East Texas Celebrates Foster Care Month - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/4/04 - Tyler

East Texas Celebrates Foster Care Month

"The Square" in downtown Tyler this morning was filled with foster parents, but it was all about the children who need the care and what drives all the adults to open their homes to them.

One Smith County mom has no children of her own. Instead, Teresa Stuth and her husband have dedicated their lives to caring for foster children. It so happens, one of those foster children stole their hearts, and they decided to adopt him.

"He is everything in a child that we ever dreamed of," Stuth said of her adopted son, Jack Thomas. "We could not have given birth to a better child. I mean, he is our child through and through."

Most children who come through their home are either adopted by other eager parents, or reunited with their birth parents or other family members. Even though Teresa knows those outcomes are sometimes inevitable, she still finds it hard to let go.

"You still get attached to that child no matter what," Stuth said. "And you still don't want them to go, but you know that you have to. You know, that's the whole process."

It's a process that allows foster parents, like Stuth, to provide a safe haven for the children. Today, every one of those foster children in Smith County was represented by a blue balloon -- 194 in all.

"Let them just spread their wings and go 'cause a lot of them have never been able to do that," Stuth said.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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