Over the past 20 years Rachelle Glover has opened her home – and her heart – to 16 foster children. They’ve ranged in age from 5 to 17, some staying for just a few weeks and others for several years – but no matter how long they stay, she considers them family.
“Every one of my kids has had tragedy in their lives. I try to help them learn to talk about their feelings. The young ones don’t understand why they’ve been taken away from their families, but I try to explain that this is just the way it needs to be. And to let them know they have people that love and care about them.”
Ms. Glover, 68, has three children of her own, and decided to learn more about becoming a foster parent as her children neared adulthood. “My kids were getting big and I had plenty of room. I felt lost without my children in my house. I was lonely. I have a lot of love, energy, and patience. I thought, ‘I could give a kid some love.’”
In recent years, most of the kids who’ve come into her life have been difficult-to-place teenagers. The young adults can be challenging, she says, but with clear expectations – respect for each other being top of the list – everyone seems to settle in. Even when the kids are having a rough time, she feels that they appreciate what she does for them. “They are all just SUPER young ladies and men,” she said. “I get a lot of joy from them. Just as much as I give to them, they give to me…. The main thing these kids need is your time – time, energy, and patience. They just want someone they can count on.”
She finds that the support CV gives to her as foster mother and to the foster kids is invaluable. “(CV) does everything to get their self-esteem up,” said Ms. Glover. “They teach them about checkbooks and cooking. They take the kids on a lot of trips… to see colleges, to plays and things. They teach the girls about make-up and clothes. It’s wonderful.”
“I enjoy being a foster mother. I call the kids my children, period. I tell them, ‘Just call me grandma. You’re my grandchild now and that’s it.’”