Foster mom raised 600 kids in 50 years — took in children no matter age or medical condition

Woman honoured for fostering more than 600 children

Raising just one child can be a tough job for any parent—which is why this woman is being honored for fostering more than 600 children over the course of five decades.

Linda Herring from Johnson County, Iowa has been tirelessly providing food, clothing, love, and medical care to hundreds of foster kids since the 1970s.

Linda Herring is now at 75-years-old, she’s retired from fostering children. But for the past 50 years, she 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 she excelled at.

When Herring first began fostering kids, she was also running a home daycare and working as a night custodian in a local high school. Additionally, she volunteered as a first responder for 50 years of her life, according to CNN.

Herring was known by everyone in Johnson County for never turning away a child, no matter their age, gender, or special needs, and would regularly travel to pick up foster children who needed a home.

Fostering turned into adopting

Herring is not just a foster mum. For her eight children, three of which were foster children she and Bob adopted, she was just “Mum.”

One of those children is 39-year-old Anthony Herring. He was 6 months old when he was placed in the Herring household. When he was 3 years old, the Herring family officially adopted him.

Linda has faced challenges in face-to-face fostering.

As any parent can attest, raising even one child is full of ups and downs. Now imagine a whole family of children, most of whom have some special need. Some children are relatively normal. But others experience physical or mental difficulties due to their early upbringing.

She has been honored for her incredible work.

To outsiders, what Linda did for the adopted children was work…for her, it wasn’t. She feels very honored to have the opportunity to love children that others don’t want or care about. These are not just foster children, but “her kids.” She treats each of them as if they belonged to her.

She’s a real-life Superwoman.

At the same time Linda raised her children, she ran a nursery. But please wait a moment. That’s what she did for the day. At night, she would go to the local high school where she would perform babysitting duties. That’s more than the average person can do. Linda is also a first responder volunteer. “Wow,” was all I could say.

Linda has taken her role as a foster mother to the next level.

She and her husband Bob have eight children. Among them, three are her adopted children that they officially adopted. One of them is Anthony. When he was only six months old, the court placed the boy in the care of Linda. At the age of three, the couple made him a legal member of the Herring family. “I appreciate being adopted as a parent even more today than when I was a kid,” says Anthony.

Not only was Linda an extraordinary foster mom, but she taught “her kids” valuable life lessons along the way. Two of the foster kids they adopted have serious medical issues. But thanks to her undying 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.”

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