On February 19, 2016, Nicola Robinson’s phone rang. It was DFCS asking if she and her husband Corey would take a 14-month-old girl.
“Corey was out of town on business when the call came that afternoon. I knew that day would change our lives, I just had no idea in what way,” Nicola said. “We had taken all the classes and watched all the videos, but of course we had no idea about her story, the background about the family. or the trauma she might have endured. I called Corey and told him I had gotten the call about a baby girl. He had no reservations – he said “Let’s say yes’.”
And they did.
“I was a nervous wreck the minute I put down the phone,” Nicola said. “I went into a cleaning frenzy thinking it would be a parade of DFCS people in my home. I was worried. What if she didn’t like us? What if it was more than we could handle?
“She came at 10 p.m. that same night. She looked at me and sighed. I reached out to pick her up and the minute she got in my arms she went to sleep. All my doubts and fears melted instantly.”
When Corey returned from his work trip and walked in the door, things changed. The minute Marley saw him and heard his voice she started screaming.
“She was terrified of him,” Nicola said. “I began working from home and, during the day when it was just me and Marley, she was fine, and then the minute he came home, screaming and crying. Something had happened in her short life to make her afraid of men in general.
“Then I had to go out of town on a trip that had been planned way before she came. I worried the entire weekend I was gone. When I got home, she and my husband were new best friends. When she realized he wasn’t harmful, the screaming and crying ended.”
Soon Marley was waking up in the morning asking “Where’s my Daddy”. Today, two years later, she still wants her daddy every morning.
“Marley is a fireball of energy and smiles. She’s silly. She keeps us laughing. She has made us all better. Her little laugh is contagious,” Corey said.
The Robinson’s also have a 7-year-old biological son, who loves being a big brother to Marley.
“The Robinsons are the only family Marley knows,” said their FaithBridge foster care consultant. “She is extremely bonded to them, she is thriving tremendously, and they have helped her educationally, developmentally, emotionally, and spiritually.”
For Nicola, she always knew she wanted to be a foster parent.
“Sometime in my youth, I decided I would take care of children that were not necessarily mine. As I was dating, I would actually ask guys how they felt about fostering. Corey was very open to the idea even back then,” she said.
“I definitely had some misconceptions going into this. I thought it was going to be a nightmare. That we would receive child that would be angry at the world. That this child would have so many issues that we would wish we never fostered. But I was wrong. She has been a huge blessing to our family.”
As members of the Church at Chapel Hill, the Robinsons have relied on their church’s Community of Care throughout their foster care journey.
“They’ve been extremely helpful,” Nicola said. “Our first night we had nothing for the child. Our Community of Care called the next day with resources to assist with Marley’s transition. We also had a vacation planned shortly after receiving her so FaithBridge helped coordinate care while we were gone.”
As an attorney in Juvenile Court, Nicola has a very good understanding of the system.
“She and Corey have had to experience the ups and downs of a broken system, but have never wavered and have always prayed about things, talked to me about things, and have had very good family and friends to rely on through their journey,” said their FaithBridge consultant.
For anyone considering fostering, Nicola offered this advice.
“Every case is different. You aren’t sure what type of child you will foster and what pains will come with that child. I would advise other foster parents to offer as much love as possible and stay prayed up. It is worth it.”