Beloved Woman To Retire After Providing Over 3 Decades Of Foster Care

Emma Patterson, an 88-year-old resident of Montgomery County in Maryland, is ready to retire after over three decades of caring for more than 40 foster children.

Patterson’s impact on the community was honored by the county on May 31, the last day of Foster Parent Appreciation Month. According to WUSA9, County Executive Marc Elrich recognized her efforts during the May 31 ceremony, presenting her with a certificate of appreciation

“You’ve quietly made a significant difference in the lives of dozens of children,” Elrich said, a sentiment he echoed on X.

Patterson’s foster children, many of whom attended the ceremony, have gone on to become college graduates, business owners, medical professionals, and accomplished athletes. Patterson adopted two of her foster children and raised them alongside her two biological children.

Patterson’s journey as a foster parent began in the early 1980s when her biological children started bringing home friends in need of food or shelter, NBC4 Washington reported.

“I was raised in a home where I was just loved and adored by my parents,” Patterson said. “So for a child not to experience that—not to have someone to love you and care for you and nurture you—I just felt awful.”

Over the years, she has provided a loving home for children of all ages, including babies like University of Mississippi basketball player Madison Scott, who arrived at Patterson’s home at just 5 months old.

“I wouldn’t be here without Nana,” Scott said. “…She’s loved us, she’s cared for us, she’s done everything.” Patterson took in Scott and her mother, treating them as her own family.

Patterson plans to retire once her current foster child graduates from high school, citing her lack of computer skills as a reason. But her legacy as a selfless and compassionate foster parent will endure.

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