Nicholas Kelley Fosters Kids And A Foster Friendly Business

In the Atlanta suburb of Gainesville, GA,, Nicholas Kelley has emerged as a beacon of hope. As a young, single, foster dad and business owner, Nicholas not only is improving the lives of children in foster care, but he’s also creating a safe and inclusive community for foster families.

We wanted  to share Nicholas’ journey as a foster dad and his mission to provide love, care and support to those who need it most.

Fostering: A Leap Of Faith

Nicholas Kelley, grew up in a connected family of four siblings. He always had a deep sense of compassion toward children. In March 2021, he took a leap of faith and began his journey as a foster dad.

“I knew it was what I wanted to do, but it was just a big leap of actually jumping in and doing it,” Nicholas says. “It came with a lot of hesitation, worry of what other people thought. There is this huge stigma that you have to be married to have kids.” Nicholas embraced his role as a foster dad and committed to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children.

“I hear more often than not, ‘I just don’t how you can do it, I would get too attached.’ It’s not an easy thing because of course you get attached. It’s instant love,” he says. “The biggest thing that I’ve learned is…I can handle the heartache. If I can be an in-between for a child and give them the love that they need and the care that they need as a child I can get through knowing that they’re going back.”

Being Single Doesn’t Mean Going It Alone

Nicholas acknowledges that being a foster parent is not a solo journey. He the importance of a strong support system of friends and family, who provide a network of love, encouragement, and understanding. This support system allows Nicholas to navigate the ups and downs of foster parenting, reminding him that he is not alone in his endeavors.

Check out more of his story:

“People don’t seem to think Dads can do it. Doctor’s appointments, you know I hear all the time, nurses, you know, ‘Well, is mom coming to the appointment?’ When’s mom going to be here?’ A lot of times I just nod and keep going. It’s kind of a running joke that I’m both mom and dad.”

Throughout fostering, Nicholas has gained insights that show his dedication and passion for foster care. “Family is exactly what these kids need to heal,” he says. “They deserve nothing less. The biggest concern of family and friends is always the potential heartache. But I’ve discovered that I can handle the heartache if I can be an in-between for a child and give them the love and care they need during that time.” Nicholas also shared how supported he feels by those in his community. “It truly takes a village, and I am grateful to have a great support group of friends and family. Without them, I couldn’t do it.”

Nicholas has a charge for prospective foster parents out there: “If foster parenting is a calling in your life, I encourage you to jump in and do it. Despite my own struggles and self-doubt, I realized it was my true calling.”

Next He Took Foster Care To Work

Nicholas and his family operate Kelley’s Tavern, which now, thanks to Nicholas, is a Foster Friendly Business, serving as a hub of support for local foster families. Kelley’s offers discounts to foster families, but also offers a safe and welcoming space for kids with trauma. Nicholas personally welcomes foster families and ensures they feel valued and appreciated. His personal experience with foster care equips him to understand the unique challenges faced by these families, earning him and the business a trusted place within the foster care community.

Learn more about Nicholas’ Foster Friendly Business:

It is a beautiful demonstration of support to offer a discount to foster families who dine in the restaurant. But what really makes the lasting impact is the way the staff welcome and honor the work these families are doing on behalf of vulnerable kids.

“I had the Foster Friendly App. Very important to me and my family that we want to show that we support foster families. All my employees know that if someone uses that discount I want to know. I just want to go talk to them, stop by and say hi.”

Download the FOSTER FRIENDLY APP here!

5 Take Aways from Nicholas Kelley’s Story

1. Embrace the Journey: Just like Nicholas Kelley, taking on the role of a foster parent requires courage and a leap of faith. Embrace the journey, even if you have doubts or face societal stigmas. Remember that your love and care can make a significant difference in the lives of vulnerable children.

2. Create a Supportive Network: Foster parenting is not something to do alone. Surround yourself with a strong support system of friends and family who are willing to provide love, encouragement, and understanding. Having a support network can help you navigate the challenges and remind you that you are not alone in your endeavors.

3. Be Foster Friendly: If you own a business or have the opportunity to create a foster-friendly environment, do so. Offer discounts or special services to foster parents to show that they are valued and appreciated. By creating a welcoming space, you can make foster families feel seen, supported, and at home.

4. Understand the Unique Challenges: Educate yourself about the unique challenges faced by foster families. Take the time to personally connect with them, showing genuine care and interest in their journey. By understanding their experiences, you can become a trusted advocate within your community and provide the support they need.

5. Answer the Call: If you feel called to become a foster parent, don’t hesitate to jump in and do it. Despite the potential challenges and self-doubt, remember that it can be your true calling. Just like Nicholas Kelley, you have the power to give children from hard places the love, care, and stability they deserve.

Could You Foster?

If Nicholas Kelley’s story inspires you and you’re ready to learn more about what it takes to foster, we encourage you to reach out to your local foster care agency or organization.

This summer our FosterCon webinar series offers information and inspiration to help wherever you are in the process. You have the opportunity to make a lasting impact in the lives of vulnerable children.

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