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Caring for Kids Is Family Affair

Stella and Todd have always had a heart for children.

You hear it in their voices when they talk about their little ones, you see it in their eyes when one of their former foster children comes “home” for the weekend and you feel it in your soul as you learn more about their experience as Boys Town Foster Parents.

“We’ve been Foster Parents for seven years, and we’ve loved every minute of it,” explains Stella, a paraprofessional. “We love being able to provide these children with what they need and really take care of them. They may not have had that before they came, but we make sure they know love when they leave.”

Stella and Todd have cared for eight foster care children, all of different ages, backgrounds and ethnicities. And every child has become part of their family. From throwing birthday parties for the kids at Chuck E. Cheese to making sure they eat all their vegetables, Todd and Stella treat the children as if they’re their own, because once they step through the door, they are.

“You have to look at each child as an individual, much like you do with your own children,” says Stella. “They each like a certain food or want to go to a special place, and as a Foster Parent, you get the opportunity to provide that for them and see their joy.”

Of course, being a Boys Town Foster Parent is not always filled with smiles and laughter. Stella and Todd will be the first to tell you that children they’ve cared for can sometimes be very difficult. However, Boys Town is always there to provide support and guidance to Foster Parents, no matter the situation.

As much as they depend on Boys Town, Stella and Todd’s greatest support comes from one another. Todd, who has been in the military for 32 years, and Stella work together every day to provide a nurturing home, and their sons Todd, Jr., 31, and Jason, 28, serve as big brothers to the children.

“This is a family affair,” explains Stella. “Our extended family supports us, our sons come over often…we are all a part of this experience, and we can’t imagine our lives any happier.”