen is not only a big brother, he’s a big help to his mom.
To be sure, few 10-year-olds have the maturity and perspective on life that Karsen does.
Fisher recalls one instance when she knew Karsen was struggling with the departure of one of the children they had been fostering. Fisher assured Karsen that if he didn’t feel like they should continue opening their home to more children, they would stop. His response, however, surprised her.
Planting his small fist on the kitchen table, Karsen said, “No, Mom. We keep going. We have to keep going.”
Fisher’s resolve to push forward as a foster and adoptive mom has also been strengthened, she says, by DePelchin. In addition to helping her navigate the process of fostering and adopting, DePelchin has supported Fisher and her family with its broad range of services, including counseling, psychiatry and post-adoption services.
“From day one, DePelchin has never stopped asking me, ‘How can we help?’ Every time I need something, they are there. They’re like family.”
Better to Give Than Receive
Fisher and her family are a testament to the power of love. As a single mom of five who also works full-time, though, Fisher readily admits she faces challenges.
“Every day, I get up and put on a mask of bravery. I may not be a perfect mom, but I offer what I have, even if that’s just my presence.”
Fisher says she would like to continue fostering as long as she has the capacity to do so.
When asked what she hopes for all her children, her answer is simple: “I hope they always know that they are wanted and loved and that ultimately it’s not what you have that will make you happy, it’s what you can give.”