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Gracie’s Second Act: Foster Parenting Fills an Empty Nest

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Gracie Marron, 62-year-old Foster In Texas (FIT) mom from Houston, said that after her husband died in 2009, she was grief-stricken for almost two years. Gracie and her husband Ralph had both retired from long careers with Southwestern Bell/AT&T and were poised to enjoy their lives in retirement when the unexpected, pancreatic cancer changed the picture and the plan.

Everyone has their own way of mourning after a tragedy and Gracie coped by withdrawing from the world as she processed her grief. Normally, this warm, vibrant woman enjoyed being around people and was engaged in hobbies and activities. Her three adult children worried about her. Her friends were concerned that she had become so reclusive.

It took some time. But Gracie concluded that her life lacked purpose and one way to fill that void would be to help children in need. She realized that with her experience as a mother of three and a grandmother of 10, she was well equipped to be a foster parent and began the application and screening process. She said, “At first my kids thought I was nuts to take in foster children.” But she knew she “had enough room in my home, and in my heart.”

Fast forward to January 14, 2013, when Gracie’s first foster children – two siblings ages 13 and 17 – came to live with her. Then on January 23rd, a 16-year-old pregnant teenager joined the new foster family. On February 16, 2013, a baby boy was born.

Gracie provides childcare for the baby while the young mom attends school.  She has enjoyed helping her learn how to care for an infant, and proudly says, “She’s become a really good mother to her baby.” Gracie can’t say enough about how much she loves being a foster parent and a caregiver for the baby.

Foster In Texas is actively recruiting new foster parents to take in infants, teens, and sibling groups, where the need is greatest and the shortage of qualified parents is most acute throughout Texas. Do you, or someone you know, have an “empty nest” that needs to be filled? Former empty nester Gracie Marron confirms that becoming a foster parent and giving children a second chance has filled her own life with purpose – the best second act she can imagine.

To learn more about what it takes to become a Foster In Texas (FIT) parent, call 877-747-8110 or go to www.fosterintexas.org.

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