Adoptions
Foster mom sweetly cares for more than 80 babies within 34 years
The 78-year-old has taken in dozens of beautiful infants over the years, giving them the love and care they needed. “This is what God’s handed me a gift to do."
Patricia Lynn
03.16.22

Anyone with kids knows that caring for a baby is a lot of work, yet it’s very soul-building too. For one woman, she’s been nurturing babies for decades in a very beautiful way.

Linda Owens from Hayward, California was honored with a Jefferson Award for her years of dedication as a foster parent.

During her time participating in the foster care system, the 78-year-old Linda Owens has taken care of 81 different infants.

She is finally getting the recognition she deserves for all of the lives she has touched.

YouTube Screenshot / KPIX CBS SF Bay Area
Source:
YouTube Screenshot / KPIX CBS SF Bay Area

“It’s a challenging job, but very rewarding,” Owens told CBS affiliate KPIX.

The woman is an unsung local hero that never asked for any praise for her efforts.

While it’s true that foster parents receive a small stipend for their work, Owens did it mainly out of the kindness of her heart.

johnhain
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johnhain

Although she’s incredible with kids, she used to work as a grocery department manager.

However, she has always enjoyed taking care of babies in her free time. Ever since she was young, she has had an interest in raising newborns.

“This is what God’s handed me a gift to do,” said Owens.

YouTube Screenshot / KPIX CBS SF Bay Area
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YouTube Screenshot / KPIX CBS SF Bay Area

Kids can end up in the foster system at any time up until their 18th birthday.

However, Owens specializes in taking care of the youngest of the bunch. It’s safe to say that at this point, she is a verifiable expert at raising newborns.

As of 2019, there were 423,997 in the US foster care system with approximately 7 percent of those being under the age of one. It works out to 30,626 newborns. Plus, there are an additional 36,425 toddlers between the ages of one and two.

While 81 different infants seems like a lot, there is also what seems like a never-ending supply of kids entering the foster care system every year.

Unsplash - Ryan 'O' Niel
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Unsplash - Ryan 'O' Niel

For 55% of the kids that end up in foster care, reunification with the birth parents or primary caregiver is the main case goal.

However, many of the babies that Owens has fostered are ultimately adopted by new parents as well.

Unsplash - Mike Scheid
Source:
Unsplash - Mike Scheid

She’s gotten visits from some of her foster ‘babies.’

The first baby that Owens ever took care of is now 37 years old!

We can’t imagine the number of stories that she has. There are so many lives that she has made an impact on over the decades.

YouTube Screenshot / KPIX CBS SF Bay Area
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YouTube Screenshot / KPIX CBS SF Bay Area

Even some of the doctors in the area have taken notice of Owens’ goodwill.

Local pediatrician Mika Hiramatsu has had the great pleasure of assisting her with plenty of medical checkups. Owens has brought many babies in to see her during her long career as a foster mom.

“She’s always been very optimistic, always determined to give these babies the best possible start in their lives,” said Dr. Hiramatsu.

Unsplash - bady abbas
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Unsplash - bady abbas

Her positive and caring attitude is likely the perfect combination.

It has allowed her to thrive as a resource parent in the system.

It’s not always just one baby at once either. Sometimes, she is taking care of multiple newborns at a time. Included in the 81 babies that she has taken care of are three different sets of twins!

YouTube Screenshot / KPIX CBS SF Bay Area
Source:
YouTube Screenshot / KPIX CBS SF Bay Area

As far as Jefferson Awards go, Owens has definitely earned it.

“For nearly 50 years, we’ve been honoring those who put others first because we’ve seen the power and importance of recognition. Those receiving Jefferson Awards are empowered to do more, while their stories of extraordinary public service inspire others to action.”

Jefferson Awards were created to honor those who “Multiply Good”.

It’s no wonder why Owens has been recognized for all of her beautiful work with foster babies. After all, she’s someone who’s made a big difference in many lives!

Watch the video below to hear from the foster mom yourself!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Patricia Lynn
hi@sbly.com
Patricia Lynn is a senior writer at Shareably. Patricia is based out of San Francisco and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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