Devin Alexander is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning entrepreneur, highly coveted keynote speaker, philanthropist and celebrity TV chef best known for decade-long stint as the Chef on NBC’s Biggest Loser. None of her professional accomplishments bring her joy and fulfillment more than being a mom to her “miracle baby,” who she affectionately calls, Jellybean, whom she adopted from the Los Angeles foster care system.
Named one of the “Top 200 Most Influential Authors in the World,” Devin has appeared on National TV Shows from the Today Show to The Doctors and Rachael Ray for over 15 years. A passionate foster care advocate, Devin began working in the foster care field as a volunteer. According to Devin, “I had done some volunteering in the foster care space at a time when I was a bit of a work-a-holic. I was very ‘exposed’ to the need for loving foster families. ”
“I also became acutely aware of how very few children go to families with tremendous resources (in retrospect because if you have ‘means’ it can be easier ‘not to deal with the system’). I have an awesome network and grew up being taught to live my dreams. I wanted to share all of that with a child, and selfishly, I really wanted to be a mom even though I wasn’t married.”
While single parents often think of adopting a child through an adoption agency, Devin decided to adopt a child through foster care. “I just really had a sense of how badly we need foster families, and statistics show that many people are hesitant and have a lot of fears around it, but most families who ‘take the plunge’ are so glad they did, and really feel that they are the lucky ones to have their children in their lives! I know, I feel that way!” says Devin.
Devin is a successful single parent who wears many hats while juggling her career. For busy professionals who want to foster or adopt, Devin’s message is, “You definitely need to have a support system. All parents say, ‘it takes a tribe’ and it couldn’t be more true. Throw on top of that, that the foster journey can come with emotional ups and downs (though there are also benefits like a guarantee of no postpartum depression).”
Devin’s advice to consider before deciding to adopt or foster a child is, “You just need to make sure you are doing it because you want to be a parent and because you know you have love to give. I was a bit older, and I still really wanted to be a mom. There are a lot of sacrifices to being parent, but I was excited to make them because I was old enough to be ‘over’ going out every weekend night, etc.
I actually enjoyed just laying on my bed watching my little angel’s baby monitor. And, though I had to radically shift my sleep schedule for hers and put more time than I’d even imagine into her, I am acutely aware that I wouldn’t change it for the world. My daughter is only 3 and I taught her how to say, ‘J-O-Y! I am JOY!’ She knows she is loved and is the #1 source of my joy.”
For those who are considering becoming a foster parent, Devin’s advice is, “Please accept a placement because your #1 reason is LOVE! If you’re not fully ready to be a parent or think having a child in the home will ‘solve’ anything, it’s not the right time. These kids need love and all of the assistance provided should be used directly for the child who is placed with you.“
“The more I’m involved in the ‘front lines,’ the more I realize that if we could just find individuals to be there for the kids (especially the teens) so that they have someone to guide them, we’d actually all be better off—crime rates, homelessness and taxes would all decrease helping us all. But most importantly, we’d save precious lives!”
Devin is focused on doing a lot more work in the foster care space to be a voice for the kids who age out of the system. She is also working on new projects, including “FitMomFitKids” initiatives to help moms and kids get and stay fit together. Devin also wrote a children’s book to get little ones to want to eat vegetables. The book will be out early in 2022.
For more information about Devin and her exciting upcoming projects, please visit www.devinalexander.com. You can also follow her on Instagram (@devinalexander and @fitmomfitkids_) or Facebook (@devinalexander).
If you are inspired to open your heart and your home to a child who needs you, call Trinity Youth Services at 888-346-9645, or click here to start your foster care journey.
Eve Powers, Foster Care Marketing Specialist
Eve has a strong commitment to helping foster youth and their families thrive and live successful lives. A former foster youth, Eve obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Communications from California State University, San Bernardino, and is a certified Holistic Life Coach, motivational writer, self-help author and celebrity interviewer. Beyond the Trinity Youth Services blog, Eve’s articles can be found in numerous platforms including Foster Focus Magazine, Heart & Soul Magazine, BET Centric and Huffington Post. A passionate advocate for the LGBTQ community, Eve continues to educate, support and mentor foster youth throughout Southern California.