Senate District 6 Unsung Hero
West Sacramento Foster Adoptive Parent
Eight years ago, BreAnda Northcutt, a single professional, came into a pre-licensing class, at the Woodland Community College Foster and Kinship Care Education (FKCE) program, to learn about foster care. Knowing that it would take a village to foster and raise a child, she brought her mother. Later, after giving it great consideration, BreAnda called Yolo County Foster Care back and learned about a newborn that needed a safe, caring place to call home.
With great excitement, BreAnda and FKCE staff ventured to Sutter Hospital to meet the newborn who was in the neonatal intensive care unit. BreAnda went back the next day, and the next, meeting and learning more about the baby and his special needs. BreAnda didn't think she was going to be more than the little boy's short-term foster mother; never did she think five-years later she would be his forever mother through foster-adoption, or that she would have his three younger siblings in her care as well.
Life over the last five years has brought many changes to this resilient and tenacious West Sacramento foster mother. BreAnda has made two career moves, seeking a better work-family balance. She bought a home that better accommodates her larger family as well as her involved parents. BreAnda stepped forward to this extraordinary challenge and has committed herself to provide love and support to children in her community that were in desperate need. From Yolo County foster care she has opened her heart and home and by changing and enriching their lives, she in turn has done so for herself.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm living my unexpected life in West Sacramento. I have an incredible resume, a passport full of stamps, a beautiful home, but when I realized that where I invested my time is where I'd get my reward, I went from merely living to being alive. I'm now a foster-adopt single mom to four amazing kids under age five.
What led you to become a foster parent?
I've always had a heart for abandoned children, and figured I'd help someday: someday when I was married, someday when I had more time, someday (insert excuse here). But when I realized that I wanted to invest myself into something more than my career, I found a whole world of unexpected blessings, a collection of friends and church family that provide amazing support and a purpose that drives me through the tantrums, snotty noses and 2:00AM feedings.
What inspires your efforts?
My kids -- and hundreds like them across our region -- who have had the worst of circumstances handed to them. They deserve to have every possible opportunity to learn, thrive and feel loved and accepted. My greatest contribution is likely not something I do, but somebody I help raise.
What have you struggled most with?
Everything in between waking up and going to bed ... ha! It's not easy raising four children under age five, one with special needs, working full time in a high-stress job, all while being single. I hope nobody gets the impression from my answers that life is easy. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do. It's just worth it.
What kind of lessons do you work to instill in your kids?
Right now when they're young, our scripts at home are pretty simple: "love and be kind" "listen and obey." Ultimately, I want them to be kind, happy, grateful and helpful. I want them to value diversity and honor our differences. We come from a very modern family and I want my kids to feel proud of their roots, grateful for the circumstances that will make them more resilient in life and able to have empathy for others. I consider them all the bravest people I know!
If there is one problem in our community that you wish you could fix, what would it be?
There are many, and it can be overwhelming. While I don't consider myself at all heroic, if there were one thing I could impact, it would be to give someone reading this the confidence that they could do this too -- take a child into their safe, loving home and give them kindness and hope.