Celebrating Kelly Middleton

Kelly grew up and lived most of her life in Ohio. She was actually paralyzed in a horse accident and rehabbed back to walking. About 2 years later, she was re-paralyzed and in a wheelchair. During this time, she was left a single mother to two children. They were living in a rather large house with only her and her two biological kids. Kelly spoke about how grateful she was to be able to keep her home for her children, but it seemed so quiet, so big, and so “wasteful” for just the three of them.

One day, one of her neighbors had dropped her children off to Kelly, for her to “raise.” They ended up staying with her for about a month, when she decided to go to her local county’s children services to ask for advice on how to gain legal custody of these abandoned children. It was that conversation that led her to take the classes to become a foster parent the following week. When she wheeled into that class, she was fearful of rejection and unsure of how to really handle this, but once the class started, she instantly knew, she was in the right place. Kelly quickly became licensed, all while rehabbing back to walking about 50%. 

On May 5, 2007 she received her first call. It was for three little girls ages 4, 7, and 16 months. Kelly asked for five minutes, so she could talk to her two biological kids. They instantly said yes and before she knew it, she was on her way to pick up the girls. Within a few short years, these girls became official Middletons. 

Kelly’s fostering journey continued as she continued to heal from her injuries. She’s welcomed anyone from babies, to teens, to pregnant teens, and about any child they called her for. The main goal of foster care is reunification and Kelly was able to reunify a lot of the children with their families. 

In 2016 she received a call for three more girls, ages 11, 7, and 4. Kelly says that she had a feeling that these girls were going to be hers, which is something she didn’t feel with every placement. Fast forward to a couple of years later, and they also took her last name.  

They have had many children come through their home and Kelly stated that it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies.  They lived through their house being burned down by a child on accident. It was that fire that led the family down to Georgia in 2021. They decided it would be best to make the big move to be closer to family and friends. Before they moved, Kelly did a lot of research on foster care agencies down in Georgia, which is where she found Goshen. She explained that when she first talked with them, it felt like she was chatting with an old friend. She asked what their organization was about, to which they answered, “We are here to support DFCS and to keep siblings together.” In that short answer, Kelly knew it was the right fit for her because she had adopted two sets of sibling groups herself and knew how important it was to keep them together. Not too long after, Kelly and her girls were packing up their house and driving down to Georgia. She became licensed in Georgia, only a few months later and received her first placement. 

“Fostering isn’t easy, but having support is the key to being successful,” said Kelly Middleton. “I (we) have been fostering now for 16 yrs, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Don’t think that this means we have the “perfect” family. We have struggles just like any other family, maybe even more.  I’ve shed my fair share of tears on my pillow and questioned the task of having the responsibility of so many lives.  I do know with the grace and love of God, that is what has got me through the difficult times. Not many people can say they are truly living their passion, but I can…. I am.”

Kelly was celebrated at a game in Savannah, Georgia on April 5, 2024. Kelly has been a licensed foster family for 16 years and has welcomed over 100 children and teens into her home. Kelly continues to foster through her licensing agency, Goshen Valley Homes.

To watch Kelly’s celebration from the game, click here. 

If you or someone you know is a foster family and are interested in sharing your story with us, please visit Tell Your Story.