Around 700,000 kids are or have been in foster care at some point, but thousands of them are still on a waiting list. Imagine, this is only for the United States, meaning the numbers worldwide are much higher. Taking care of children who aren’t your own isn’t for anyone. It requires a great deal of love, patience, understanding, and acceptance to be a foster mom.
That’s because a lot of kids who go into foster care come from abusive or neglectful situations. Some of them are “drug babies,” which makes caring for them even more challenging. But for this foster mom, none of those things mattered.
The age or medical status of the kids didn’t matter to her.
The woman’s name is Linda Herring and she is now 75-years-old, retired from fostering children. But for the past fifty years, the she has dedicated her life to giving kids a chance at life. Hailed from Johnson County, Iowa, being a foster mom was Linda’s lifelong mission, one thing she’s great at.
She faced the challenges of fostering head-on.
Raising even one child comes with a lot of ups and downs as any parent can attest to. Now can you even imagine having an entire houseful of kids, most with some type of special need. A great number of the children were relatively normal per se. But some others had either physical or mental difficulties due to their initial upbringing.
Linda was honored for her unbelievable work.
Other people might think what Linda did for foster children was work…to her, it wasn’t. the woman felt more than honored to have the opportunity to love kids that others didn’t want or care about. These weren’t just foster kids but “her kids.” She treated each one of them as if they belonged to her.
Linda was a real-life superhero, a Superwoman.
Linda ran a daycare, at the same time Linda fostered children. But, there’s more. That was what she did during the day. She’d head to the local high school at night, where she performed custodian duties. That’s way more than the average person could do. Linda was also a first-responder volunteer. “Wow,” is all I can say.
This amazing woman took her role as a foster mom to a new level.
Linda and her husband Bob have eight kids. Three of those were her foster kids who they officially adopted. One of them is Anthony. The court placed him in the care of Linda when he was only six months old. The couple made him a legal member of the Herring family at the age of three. Now he is 39, Anthony says, “I appreciate being adopted even more today as a parent than when I was a child.”
“Family isn’t determined by blood.”
The guy went on saying that he’s forever grateful for the life that Linda and Bob gave him. “She and dad taught me that family isn’t determined by blood, it’s who you have in your life to love.” They had a tremendous amount of love to go around for the Herrings. No child had to sacrifice while in Linda’s care.
Linda was an extraordinary foster mom, who taught “her kids” valuable life lessons along the way. Two of the foster kids they adopted had serious medical issues. However, thanks to the woman’s undying love and devotion, they’re both thriving today. Anthony summed it as when he said, “Mom taught me how to appreciate and understand children with special needs.”