Caring for an infant in their first few days of life is no easy feat.
Most babies require around-the-clock care, constant feedings, and plenty of love and patience in order to thrive. Little ones with developmental delays and drug exposure in the womb are even more difficult to soothe.
Linda Owens is a 78-year-old retired grocery store manager in Hayward, California, who recently took in her 81st foster baby. The compassionate mom has been opening her heart and her home to infants in need for the past 34 years. She feels it’s her calling to provide them with the love and care they need.
“This is what God’s handed me a gift to do,” Linda said.
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Every baby comes to her right after they’re born and stays with her for weeks or months until a suitable adopter is found. She sometimes takes in two babies at a time, and she has even cared for three sets of twins during her time as a resource parent!
“It’s a challenging job, but very rewarding,” Linda said. Her small home is littered with baby gear, and she always has infant formula close by in case she gets a call from the hospital and needs to welcome a baby on short notice.
Mia Buckner-Preston of the Alameda County Department of Children & Family Services said no other resource parent they’ve seen has been caring for babies as long as Linda. “Her experience, the care, the love she provides to the babies, it’s immeasurable.”
After adoption, Linda helps each baby’s new parents learn to care for their little one as well. She’s given invaluable tips to help the infants sleep through the night, take a bottle, and overcome other challenges of early life.
Linda remembers the name of every child she’s ever fostered, and she keeps in touch with many of them. “It makes you feel good that you fulfilled your job,” the proud foster mom added.
As you can imagine, the toughest part of the job is saying goodbye. Linda kisses each of her babies on the forehead and tells them, “I love you,” before sending them off to be with their forever families.
Linda is the kind of hero who never asks for praise or recognition, yet she is making the world a better place every day. Share this story to thank her for being the mom these babies needed.
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