A Lifetime Of Love: Single Mother Who Fostered 40 Children Retires

June 28, 2024

Today's good news story comes from Montgomery County, Maryland.

In a heartwarming celebration of compassion and dedication, 88-year-old Emma Patterson is retiring from her role as a foster mother, a position she has held with unwavering commitment for decades.

Emma Patterson foster mom
Emma Patterson / Credit: ABC News

This extraordinary woman, who raised her four children and 10 grandchildren, has also opened her home and heart to nearly 40 foster children over the years, fostering as many as nine children at a time. Remarkably, she did all of this as a single mother.

Recently, Patterson's remarkable contributions were recognized by Montgomery County, which honored her with a special award for her service. According to a county spokesperson, Patterson is one of the longest-serving foster parents in the county and has housed more children long-term than almost anyone else. Her dedication and impact have left an indelible mark on the community.

"I am happy to honor Ms. Patterson for her dedication to our community over all these years. I'm glad she's getting the kind of recognition she has long deserved. I hope her story inspires others to help vulnerable children and families as well. Montgomery County is not alone in having an urgent need for new foster families," said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, who presented Patterson with the award.

For Patterson, the greatest joy of her fostering journey has been witnessing the growth and success of her foster children.

"I'm very proud of all of the children because, you know, they all have just turned out to be just wonderful human beings," she shared with a smile. "I'm just so proud of them, you know, that little bit of something I was able to give them or do for them that if it was in any way, you know, helpful for them to have such wonderful achievements in life. You know, I'm just delighted for them, you know, they just turned out to be great human beings."

Watch the video below.

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