By Jenny Pope
Hishia and Rickey Conner have parented more than 70 children in the past five years at Buckner Children’s Home in Lubbock, Texas.
“Some reunite with their families, some age out. But most of them keep in touch and let us know how they are doing. We try to provide for them when we can,” Hishia said.
The Conners fell into foster parenting after a family friend told them about the opening at Buckner Children’s Home in 2005. Since both Hishia and Rickey grew up in a big family, they knew they could handle a large group of kids.
But caring for 10-12 children at one time isn’t without its challenges. One teenage girl used the window as often as the door at one point, running away to meet her boyfriend. The Conners would call the police and spend long nights searching for her time and again.
“It was one of the biggest challenges we’ve had,” Rickey said. “But we have a lot of love for these kids. Our hearts are open to them.”
Hishia said finding the strength to care for so many children takes having a big heart and a lot of patience. “You have to remember the kids are the ones suffering, and the kids don’t deserve it. Some parents take a long time to get back on track and kids just have to wait on them while they are doing that.”
One thing Rickey and Hishia promise all their children is a listening ear, treating each child as their own and assuring them they will always be there no matter what happens in the future.
“Faith has brought us here and kept us here,” Hishia said. “We’re doing God’s work. We’re a family.”
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