Connie Gordon always loved children and when she was told that she would never have any of her own, she knew she needed to find a way to share her love with someone who needed it. In 1991 she fostered a six-week-old baby girl and adopted her two years later.
Then, Ms. Gordon adopted a little girl who was one year-old. During the next few years the miracle she never expected happened. Connie became pregnant and eventually ended up having a total of six children, including a set of triplets (two boys and a girl.) One son died; the rest are grown now. She has two grandchildren.
One of her sons is in the Air Force, stationed in New Jersey. Her other son is a teacher in Hernando County and one of her daughters is a nurse practitioner and serves as her foster care backup. Connie’s other two daughters live in Pennsylvania. One is a Certified Nursing Assistant and the other works at a restaurant.
Over the past twenty-nine years, Ms. Gordon has fostered numerous children and has adopted five. Last year, she adopted three siblings that had been with relatives and then in foster care almost four years.
Connie now has eleven children living with her, ranging in age from two to ten. She’s in the process of adopting six siblings who have been with her for almost four years, the youngest was only one day old when she came to live with Connie. The adoption should be finalized in about five months.
For almost thirty years, it has been a journey of love, but it was not without challenges.
“The biggest challenge is finding someone who can watch them while I shop or go to meetings. Some of the kids have behavior issues and not too many people can handle them, especially all eleven at once,” Ms. Gordon states.
But, along with the challenges, there are many rewards.
Connie lists some of the rewards: “Hearing them say ‘I love you’ and really meaning it. Watching them grow and change. Seeing them reach their full potential.”
Despite the challenges, fostering or adopting a child can be very rewarding for the right person and a life-altering experience for the child. You don’t have to be wealthy or have a fancy home. Age, gender, or marital status is not a determining factor, either. However, various agencies do vet the potential foster or adoptive parents.
“Fostering is not for everyone. It is a big commitment and a lot of hard work but so very rewarding and worth it,” Ms. Gordon concludes.