Couple preparing to welcome 72nd foster child
Thomas and Ann Rose have been foster parents to 71 children ... so far.
June 19th, 2011
09:47 PM ET

Couple preparing to welcome 72nd foster child

This Father’s Day, Thomas Rose can reflect on how he raised not only his own children decades ago, but also the dozens of foster children he and his wife have welcomed during the couple’s senior years.

Rose and his wife, Ann Rose, have been foster parents to 71 children over the past 15 years, and they’re hoping to welcome a 72nd soon to their Allentown, Pennsylvania, home.

“It’s very satisfying,” Rose told CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield of his foster parenting experience on Saturday. “It’s really a lot of fun to see little kids develop and go from not being able to sit up to maybe being able to crawl and then walk and then talk. So it’s pretty rewarding.”

The Roses became first-time foster parents in August 1996, well after they had their own kids. Thomas is in his 70s, and Ann is in her 80s, CNN affiliate WFMZ reported.

“We have grandchildren. They were getting older (and) didn’t have any babies, so we thought we’d do this,” Ann Rose told WFMZ.

Though they’ve taken in dozens of children, the Roses usually aren’t outnumbered at home. Children don’t necessarily stay with foster parents for long, and the Roses rarely have had more than two foster children at a time.

They try to provide children with a loving environment and “teach them to have fun and get a sense of humor and, if they’re old enough … some manners,” Thomas Rose said.

“Some we’ve had for a very short time, and you lose track of them. But some of the kids we had for quite a while (that) you stay in contact with – maybe about 10% of them,” he told Whitfield. “One little girl we got when she was 2 days old. We had her for two years, and she’s going to be 10 years old now, and she comes to visit us for weeks at a time in the summer and around Christmastime.

“So it’s kind of neat when they come back.”

Thomas Rose said he’d tell new fathers that children grow up fast, so fathers need to “love them to bits and have fun with them.”

For any father, new or experienced, he’d advise patience.

“They’re raising something very special. They can just be there for their kids and love them and cherish them, really,” he said. “And it’s not just the dads. Moms and dads have to work together so much. … Just be there to support your kids. Don’t be impatient with them.”

He told WFMZ that the hardest part of foster parenting is knowing that the arrangement is temporary.

“Part of your responsibility is to take care of them while you have them. The giving-them-up part, while it is hard, is something you have to do,” he said.

Post by:
Filed under: Pennsylvania
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. JAMES C FAWCETT

    I wonder how many they would have raised if they hadn't been paid a lot of money to do so. They sound more greedy than altruistic.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • hunnyber18

      They aren't paid "a lot of money". Sounds like you are one selfish person. You've obviously never seen a child who ends up in foster care. You obviously know nothing about how much time, work and love it takes to care for them, or the fact that you generally end up digging into your own pocket to pay their expenses. Not to mention the patience to help them through what is likely the hardest time of their childhood due to abuse, neglect or other factors.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Bo

      What a shameful comment. What foster parents get paid barely covers expenses. Why is it so hard to believe that people can open up their home to children simply out of love?

      June 20, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Watson

      This comment is quite cynical and does not represent facts. In the state of PA, foster parents receive only about $600 a month to meet all of the child's needs – food, clothing, toys, beds/cribs, blankets, diapers, and the list goes on. As people who have children know, and as research has repeatedly shown, the average amount spent per month when having toddlers & young children (which the article specifically says that the foster children are) is usually higher than this, as the cost for formula/food, diapers, toys, and clothes (which they quickly ruin or grow out of) alone can be astronomical. Not to mention all the other needed things. So, before folks make such statements, they need to check their facts. There is no indication that this couple is doing it because they get paid an insufficient amount. Our foster system already does not have enough good caregivers and making such baseless assumptions about the ones who are giving of their love & time to help children does not help anyone, least of all children.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      Seriously? That little girl who stayed with them for 2 years, and still comes back to visit, after being out of their care for 8 years, would probably tell you that it was definitely not for the money.

