“Every child deserves a strong support network of birth parents, foster parents, friends, and role models – the bigger the better”
In a typical year, Aileen Loran throws what she calls the “Blended Family Cookout”, bringing together over 100 people for a giant celebration of family and belonging. With cookout t-shirts, plenty of food, fun and games, it’s the picturesque family barbeque – but it means so much more.
Ms. Loran experienced the foster care system firsthand as a child. At one point, she temporarily stayed with a foster mother who had 6 birth children and adopted 6 more. She loved the feeling of having siblings and being part of a big family — she even speaks fondly of doing family chores! That feeling of unconditional belonging is something she always wanted to give to children growing up in foster care.
So as soon as she was able to, she joined The Children’s Village as a foster parent. Over the past 20 years, Ms. Loran has fostered over 12 children – some of whom now have children of their own that she remains in contact with. She is relentless in her service alongside CV to keep the birth families actively involved. She knows all too well that many youth in foster care do not have a network of family and friends, so she is determined to create that for all of the children who have become part of her life.
“Every child deserves a strong support network of birth parents, foster parents, friends, and role models – the bigger the better” says Ms. Loran. “That’s why the blended family cookout started, and long may it continue.”
During the pandemic, Ms. Loran even purchased a vacation home outside of New York City so that the kids had more room to play and do their remote learning. And what does having more space inspire her to do? Foster another child of course!
“How can I just sit back and not give another child a chance? Who am I to say no? I feel it’s my duty to say yes.”
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent, click here to learn more.