Connie and David Have Love to Spare

Black and white photo of husband and wife Mentor foster parents from shoulders up

“Kids Deserve to Be Loved”

As the saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention.” Connie lives by those words. It captures her approach to managing the responsibilities she and her husband David lovingly assume with six children with medically fragile conditions and one of her adult sons, who lives with intellectual disabilities and autism.

Take the shoe holder that hangs over their closet door. Where heels or sneakers would be in another house, you’ll find medicine for their children. Each pocket is labeled with a name, dosage and time of day. Their two kids living on ventilators and trachs have similar shoe holders in their rooms, the pockets keeping various machine parts clean and organized. Connie rattles off their names and functions like a seasoned mechanic.

Of course, mechanic is just one of the many hats she and David wear during the course of a day. Doctor, nurse, chef, psychologist and physical therapist are a few others. But Connie refuses to see anything but the blessings and humor in her multi-faceted job. Her job—of course—is mom.

“Kids deserve to be loved. They didn’t ask to be born,” she states matter-of-factly. “They didn’t ask to have what they have. Someone needs to love them.”

That someone is Connie—and David. They love in abundance, and their love is immediate, unconditional and forever. That’s why they continue to open their home to children with complex medical needs through MENTOR Maryland’s Medically Fragile Therapeutic Foster Care program.

Giving Medically Fragile Children a Home

In 2003, they welcomed Jesse, their first foster placement. Profound intellectual and developmental disabilities and blindness complicate Jesse’s life, but it doesn’t diminish it. His G-Tube and wheelchair are the tools that help him function—but his big heart helps him thrive.

“It broke my heart every time the school bus took him to his group home,” explained Connie, who was working at Jesse’s school. “I had to talk my husband into it, but after an hour of visiting with Jesse, David agreed.” Jesse joined them shortly afterwards, and he was been with them ever since.

Jesse is just one of the children Connie and David have welcomed into their home. Their overwhelming capacity to love and their willingness to take on the challenges of medically fragile children so that they may enjoy their lives is truly inspiring. The kids they foster may not otherwise be able to experience a warm, caring home life, and this knowledge motivates Connie and David to be the best parents they can be. They go above and beyond to provide the special care, love, and attention that medically fragile children need in order to thrive.

Why, you might ask?

“We can do it, so we do,” said Connie.