"Mother of Many"; Foster mom cares for 80 children in less than eight years
SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. —
One mother is living her life for others on a daily basis.
ABC 33/40 NEWS with a foster family to hear what their life is like. One Shelby County Mother is taking it to another level. For Catie Lumpkin it's a labor of love. She said it's never easy but always worth it.
Lumpkin is a mom to four boys by birth and many more by choice. Lumpkin told ABC 33/40 NEWS, "We've been able to foster about 80 children." She called her home a revolving door. Lumpkin explained, "Some have been here for a night…and some have been for almost three years."
Between caring for a newborn, three sons and two foster daughters at the moment, Catie also is a part-time English teacher. Her second oldest son Benjamin ranks his mom pretty high. Benjamin said, "She is probably the best or in that high margin." Yet she admitted to having doubts when her husband Jamie subtlety mentioned the idea of becoming a foster family. "I screamed no at him," Catie laughted. "There's no way because I thought, that would hurt too bad caring for a child and then watching them leave would be too painful."
But Jamie didn't wave and asked her to give it six months. Jamie said, "We took one step at a time, one day at a time, and we took one child at a time." The family used Lifeline Services and Shelby. Catie said the goal is to eventually reunite each child with their birth parents. "I think love is a lot about sacrifice," remarked Catie. "But it is also saying how can I make an impact in this moment."
14-year old Caleb said his mom is the epitome of putting others before yourself. Caleb said, "She kinda plows ahead and gets one task done after the other." Catie said the children she has cared for have taught her more than she has taught them. "You learn that the kids are a blessing to you. It's not about us bringing something to them," Catie explained.
On Mother's Day weekend, Jamie is simply happy to call her his wife. "It shows how big of a heart he has to love on people and to spend her life for the sake of others," Jamie stated.
The family says for now they are holding off any new foster children until next January but hope to add more in the future.