Many kids who go into foster care have come from abusive or neglectful circumstances. Caring for ‘drug babies’ is more challenging. But to one amazing superhero foster mother, regardless of the challenge, she took it on.
To be a foster mom requires a great deal of love, endurance, compromise, and acceptance, and Linda Herring had all of that and more.
Linda Herring from Johnson County, Iowa, worked as a custodian at the local high school at nights and ran a daycare from her home to make ends meet. On top of that, she raised 8 of her own children, three of who she and her husband Bob officially adopted from the foster system, and 2 of which have severe medical conditions. Also a volunteer as a first responder at the local fire department for about 50 years.
For the past 50 years, she devoted her life to giving children a chance in life, and at 75, she retired from fostering.
Raising one child already comes with a lot of ups and downs. Can you imagine having an entire house full of children, most with special needs, then there are the others that had physical or mental challenges due to their fundamental upbringing.
Linda treated each of these children like her very own and felt honored to have the opportunity to love and care for these children.
New children in her home place a photo on the living wall of themselves, so that helped them feel like they were at home.
Anthony, one of her adopted sons, said ‘family isn’t determined by blood.’
Linda explained to CNN that she first got involved in the foster care program due to her best friend, who was doing foster care for teenage girls. She wanted to do the same, but with little kids, so she spoke to the Department of Human Services and agreed to take kids with special needs.
Linda worked hard to keep families and siblings together, as well as helping biological parents make changes to be able to keep their children.
It takes an extraordinary person to open their heart and home to so many children. She cried every time a child would leave her home, regardless of how long they had been there. It was always hard to say goodbye.
The children she had fostered often visit her as adults. She even gets cards and photos from them.
Linda is an excellent example of how love can change a person’s life. Becoming a foster carer is one of the most rewarding things you could ever do.