22 Years and 200 Foster Kids Later
"...as long as there is still love in my heart to give, why wouldn’t I give it?”
From a very young age, Laura knew she wanted to be a mom. She soon had 3 biological children and loved them very much. But there was always more room in Laura’s heart for kids. As her kids grew up, she saw that her friend had children other than her own for whom she provided care. She asked about those kids and learned that they were children who’d been surrendered by or removed from their families, in need of love and care while professionals evaluated their needs and deliberated their futures. Although the kids often have tragic stories or special needs, Laura quickly understood that she had the perfect heart for this.
At the age of 36, Laura began fostering kids. 22 years later, Laura has fostered boys and girls from infants to teenagers. She’s always provided them endless love but proudly shares that over time, the way she provides care has changed. Laura credits that to her relationship with Los Pisingos. Laura first learned about Los Pisingos through one of her foster children’s schools who noticed the boy was struggling and in need of greater support. Because Los Pisingos is centrally located and provides sponsorships, Laura was able to bring the boy consistently and he made amazing progress. Then Laura realized she’d learned a few useful tools, too! She’d known how to feed and bathe kids, but she was learning how to teach and approach them. Laura knew she’d found a special place. As some of her foster kids have struggled with various degrees of trauma or special needs, Laura has brought them to therapists at Los Pisingos. From psychology to speech therapy or occupational therapy, Laura feels that by the time children leave her care, Los Pisingos’ caregivers have given them superpowers to heal from their pasts and shape their own destinies.
Laura is now 58 years old and has fostered over 200 kids. They have been adopted by families around the world from France to Italy, the United States, and Canada. She loves each one and it’s always hard to see them leave. Just this past January, she said goodbye to an 8-month-old baby who was adopted by a family in Norway. She knows it’s for the best but thinking of his tiny hand wrapped around hers, still brings tears to her eyes. Laura's own kids are now 42, 39, and 27, and proud of their mom and all the lives she’s touched. When asked what keeps her going, Laura recalls kids she’s fostered who have suffered sexual abuse, babies with severe burns, toddlers who are undernourished—“These kids need love and as long as there is still love in my heart to give, why wouldn’t I give it?”
Laura is currently fostering a 3-year-old girl named Gabby. Gabby is from Colombia’s Guainía region, bordering Venezuela and Brazil. She is part Curripaco and part Puinave. She was born with special needs. Unfortunately, indigenous communities like hers often lack the resources they need to manage special needs and Gabby was surrendered. Laura brings Gabby to Los Pisingos every week and she’s already making wonderful progress in therapy. Laura knows Gabby has a bright future ahead and celebrates Gabby's every win.
This piece was written for All God's Children International and originally appeared on their blog.