Thanking Foster Parents

HARRISON COUNTY (WLOX) -- Saturday, several organizations came together to thank foster parents across the coast and urge others to consider providing a home for a child in need.

"There are so many children in need right now and the blessings are unbelievable," said Magdelena Holland, one of the foster parents turned volunteers at the appreciation celebration.

"Everyone wants to adopt a cute little baby, but there are some precious kids out here," Holland said.

Allie Parker agrees.

"I think some of the misconceptions are that foster parents are in it for the money, and you will find that it's all about the kids," said Parker.

Parker is with the Jackson County division of the South Mississippi Foster Parents Association; she is also a foster parent.

"It's such a reward to realize that you're bringing a bright spot into a child's life," Parker said.

It's something Karla Toler knows firsthand.

"One of the best things that ever happened to us was being able to foster and being able to adopt children," Toler said.

Toler has been a foster mom to dozens of children.

"Just to look at these children and know the lives that they're leading. We would have never lead that in our lifetime," said Toler.

Even though the children only live with her husband and their two biological children for a short time, she says the relationships last forever.

"I never thought I would be able to do it, ever," she said.

Now seven years and 70 children later, the Toler's have decided to adopt two of those foster children giving them a safe, secure and permanent place to call home.

There were more than 40 volunteers and hundreds of children at Saturday's foster picnic. DHS, the Rock Foundation, along with several other organizations helped sponsor the event.