We hear it all the time in the news- child grows up witnessing domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, is abused themself, lands in foster care, and goes on to repeat the cycle. On today’s podcast we share the story of a woman who faced all of this but has broken the cycle and beat the odds!
The house she was sleeping in was engulfed in flames. If it weren’t for the heroics of a neighbor boy, Nikka Palmer would have been dead. That night she actually wished she would have died. The painful reality of her life was too much to take- watching her biological parents abuse drugs and alcohol, living through domestic violence, even facing abuse herself at the hands of someone she should have been able to trust.
At age 15 she attempted suicide for the first time. When she woke up the next morning, and realized she was still alive, she ran away from home. The darkest moment in her life was certainly the moment she mustered up the courage to walk into a DCS office and report everything that was happening to her. From there she faced insurmountable odds. But that was the moment she began a long and seemingly endless fight to overcome the dark and devastating circumstances she was living through.
Nikka’s story is unbelievable in many regards. I remember the first time I heard it, 17 years ago, as she shared it with the college class we were in together. In my mind I couldn’t reason how adults could do these things to a child. My heart sank for Nikka and I felt a small slice of the hopelessness she felt as she shared the story.
But Nikka was not then, and is not now, a hopeless case. She has beaten the odds, broken the cycle, and stands as a beacon of light to anyone who has suffered through abuse as a child. Along with that, she is an encouragement to every foster and adoptive parent that you are making a difference in the life of a child, even if it seems you are not.
Listen To The Podcast.
Notes and Quotes From The Show.
Nikka’s story is amazing and inspiring. For anyone who is caring for children through foster care, has adopted, or works for social services, her story is an encouragement to you- you are making a difference! Even when it seems that you are not, or your child pushes you away, they are filing away the love and care that you show them. Nikka ended up in the care of amazing foster parents who walked with her through high school, college, and into adulthood. Her foster dad even walked her down the aisle at her wedding.
Nikka is an overcomer. She’s a fighter. This is one of our favorite things she shared during the show…
[shareable]You are not what happens to you. You are what you decide to become! – Nikka Palmer[/shareable]
You have a choice in this life. Either succumb to the difficult circumstances that surround you, or fight your way through them. Nikka’s relationship with Jesus has given her the strength to overcome all odds and become to woman she is today. Her words are filled with hope and her story proves one thing- if you have breath in your lungs and a heartbeat in your chest, you are not hopeless!
[shareable]You are still breathing, in-spite of all that has been piled on you. – Nikka Palmer[/shareable]
Resources and Links.
After an episode like this, which is such an encouragement to foster and adoptive parents, in particular, we want to leave our readers and listeners with links and resources that help them take action. So, we’re including 2 links, in particular, where you can find information on state-by-state adoption and foster care agencies.
- State-By-State Foster Care & Adoption Information. Our friends at AdoptUSKids.org have created a helpful page that gives state-by-state information on local adoption and foster care. You can select your state and find local information to where you live.
- Wait No More. Our friends at Focus On The Family have started an awesome initiative called Wait No More, which is working hard to reduce the number of children in the United States waiting for a forever home.
We know that many who listen to this episode may have gone through abuse themselves, know someone who has, or currently face this on a daily basis. Don’t wait to find help. Speak up and share what is happening to authorities before it’s too late. It’s a scary thing to do, but it needs to be done. For information on how and where to report, click here.
[reminder]Have you gone through a similar situation as Nikka did? Are you currently a foster parent or guardian with a child who’s gone through this? Share your story with us.[/reminder]