A woman in Nebraska is being praised for making sure more than 70 foster children felt the love only a family can give.
When Rachael Folds was a teenager, her own experiences with the foster care system were not always the best, according to the Lincoln Journal Star.
“I was a paycheck to them,” she said of the families who saw her as just a job.
However, the last family she lived with showed her love and care which eventually changed her life for the better.
After serving in the Army during Operation Desert Storm, Folds became a foster mom in 1993 with Christian Heritage, a foster care service based in Walton.
“Christian Heritage is a Christ-centered ministry that works to fulfill the purpose of offering hope to children and families,” its website stated.
Since becoming a professional foster mother who primarily cares for teen boys, Folds has made it her mission to give the ones who come into her home a very important message.
“When the boys walk through my door, I want them to know that they’re loved,” she explained.
Folds has adopted or become the legal guardian to eight of the kids she has helped raise over the years.
“If she didn’t take me and whip me into shape, I would definitely have gone to prison,” said her 16-year-old adopted son, Jacobi, who likes fishing, playing games with his family, and hopes to join the Marines or the Army someday.
“She kept on telling me I was loved, I was cared for, and I was a child of God,” he recalled.
Even though fostering children who carry the weight of past emotional discouragement and physical abuse is difficult at times, Folds said she works hard every day to show them the love they need to succeed in life.
“It’s definitely not easy, but it is necessary,” she stated.
Now, Folds hopes those thinking about becoming foster parents will take the necessary steps.
“Imagine if everyone did that for one child. That ripple effect would be huge,” she concluded.