Statistics show that about 700,000 children are or have been in foster care at some point in their lives. While some of these children get placed into homes, others struggle to find foster parents willing to take them in. And sometimes, foster parents are not very good at helping these children adjust to the difficult situations they’d endured. Being a foster parent requires the individual to have a lot of love to give and a lot of patience, which was why 75-year-old Linda Herring made a perfect foster mother.

Although Herring is now in her seventies, she has been a foster mother for the last fifty years. During her time, the woman from Johnson County, Iowa, took in children no matter their age or medical condition. Being a foster mother was Herring’s lifelong mission, and she proved that she had a heart big enough to help raise 600 children over the years.

While many of the children that Herring fostered were “normal,” minus their challenging life circumstances, other children had mental or physical disabilities. Nevertheless, Herring opened her door to all children in need of fostering and made sure they always felt loved and cared for while with her.

Because of her years of dedication to the children of Johnson County, Herring has received an honor called a Resolution of Appreciation for her decades of hard work with the children.

Herring treated every child who came into her home as one of “her kids.” It didn’t matter the color of their skin or the difficulties they had faced in the past, she was going to shower each and every kid who came into her home with as much love as she could muster – and there was a lot of love to go around during the course of her fifty years of service as a foster mother.

When Herring was fostering children, she also ran a daycare. But that was only during the day. At night, she served as a custodian for a local school. She was just living an average life, taking on two jobs, while trying to give underserved children a second chance at a better life.

Although Linda Herring and her husband Bob have eight kids, three of them were foster kids who were officially adopted. Anthony, who was just six-months-old when he came into the Herring household, was adopted into the family when he was three.

Anthony, now 39, said, “I appreciate being adopted even more today as a parent than when I was a child.”

He added, “She and dad taught me that family isn’t determined by blood. It’s who you have in your life to love.”

Linda Herring had so much love to give. That’s why her family grew to include about 600 foster children over the fifty years she served as a foster mother in Johnson County.

Herring never limited her generosity and welcomed all children, including those with special needs, into her house. By her example, she showed others how they could serve the greater community as well.

Anthony said, “Mom taught me how to appreciate and understand children with special needs.”

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