Be still my heart! A 75-year-old woman from Iowa has spent the majority of her adult life taking care of hundreds of children in foster care. Due to her loving acts, the woman was honored with a resolution of appreciation by her local government.
Over the course of five decades, Linda Herring has taken in foster children while running a home daycare and working as a night custodian. The 75-year-old has given a home to children, no matter their age or if they had special needs.
The foster parent stated she loves all of her foster children just like they were her own. “I cried when the kids would leave my home, no matter how long they had been there.” Herring was first inspired to help foster children when her best friend began providing shelter to several teenage girls.
“My best friend was doing foster care for teenage girls and I thought, ‘Well, that would be nice to do the same,’ but I wanted little kids. So, I talked to the Department of Human Services and agreed to take kids with medical needs.
Herring has five biological children and has adopted three who were once under her care. Anthony Herring, one of the children adopted, stated he was grateful for the life he was given. He noted, “I appreciate being adopted even more today as a parent than I did when I was a child. I’m forever grateful for the life I was given. She and Dad have both taught me that family isn’t determined by blood — it’s who you have in your life to love.”
According to the Adoption Network, there are nearly 428,000 children who are currently in foster care in the US and more than 114,00 can’t be returned to their biological parents. Only 135,000 children are adopted in the United States each year. Nearly 20,000 children will age out of the foster care system when they reach 18 or 21-years-old, depending on the state they live in.
The Iowa woman has fostered more than 600 children in a span of 50 years. Unfortunately, due to health issues, she stopped fostering in October 2019. To honor her work and for all of the good she had done throughout her life, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors and the Iowa Department of Human services commemorated the hero with a resolution of appreciation.
The sweet foster mom stated that despite how difficult it has been to part ways with the children she has cared for, she knew they needed love and she was the right person since she had plenty to give. “It was so hard for me to say goodbye to them. I always questioned, ‘Why do I keep doing this?’ because it was never easy to say goodbye to a child. But I kept doing it because I had so much love to give to these children in need.”