As we celebrate National Foster Care Month, we shine a light on the incredible journey of Joanne, a dedicated foster parent whose life mission has been to provide love and safety to countless children in need.

Joanne’s journey into foster care began long before she realized its full significance. “We started adopting children first,” she recalls. “I got saved when I was 37, and I already had 10 children. Then God told me to raise children and moved us to this huge house. That’s where we began fostering and adopted 30 children. The Lord put this together and keeps this together.”

With over 40 years of fostering experience, Joanne’s home has become a sanctuary for many. Her home is filled with love, laughter, and unforgettable moments. “One of the best moments was when a child said to me, ‘You’re the best grandma I ever had.’ The kids call me grandma,” she shares. “Another said, ‘I love you so much, grandma.’ When they say that to me, that’s what blesses my soul. That’s all I need. Because then I know they know they’re loved and safe and don’t have to go anywhere.”

Joanne also supports the parents. She does everything she can for the parents because she’s learned over the years that they need just as much help as the kids. The last ones that left come over all the time for dinner, and they have a really good time together.

Fostering has profoundly impacted Joanne and her family. It teaches her family to share and realize how blessed they are. She believes it’s what God gave her to do, and she feels grateful every day that, at 86, she can wake up and take care of the kids without issues.

To those considering becoming foster parents, Joanne offers sage advice: “If you make the commitment, then keep it. Make sure you know what you’re getting into and if you really want to help children, if that’s your goal, don’t give up.”

Joanne’s aspirations extend beyond her own home. She dreams of building a huge complex to support at-risk mothers and children one day.

The children Joanne has cared for remain a significant part of her life, even after they grow up. Currently, she fosters two children and cares for four mentally handicapped adults she adopted.

Joanne is also dedicated to spreading her message of love and purpose through teaching Bible study at her church. “I want to teach people that each person has such a purpose in this lifetime. I want people to know they’re so special and they’re worth something.”

As we honor National Foster Care Month, Joanne’s story serves as an inspiration to us all, reminding us of the profound impact one person’s love and dedication can have on the lives of many.