It’s been about three years since Ron and Linda received an unexpected phone call that changed their lives. The call was from North Dakota’s Grand Forks County Social Services (GFCSS) and they wanted to know if Ron and Linda would be willing to take in not one, but three children. The Grand Forks Herald profiled the family:
“We got the call at 3 p.m., and by 5 p.m., we had three children on our doorstep,” Linda said. A family crisis had brought them there.
Two sisters were in their mid-teens; one was the mother of the baby she held. The baby was Ron’s grandchild.
That day marked the beginning of this couple’s journey into the world of foster care.
After being thrust into the role of foster parents, Ron and Linda realized they didn’t know much about foster care:
“We didn’t have time to think about it — which was probably a good thing, as I look back on it,” she said.
“We had no inkling of how long it would take to resolve. We had no idea how the foster care system works.”
They took classes sponsored by GFCSS to become licensed foster parents, something they hadn’t planned on doing, but something Linda had thought about before:
“For years, I thought about checking out foster care,” Linda said. “It was always in the back of my mind.”
“I don’t make plans,” she said. “But the God-voice in my head said, ‘You should probably do this.’”
Ron and Linda have grown into the role of foster parents and have even taken in more children since the call that changed their lives. By relying on their past experiences, Ron and Linda have been able to create the family environment so many foster children need:
“We’re very family-oriented,” she said. “We have dinner together; we talk a lot.”
She said she and Ron complement one another as foster parents because her background was so stable and his was more akin to a rollercoaster ride.
Ron “sees the problems and how they (kids) got there,” she said.
Despite the challenges that have come with taking in foster children, Linda says it’s all been worth it:
“There’s no better feeling in the world than to see the kids smile and they know that they’re safe and secure.
“And you know that you have alleviated that worry kids have about where they’re going to sleep and eat and if somebody is going to take care of them.”