Linda Herring has fostered over 600 children over the course of nearly five decades, and her capacity for love seems near-endless.
Herring, who is a Johnson County, Iowa native, has devoted her life to taking in children and caring for them. She told CNN, “My best friend was doing foster care for teenage girls and I thought, ‘Well, that would be nice to do the same,’ but I wanted little kids. So, I talked to the Department of Human Services and agreed to take kids with medical needs.”
Soon, Herring and her husband Bob became known for never turning a child away. They agreed to foster any child, regardless of their age, gender, or special needs. In October 2019, Herring decided to stop fostering due to medical concerns. But, before she settled into a more quiet life, Herring was honored by the Johnson County Board of Supervisors with a resolution of appreciation.
The Board of Supervisors, Department of Human Services and a standing room only crowd recognized Linda Faye Herring last night for nearly five decades of serving as a foster parent to more than 600 children in #JohnsonCountyIA. pic.twitter.com/wGV4jqEBMj— Johnson County, Iowa (@JohnsonCountyIA) January 10, 2020
Throughout all these years of fostering, Herring led with love.
“I would just love (my foster kids) just like they were my own, probably more than I should,” Herring said. “I cried when the kids would leave my home, no matter how long they had been there. It was so hard for me to say goodbye to them. I always questioned, ‘Why do I keep doing this?’ because it was never easy to say goodbye to a child. But I kept doing it because I had so much love to give to these children in need.”
In addition to all the children she and her husband fostered, Herring was also a mother to eight children. Three of them were foster children who were adopted by the Herrings. One of their kids is 39-year-old Anthony Herring, who was placed with the family when he was six months old and officially adopted when he was three years old.
“I appreciate being adopted even more today as a parent then I did when I was a child,” Anthony Herring told CNN. “I’m forever grateful for the life I was given. She and Dad have both taught me that family isn’t determined by blood, it’s who you have in your life to love.”