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This 75-year-old woman has fostered more than 600 children in 50 years: "I had so much love to give"

Linda Herring spent a good part of her life making her house a home for young children. Now, she's officially retiring from her designation as Dedicated Foster Mom.

This 75-year-old woman has fostered more than 600 children in 50 years: "I had so much love to give"
Image Source: Johnson County, Iowa / Twitter

Linda Herring has spent the last 50 years of her life dedicated to being a good mom. While she may not be a mother in the traditional sense of the term, she's pretty amazing at her job. That's because, for the last five decades, she has been a foster mom to over 600 children. Now 75 years old, she is taking some time off for herself. While it was no easy feat, she revealed in a moving interview that she enjoyed every last bit of it, PEOPLE Magazine reports. Linda was recently recognized for her unwavering efforts, undying love, and unending support by The Board of Supervisors at the Department of Human Services in Iowa.



"I would just love [my foster kids] just like they were my own, probably more than I should," she confessed. "I cried when the kids would leave my home, no matter how long they had been there." Linda began her journey as a foster mom when she was inspired by her best friend, who had begun providing shelter to teenage girls who needed it. She said, "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."



In addition to her five biological children, Linda has also adopted three of the children she formerly fostered. Anthony Herring is one child of those lucky three. But he's not a child anymore - he's all grown up and even has kids of his own. "I appreciate being adopted even more today as a parent than I did when I was a child," he said. "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." Needless to say, the idea of family is changing. It's not about who you're biologically related to, but who you love and welcome into your home.



Linda, sadly, formally resigned from her position as Dedicated Foster Mom in 2019, citing health reasons as the primary cause for her resignation. It wasn't an easy decision for her. She could barely say goodbye to the children she fostered, let alone bid farewell to fostering children altogether. "It was so hard for me to say goodbye to them," she said. "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." She's still got lots of love to give, but she might just need to save some for herself after all those years of selfless giving. In recognition of her seemingly infinite kindness, The Board of Supervisors at Iowa's Department of Human Services awarded her with an official certificate of appreciation. They stated in a post on Twitter, "The Board of Supervisors, Department of Human Services and a standing room only crowd recognized Linda Faye Herring last night for nearly five decades of serving as a foster parent to more than 600 children in Johnson County." A job well done, indeed!



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