CLEVELAND COUNTY, NC — According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, there are 10,200 children in foster care in our state.
What You Need To Know
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says there are 10,200 children currently in foster care in our state
Jennifer Fredell-Saucier was adopted when she was just a few weeks old and even though she had a loving family growing up, she still felt the stigma of being adopted
Saucier wrote a children’s book, “Handpicked” about a little girl who is in foster care and gets adopted, to help children understand the process
Part of the proceeds of the book will go towards the Tyler Herndon Memorial Foundation
A Cleveland County woman, Jennifer Fredell-Saucier, was a foster child.
“When I was born, I was very sick. My birth mother didn’t want me and had already signed me over to DSS when my mother, Glenda said, ‘I don’t care that she’s sick. I don’t care if she has disabilities. I want her to be my daughter,'” Fredell-Saucier said.
Even though she grew up with a loving family in Kings Mountain, Fredell-Saucier says it was still tough growing up as an adopted child.
“There was a stigma, there still is a stigma, but there was very much a stigma. I would say I was adopted at birth, and people would say ‘Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry!’ And I would look at them like they were crazy, why are you sorry? I had the best life ever,” Fredell-Saucier said.
To help break that stigma, Fredell-Saucier wrote a children’s book based on her experiences as a child. The book, “Handpicked,” is about a little girl named Delaney, which was her grandfather’s name, who goes to school at Bethware Elementary, the same school Fredell-Saucier attended and where her son Ryker attends now.
“My goal with this book, I want every child that is a foster child, every child that has been adopted to know God has a purpose for their life. They are here for a reason, and there is so much meaning in their lives,” Fredell-Saucier said.
Part of the proceeds of the book will go towards the Tyler Herndon Memorial Foundation. Tyler Herndon was a police officer for the Mount Holly police department. He was killed during a call two years ago. Herndon’s mother was Fredell-Saucier’s son Ryker’s first grade teacher.
“She’s always been very involved, and we’re so grateful for that. It feels like just saying we’re grateful isn’t enough, but we really are grateful,” said Debbie Herndon, Tyler Herndon’s mother.
“This foundation provides scholarships for children who want to become a first responder, and there are a lot of foster children who want to do that,” Fredell-Saucier said.