Open your heart, change a life: a foster parent’s story inspires a community

Open your heart, change a life: a foster parent’s story inspires a community

By Foresee Foundation

May is Foster Care Awareness Month, and Foundation Judicial Institutes St. Maarten (SJIS) is shining a light on the critical role foster parents play in the lives of children in need. This year’s spotlight falls on Damali Bryson, a remarkable woman named Foster Parent of the Year 2024.

Damali’s story is a testament to the transformative power of fostering. While not motivated by recognition, she found immense joy in opening her home and embracing motherhood. Her journey began with a 10-week-old baby, followed by his four-year-old half-sister six months later.

This wasn’t just a change for Damali; it was a family affair. With unwavering support from her loved ones, she created a haven of love and stability for these vulnerable children. Damali emphasizes the importance of fostering even amidst concerns about attachment. “Through my experience, I’ve learned that attachment is inevitable and essential,” she says. “Fostering is about making a child feel safe, wanted, and loved.”

While saying goodbye can be heart-breaking, the impact is undeniable. Damali’s little girl was adopted by a loving family in the Netherlands, and her 18-month-old son is on the path to becoming her adopted son. She said, “My little girl was adopted after nine months and moved to the Netherlands. Though I miss her, I’m not saddened; she’s thriving with her wonderful forever family, thanks in part to my influence. The little boy, who is now a busy 18-month-old, will soon be my legally adopted son.”

These successes highlight the profound difference foster parents can make.

Damali’s story is a powerful call to action. If you have the space in your heart and home, consider fostering a child. SJIS offers various ways to get involved, from becoming a fulltime foster parent to providing weekend respite or mentoring. Every contribution, big or small, makes a significant difference.

This Foster Care Awareness Month, let’s embrace the theme “Be the village, foster a child.” Together, with organizations like SJIS, we can build a more inclusive and supportive environment where every child has the opportunity to flourish.

As Foster Care Awareness Month unfolds, there will be a variety of events and activities planned to continue raising awareness and promoting positive change in the foster care system. From community fundraisers to recruitment drives and a family fun day, there will be ample opportunities for individuals and groups to contribute to the wellbeing of foster children and their families.

Inspired by Damali’s story? Here’s how you can help:

Contact SJIS foster care coordinator Meredith Concincion at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via phone at 1 721 526-4310. Follow SJIS on Facebook and Instagram to stay updated on events and initiatives via and consider becoming a foster parent, weekend foster parent, or mentor.

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