One BIG Family: A Foster Mother's Journey With 200 Children
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Claudia never imagined that growing up in a dysfunctional family would benefit her later in life. She and her husband, Lin, decided to start fostering children when they saw an announcement in their church bulletin. At that time, Lin owned a car dealership, and Claudia worked for the U.S. Marshal Service as Special Assistant to the Director, a presidential appointee. In addition to their full-time jobs, they were raising three biological children. Still, they embraced the challenge and received their first placement in 1984. That placement opened their eyes to the benefits fostering would have for their family and the children they welcomed into their home. Claudia’s experience growing up, and Lin’s compassion for helping children made them a formidable team that led them to foster over 200 children in 27 years.
Their approach to foster parenting was holistic; they advocated for the children while doing what they could to help biological families heal. They made sure to include their foster children and, when appropriate, the children’s birth parents into their family structure and events. Claudia was particularly diligent, attending her foster kids’ sports games, school meetings, doctor appointments, and birth parent meetings. It was also gratifying that four of their foster children graduated from college. Their efforts and impact were recognized. In 2008, when the Peacocks were named Foster Parents of the Year by the Council of Governments in Washington, DC, Claudia went on to train foster parents in Arlington County, VA, for 7 years after she retired from government work. She wrote a memoir entitled One BIG Family: A Foster Mother’s Journey With 200 Children. Lin and Claudia now promote and encourage foster parenting through speaking engagements.