      June 20, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • M

      I was a foster parent for a year and a half. I was only paid $280 to cover expenses per month. You are completely ignorant.

      June 20, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • markus

      And what altruistic behaviors have you taken part in of late?

      June 21, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Cinnasue

      Mr. Fawcett... and I hesitate to even address you with any formality because of your crass and improper comment. You have absolutely no clue as to whether they are taking money from the state or not. There was no mention of profit from fostering these children in the article. Any one who fosters children for only a short time period and still welcomes them back is providing a solid foundation for that child and giving them a sense of stability and showing them what continuity should be like. They certainly don't look like they are living high off the government hog to me. They look like an average elderly couple who don't have grand babies to look after. More power to them and bless them for imparting some compassion and improving the lives of children who are not fortunate enough to have parents with their heads on straight.

      June 23, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rhonda

      Where did you read that they sounded greedy??? I didnt read or think that at all. This couple seems to be a very loving, caring, selfless people. If there were more people that dedicated to helping others whether it be kids, teens, adults, our world would be a much better place. Way to go Thomas and Ann Rose, much respect for you both.

      July 19, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kathy Ramper

      Dear Mr. Fawcett, it is very obvious you have no knowledge when it comes to foster parents and what they do for children. If I were you, I would stick to what I know. By the way, do you have a heart?

      October 13, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. Candy

    I wish you both abundant health for many years to come so you can keep on doing what you are doing. You are a very special couple, and I thank you.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Candy

    Anyone that is writing their little comments on here about "doing it for the money" have obviously never worked with foster kids before. If they had, they would never post such idiotic comments. Enough said.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Dr. Watson

    There is no way they could be "doing it for the money." Because they're not making any money – they are spending their own in addition to what the state provides. In the state of PA, foster parents receive only about $600 a month to meet all of the child's needs – food, clothing, toys, beds/cribs, blankets, diapers, and the list goes on. As people who have children know, and as research has repeatedly shown, the average amount spent per month when having toddlers & young children (which the article specifically says that the foster children are) is usually higher than this, as the cost for formula/food, diapers, toys, and clothes (which they quickly ruin or grow out of) alone can be astronomical. Not to mention all the other needed things. So, before folks make such statements, they need to check their facts. There is no indication that this couple is doing it because they get paid an insufficient amount. Our foster system already does not have enough good caregivers and making such baseless assumptions about the ones who are giving of their love & time to help children does not help anyone, least of all children.

    June 20, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Sophanie

    It warms my heart to see people that really care for foster children. There are very few people like them.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Courtney

    Very good story. My father grew up in foster homes and finally landed in one that he stayed in permanently. These people, who are now my grandparents tried to adopt him and not only took in him but all of his brothers and sisters for a short period of time. Overall they took in more than 150 kids and they were always outnumbered. Now, they are too old to care for kids, but they have one child, who is now a grown man, that they adopted with special needs that still lives with them. They are an inspiration!

    June 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. markus

    My wife and I adopted 2 older children and it was all we could do to keep our heads above water at times. How these people have fostered this many kids is beyond me. Here are two people who have truly found their calling.

    June 21, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Mcmuffin

    With all these horror stories being reported lately I was expecting a creepy twist

    June 21, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Nathan

    Those kids we're lucky to find a good home. I've heard horror stories about foster care. Not very many people hear the child perspective, I found a good blog at http://www.imafoster.com about being a foster. Any other info about being a foster kid out there?

    June 28, 2011 at 3:02 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. victoriasmom

    LOVELY couple. shame on the ppl bad mouthing them. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SAVE A CHILD LATELY?? HYPOCRITES

    July 30, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Mmmmm

    Oh Brutus, you're ealous cuz popeye swallowed the olive...

    June 19, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Jazzzzzzzz

    do I know you? and I was referring to the couples devotion to raising children well past retirement age. They don't have to do that you know.

    June 19, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.