Before becoming a parent, Merceda Perry never imagined she would one day raise 10 children. “I always wanted to be a parent, but I figured I would have only 1,” she says with a laugh. Merceda and Charles still had two of their five children at home when they decided to become foster parents. “We sat down and talked about it,” she says of the decision. “It was important to agree as a family.” After learning about SCFFAA from a friend, they became certified as foster parents. “At first we just wanted to be foster parents, we really didn’t think of adoption at that time,” Merceda says. Placement happened quickly, and within a few weeks they were fostering a newborn. “I’ve fostered 6 children, and they’ve all stayed in touch with me,” she says proudly. “I’m happy to say they are doing well.”
“If you have a child who needs a home and you give them stability, that child can be great.”
Their first adoption was of JoShon, now 8 years old. “We just fell in love with him,” she remembers of the experience, “and decided adoption was right for us.” Following his adoption, Merceda and Charles became parents over time of Ma’Shae, twins Mya and Mariah and their sister, Ma’Kaelyn.
“Being parents, with the challenges of being a big family we just all work together.” In order to accommodate their growing family, the Perrys moved to Riverside County from Los Angeles. As a stay at home mom, Merceda stays busy taking the children to sports, music and drama classes. “I think it’s important to keep their minds active and for them to be involved in different activities.”
“Being a foster and adoptive parent really gives you the opportunity to make an impact on a child’s life,” Merceda says of foster care and adoption. “If you have a child who needs a home and you give them stability, that child can be great.”