How To Find Freedom In-Spite Of A Devastating Past [Podcast]

Season 1, Episode 4- The Honestly Speaking Parenting Podcast

We hear it all the time in the news- child grows up witnessing domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, is abused themself, lands in foster care, and goes on to repeat the cycle. On today’s podcast we share the story of a woman who faced all of this but has broken the cycle and beat the odds!


The house she was sleeping in was engulfed in flames. If it weren’t for the heroics of a neighbor boy, Nikka Palmer would have been dead. That night she actually wished she would have died. The painful reality of her life was too much to take- watching her biological parents abuse drugs and alcohol, living through domestic violence, even facing abuse herself at the hands of someone she should have been able to trust.

At age 15 she attempted suicide for the first time. When she woke up the next morning, and realized she was still alive, she ran away from home. The darkest moment in her life was certainly the moment she mustered up the courage to walk into a DCS office and report everything that was happening to her. From there she faced insurmountable odds. But that was the moment she began a long and seemingly endless fight to overcome the dark and devastating circumstances she was living through.

Nikka’s story is unbelievable in many regards. I remember the first time I heard it, 17 years ago, as she shared it with the college class we were in together. In my mind I couldn’t reason how adults could do these things to a child. My heart sank for Nikka and I felt a small slice of the hopelessness she felt as she shared the story.

But Nikka was not then, and is not now, a hopeless case. She has beaten the odds, broken the cycle, and stands as a beacon of light to anyone who has suffered through abuse as a child. Along with that, she is an encouragement to every foster and adoptive parent that you are making a difference in the life of a child, even if it seems you are not.

Listen To The Podcast.


Notes and Quotes From The Show.

Nikka’s story is amazing and inspiring. For anyone who is caring for children through foster care, has adopted, or works for social services, her story is an encouragement to you- you are making a difference! Even when it seems that you are not, or your child pushes you away, they are filing away the love and care that you show them. Nikka ended up in the care of amazing foster parents who walked with her through high school, college, and into adulthood. Her foster dad even walked her down the aisle at her wedding.

Nikka is an overcomer. She’s a fighter. This is one of our favorite things she shared during the show…

You have a choice in this life. Either succumb to the difficult circumstances that surround you, or fight your way through them. Nikka’s relationship with Jesus has given her the strength to overcome all odds and become to woman she is today. Her words are filled with hope and her story proves one thing- if you have breath in your lungs and a heartbeat in your chest, you are not hopeless!

Resources and Links.

After an episode like this, which is such an encouragement to foster and adoptive parents, in particular, we want to leave our readers and listeners with links and resources that help them take action. So, we’re including 2 links, in particular, where you can find information on state-by-state adoption and foster care agencies.

We know that many who listen to this episode may have gone through abuse themselves, know someone who has, or currently face this on a daily basis. Don’t wait to find help. Speak up and share what is happening to authorities before it’s too late. It’s a scary thing to do, but it needs to be done. For information on how and where to report, click here.

Question: Have you gone through a similar situation as Nikka did? Are you currently a foster parent or guardian with a child who’s gone through this? Share your story with us. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Caro Menchaca

    Hi guys. Thank you for sharing your story. It helps so much! I will share mine, so you can know me. We are specially needing help here. My husband and I adopted an 11year old girl. She is my husband’s niece. Her mother has schizofrenia since 20 years, her father did’t assume parenthood. My mother in law took care of the girl until she passed away 8 years ago, because of cancer. Since then, she was living with her granpa and a lady. The two of them have health problems and there was always trouble and violence between him and my sister in law. We have been fighting the adoption for 3 years and now she is finally living with us. But we are having many problems. My girl is always lying to us about everything. We had plenty of conversations about trust, she tells you she understands, cries and says she is sorry, and the next day, she does it again. She appears to enjoy living in trouble or in a house when everything is wrong and there is always something bad happening. We are now taking her to be evaluated by a psicologist because she is taking ritalin and risperidone. She has been diagnosed to have some atention and anxiety disorder when she was living there, but I do not trust the professionals who saw her. It is important to know that her mother never stopped taking schizofrenia drugs during pregnancy. We do not know if all her problems are genetic, emotional due to all her past experiences or both. We are afraid. In addition, we didn’t have our own children yet since we were waiting for her first. I’m 29 and my husband is 36. Kind regards. Carolina ( Uruguay ).

  • Beth

    One of your articles was shared with me recently and I have loved listening to your podcasts. I started with the first few that aired clear back in 2015! I have 2 adopted boys from Africa. One of them has Reactive Attachment Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He is 18 years old. Your podcasts have been uplifting and comforting to me as my husband and I try to navigate the challenges of daily life with a special needs child. Thank you. I loved what Kristin said in one of the first few episodes that it is not my job to fix my child. I’m here to be his mother, love him, care for his needs and provide the support he needs as he walks his path to healing. I hope to be able to keep that in mind.

    • Beth, it’s so great to connect with you. I am glad you found us… :-). I am glad to hear that the podcasts have brought encouragement to you and your journey. You are not alone. We are cheering for you! 😉