Mother’s Day is upon us, and in addition to Mom and Grandma, we’d like to tell all the caregivers, role models and mentors we’ve had in our lives over the years—teachers, coaches, camp counselors, babysitters, aunts, nannies, neighbors and friends—thank you.
For raising us, alongside our parents and family members; you’ve touched us in a unique way, and influenced the people we’ve become…thanks.
One such caregiver is a foster mother. Foster parents play an important role in a child’s life, sometimes when the child is most vulnerable. Here’s a story of how one foster mother made an impact and now that child is paying it forward.
Toures Houston was just 12 years old when her mother died and she went into foster care at a group home in New Mexico. Little did she know at the time that she would find a “second mother” there, who had a “soothing way of talking with you” and a loving smile.
Amy was a foster mother, working shifts in a group home of 7 or more foster children. She made each one feel like they were “one on one” with her, and her smile, strength and warmth is what Toures always remembered. At 15, Toures left the home, finished her GED degree, and then graduated from college.
Toures tried to contact her former foster mother from time to time over the years, without success.
She tried looking for Amy on different social networks on and off, with no luck. On a whim, about a month ago, she looked on WhitePages.com. She found one listing, with one phone number. The listing was of Amy’s parents; Toures didn’t recall Amy mentioning any siblings; she clicked on the listing and saw that Amy was listed as being “associated” with her parents listing.
Taking a leap of faith, Toures called Amy’s parents. She explained who she was, that she had been a resident in a group home where Amy worked, and she wanted to get in touch with Amy. Amy’s father told Toures he would call Amy, and Amy could decide if she wanted to call back.
Finally, 5 hours later, Toures received a voice mail. “It was the longest, sweetest message, and ended with: ‘I don’t care what time it is – call me back!’” said Toures of Amy’s message.
Toures has followed in her foster mother’s footsteps: She could relate to the challenges teenaged foster children face, and she and her husband adopted their first foster child when she was 16, and are now foster parents to 5 children in all, including a family of four siblings.
Toures says she wasn’t sure how to search for her foster mother: “Women’s information changes a lot” in their lifetimes: marriages, name changes, and moves, so it can make searching for people a difficult task.
We’re glad Toures never gave up her search. The two are planning on reuniting in person.