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.

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Filed under: Pennsylvania
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. ksoze

    God Bless them!

    June 20, 2011 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. dx2718

    Thank you for a news story about GOOD parents. With so much news about foster, adoptive, and even biological parents abusing and killing their children, it is absolutely heartwarming to hear about the parents that have a positive impact on children's lives. Too bad it has to be a record-holding number of foster kids before the media recognizes good foster parents. I bet there are tons of great foster parents that just don't get into the news because they've only hosted a handful of kids.

    June 20, 2011 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. tj73

    Thank You Mr & Mrs Rose for opening your home and hearts to these children!! I wish the world was filled with more people like you two!! Happy Fathers Day!!

    June 20, 2011 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
  4. Zelda

    Isn't this practically what they call orphanage?

    June 20, 2011 at 3:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. Cesar The Chorizo Champ Of Chihuahua

    I was laying in bed almost asleep when my mind started to drift in a weird direction and I began wondering if "Ersatz" Ellis was on here posting anything. Has anyone seen Ellis?

    June 20, 2011 at 3:33 am | Report abuse |
    • John McClaine

      Hans Gruber shot Ellis in the head in Die Hard. Sorry if that ruins your day.

      June 20, 2011 at 5:28 am | Report abuse |
  6. dm

    I hear Michele Bachman raised 71 foster kids herself.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:05 am | Report abuse |
  7. Peter C. Lomtevas

    This nation's child remand apparatus is huge and there is much money to be made playing host to foster kids.

    June 20, 2011 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt B

      At $14.24 a day per child, foster parents are just raking in the dough, oh wait, you first have to pay for all the child's expenses with that HUGE $14.24 a day, then you have to drive to all the visits with their birth family (1-4x a week), then there are all the appointments with the therapist , doctors, dentist, headstart, etc. How much do you think is really left over after that??? Oh lets not forget the big clothing allowance, lets see $107 biyearly, that really covers their clothes for the year. A lot of people think there is "money" in foster care, but the truth is there isn't

      June 20, 2011 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Becca

      My husband and I are foster parents to teenagers and have been for the last 4 years. We spend all the money we get from DCF on the kids and then supplement it with my husband's income because it isn't enough to ever cover everything they need. The only way a foster parent ever makes money is if they aren't taking proper care of the kids in their care. Unfortunately it happens, but it is NOT the norm or even common. It is just that when it does happen it is usually bad enough that the media reports on it so that's what people hear about.

      June 20, 2011 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Foster CO

      Not sure where your information comes from, but it has to be outdated. Current foster care rates barely cover the basic necessities of raising a child. Day care is not covered in most places, nor is clothing or food. Making money? No way! This is not a job for any of us.

      June 20, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Oh really?

      I knew a woman who made fostering her "career" – close to $70,000 a year and bragged about it constantly. She let the kids run wild with holes in their shoes – feeding themselves Wonder bread with ketchup – while she ran back & forth to Macys for the latest Coach bag. She didn't hit them or anything, but she certainly worked the system. My boss reported her but nothing ever came of it because the system is so backlogged.

      June 20, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Apparently Don has never been a foster parent. Foster parents receive $27.00 per day per child. It is a 24 hour per day responsibility. these kids are almost always have emotional and/or psychological issues. they are in care because they have lived devastating situations. Foster children aren't typical children and they didnt get into care because they have led charmed lives. i know because my wife and I were foster parents for six years. We adopted two children and no longer foster as we have our hands full raising our two wonderful boys. Don, foster parents "make" less slightly more than a dollar an hour. Do you really think that is a lot of money?

      June 20, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  8. Lavada

    They are model Humans everyone should aspire to be

    June 20, 2011 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jon O

    Now imagine what America would be like if more folks talked less about how this is the way things should be and actually did something.

    Every sign-waving abortion protester who is supposedly worried about the children should probably take note – when you're not doing squat to help the ones that are already here, mind you own business about the ones who might one day be here.

    June 20, 2011 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
    • M

      you are so on the money!!! This is exactly how I see it....

      June 20, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  10. smokin11


    June 20, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • MK

      WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT US??? Caps-lock is stuck?

      June 20, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  11. joshua

    I agree 1000% with these parents it is love that children need and we are here to provide it. God give them so we can take care of them. Whether yours or fosters we must love them equally.

    June 20, 2011 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  12. paintpaintpaint

    Whenever I hear of people having 50 Foster Children, I immediate think of the people I KNOW who are 'fostering'. They have a few kids at a time, and plunk them in front of the TV, are annoyed if they have to interact or talk to them, it just makes me sick. It's a way to stay home, and still make a little money. No, they're not getting rich off it, but they're getting by. The kids just shuffle through the system, basically at a lot of Foster Homes they get a bed and 3 squares. I've even heard the Foster Moms disparaging the kids RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM. ("She's a tough one, hopefully it'll only be a few weeks for her.... Those 2 brothers just fight all the time, I don't know WHAT kind of place they came from... etc.") So, I'm not really impressed..

    June 20, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • D

      Well instead of complaining about it on the interwebs I hope you're picking up the phone and calling the child welfare agency that placed those kids there. If you're not then YOU are abusing those kids also.

      June 20, 2011 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Then make a difference and become a foster parent. It is the most difficult job you will ever love. I know that there are some foster parents who aren't great parents, but where would these kids be if someone didn't try to help. Get involved and provide a home for a needy child.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  13. Don

    We have take in two foster sisters a year ago and are about to adopt them. This has to be one of the most trying and wonderful experiences in my wife and my lives. If you have love in your heart and a willingness to try and change a child's life from bad to normal and loved, please give it a try. No child should go thru youth not knowing and understanding that someone really cares...

    June 20, 2011 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mike

    Wonderful story, model parenting

    June 20, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  15. patriot1942

    CNN, thanks for the best story in a long while... Very uplifting......!

    June 20, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
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