Fostered: One Woman’s Powerful Story of Finding Faith and Family through Foster Care (Paperback)
Tori grew up in the foster care system, a bi-racial child in a confusing and volatile world. Growing up with a mentally ill mother and living in twelve different foster homes, nothing was in her favor. And yet, even with a minuscule chance of graduating college and a great risk of being homeless, jobless, and on drugs, Tori overcame every negative stereotype and assumption that attacked her identity.
However, Tori will tell you she did not overcome. Christ did. In the face of the storm, Jesus made a way for Tori to find profound hope, deep faith, renewed purpose, and a loving family, too. After so many years of being on one side of foster care as a child, Tori is now on the other side as a foster mom, adoptive mom, and biological mom. On top of that, she became a Track and Field All-American in college and now works with nonprofits, ministries, and beyond advocating for foster care reform, adoption advocacy, and help for vulnerable populations.
If you want to hear the true tale of an unlikely overcomer, this book is for you. If you want to learn more about the foster care system from a former foster youth’s perspective, this book is for you. If you want to better dwell in the reality of your own spiritual adoption by our Heavenly Father and better understand the orphan and the widow that He loves dearly, this book is for you. Ultimately, if you want to remember who God is, and what He can do through the most unlikely of people, Fostered is for you.
“There are few books whose dedications move you. From its first page to its last, Fostered will draw you in at heart-level and transform you from curious reader to grateful witness. Tori Hope Petersen is a storyteller-poet for our day, one whose words are lovingly raw: raw like real life—and raw like redemption. With care, compassion and conviction, Tori invites you to wade in the deep waters of both her belovedness—and yours.”
—Ashlee Eiland, Author of Human Kind
“Tori's story of growing up as a child in very vulnerable situations deeply touched me. She writes with such courage and honesty, and yet also from such a place of peace and healing. Many lives will be impacted by it!”
—Crystal Paine, New York Times bestselling author, podcaster, and foster mom
“Tori tells the truth. And it is pure power. She drags the darkness into the light with skill and softness. Far from a conventional story, her truth is told with grace, and it leaves you wanting more. More light in your life, more freedom in this world, and more kids to know they are so deeply loved and for more and more people to experience the wide welcome of inclusion and belonging that could change everything for all of us. Get this book. You’ll be awed, inspired and hopeful for the possibility of a different future for all of us.”
—Danielle Strickland, Author and Speaker
“In her memoir Fostered, Tori provides honest reflections from her life experiences. Tori’s story provides insights into the challenges and trauma many foster youth face, while also providing hopeful perspective that Christ and the Church can offer for anyone facing difficult circumstances. I am inspired by Tori’s ability to share with vulnerability and empathy.”
—Lauren Green McAfee, Corporate Ambassador, Hobby Lobby; Author, Only One Life and Not What You Think
“Tori courageously opens a window to the pain and challenges of growing up in foster care. Written with candor and vulnerability, her story illustrates the power of God's love to make all things new.”
—Lisa Qualls, coauthor of The Connected Parent
“Fostered is your invitation from Tori Hope Petersen to bear witness to her childhood and beyond. Her honesty is refreshing, and her vulnerability astonishing as she grows up meeting one challenge after another. With God’s grace, she is able to respond to pain with forgiveness, and to failure with hope. And her life becomes a beautiful expression of the reality that the best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better. I have long believed that the greatest form of hospitality is the willingness to share the stories that make up our lives. I can only say that I find Tori’s hospitality to be unsurpassed.”
—Suzanne Stabile, Author of The Path Between Us and The Journey Toward Wholeness
“Everyone should read this book to understand the ins and outs of the foster care system and the vulnerabilities youth in foster care face. Tori is a tangible example that we can move beyond our pasts and into purpose—regardless of what you've been through.”
—Rebecca Bender, Activist, Author, CEO & Founder Elevate Academy
“In this book Tori is not shallow. She goes into the deep. Her story is raw, reflective and hopeful; a life redeemed by the goodness of a great God. Whether you have walked a similar path or not, Tori’s story will leave you in joyful tears, seeing and believing that with Christ, all can be different.”
—Elizabeth Santorum Marcolini, NYT Bestselling Author of Bella’s Gift
“Tori Petersen’s manifesto, Fostered, offers an honest, harrowing, and hopeful glimpse into the life of a former foster youth. Tori's gift for writing and storytelling sets the stage for an insightful commentary on the foster care system—what it is, what it isn’t, and what it can be. Her deep faith in Jesus and pervasive love for others is injected into every page of this book. Read Fostered, and you will not only get to know Tori's story, you will gain a greater understanding of the foster care system and a deeper knowledge of the glorious grace of God. This book is at the top of my list of "recommended reading" for anyone who wants to better understand foster care.”
—Jamie Finn, Author of Foster the Family
“Fostered is a refreshingly honest and perspective on the foster care journey. But most importantly, just like Tori's middle name, Fostered is a story of hope. This book should be in the hands of every person who might touch the foster care system.”
—Mike and Kristin Berry, Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company & authors of Securely Attached: How Understanding Childhood Trauma Will Transform Your Journey
“When I read this book my heart was beating to get to the next chapter. Tori is a forerunner. This book will breathe Hope into you, all the while, opening your eyes to the reality of our current foster care system. Her courage defies odds and her compassion truly tells a story. The silver lining in this entire book is her faith, and that is what shines the brightest. It is evident she has allowed God to prepare a table before her in the presence of her enemies. Goodness and mercy freely flow from Tori’s life and she chooses faith in all circumstances. Her story is one to tell and will bring many to hope, courage, faith and freedom."
—Lindy Cofer, Musician & Worship Leader
“Tori's storytelling drew me in from the beginning of this book, and her resilience and hope carried me through to the end. Although such hardships, hurt, and sadness have marked her life, Tori continues to bring light to this world from her faith in Jesus.”
—Jamie Ivey, bestselling author and host of The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey podcast