Raelene MacDowell, 72, and Ted MacDowell, 77, got married in 1964 and had three children on their own. They agreed to become foster parents in children in need; they have fostered more than 630 children since 1978.
The MacDowells decided to become foster parents through Shasta County in Redding in California. Raelene said fostering kids was something she had wanted to do since she was a child.
She said the children that they have fostered were born exposed to drugs by their birth mothers, or victims of physical abuse. The kids remain under their care for a few days up to a couple of years before a permanent plan was put into place.
“I feel that every child I come in contact with, I want that child to understand what it means to be cherished; not just cared for, diapered, fed, loved, but actually cherished. That’s my mantra. I think every child in the world deserves the right to be cherished by at least one person. We endeavor to do that and make sure that they feel like they’re the most important person in our lives at that moment,” Raelene MacDowell said in an interview with ABC News.
Today, they have a total of 10 children, including seven children whom they’ve adopted over the years and now they have 28 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Their happy lives were challenged when they lost their home of 12 years in a fire on Saturday, May 27.
When the fire was out and the smoke cleared, the home was a complete loss, with estimated hundred of thousands of dollars in amount of losses. Luckily, most of their pictures from their home were saved and nobody was hurt in the fire. However, their two cats, one short-hair tabby and a long-hair Siamese, that were saved by the firefighters have gone missing.
Raelene keeps her positive attitude despite their tragic incident. They were overwhelmed and thankful for the support that they have been receiving from their community.
“That’s probably the most emotional part for me, is knowing that people are out there that really care about you, and that’s what matters in life. It doesn’t matter that things are gone, those can be replaced, but relationships, it’s all about relationships,” she said.
If you wish to help them, you can show your support by donating to an online set up- MacDowell relief fund.