An Iowa couple who lost two biological children of their own celebrated an incredible milestone the week before this past Mother’s Day: welcoming their 100th foster child into their home.
Deb Schuring lost her first child on Mother’s Day 1982, the Des Moines Register reported. Baby girl Andrea had high cheek bones and looked just like her husband, Mike Schuring.
But tragically, Andrea was born three months premature, and at weighing only one pound, she died that day.
One year later, Deb went into labor three months early again and gave birth to David – a blonde baby boy who looked just like her. He died three days later. The funeral home had just sent the couple a card on the anniversary of Andrea’s death when they were informed that they had to come pick up another child.
Their response to heartbreak: Serve families by caring for babies. https://t.co/J4R6KfcKIT
— Des Moines Register (@DMRegister) May 13, 2018
The children the Schurings lost are not forgotten. Their names are painted of the kitchen wall of the couple’s Pella, Iowa, home, serving as inspiration that let the couple on to their next mission: fostering children.
The Schurings ended up having two additional children of their own, but that didn’t stop them from taking in more children in need.
“I understand the despair of those who can’t have babies,” Deb said.
It all started at church. The preacher’s daughter asked if the Schurings would be interested in attending a seminar on fostering children. Deb agreed, but she didn’t expect to get anything out of it. Soon after, they were certified to take in foster children.
The number of children the Schurings have fostered – with the help of their children Alex and Sarah – is now at three digits.
Deb insists they’re not aiming for any sort of record. And they’re certainly not in it for the money — the family earns about $15.78 per day to care for the children.
Mike owns a clothing store, which allowed Deb to stay home during the day and care for children.
Over the last 23 years, Alex’s expertise became diaper changing, while Sarah’s became bottle-feeding tiny infants.
“The babies call the shots,” Deb said. “We always say they wear the diapers in the family.”
Photos of each child go into a photo album they called “the book of babies.” The children they foster aren’t typically with them for very long, with 71 percent eventually reuniting with their biological families.
The couple plans to keep on fostering, despite the financial and physical strains, as well as the presence of a 2-year-old grandson. But Mike, 60, and Deb, 57, understand that they must start slowing down at one point and are starting to say “no” more often.
“We kept feeling we are supposed to be doing this,” Deb said.
(H/T: Des Moines Register)