As all parents know, raising a child is no easy task. But can you imagine raising hundreds of them? Let’s take a look at how this woman raised 200 kids by herself.
Cindy Stirling is known as Mama Bear to many in the Canadian community. She is kind, warmhearted, and always ready to help at a moment’s notice. Over the last 30 years, she has fostered over 200 children from around the area.
In the Stirling household, which is a traditional two-story home, children come in and out as needed. Stirling provides them with all the necessities of adolescent living. They take care of responsibilities around the house as well.
Stirling is frequently in contact with foster care homes around the area, making sure no child is left uncared for and that all her past kids have moved on to successful lives. Stirling has also spoken at foster care conventions, where she advocates for dedicated homes for babies and toddlers. When not tending to her young ones at home, she works part-time at Community Living. In Ontario, Cindy Stirling is hailed as a hero and one of the most selfless citizens alive today.
Stirling’s household is quiet, neat, and welcoming upon entry. In recent years, three foster girls have occupied the home. Two additional young adults, formerly children of Stirling, occupy the basement while they begin their careers. In the living room, Stirling checks whether the children have homework and are keeping up with their schoolwork.
It’s no secret that education comes first, and she wishes nothing but the best for her kids. Once homework has been completed, the foster family gathers around the living room for a couple of board games and television shows. For dinner, it’s usually a home-cooked meal that the children enjoy helping out with. Bedtime follows shortly after, but not before someone plays a few notes on the grand piano. From the outside, this looks like a typical household with a handful of kids. From the inside, we know it’s a safe, inclusive haven that Stirling has created for the community.
Stirling has no plans to close the foster home anytime soon. Although it’s tiring work that requires patience and long hours, she loves all of her children dearly and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. She is even contemplating buying additional properties nearby and expanding the realm of her care. For now, she works closely with aid societies that fund her endeavors. Stirling is well aware that Canada faces a problem with child welfare in general.
Quebec is looking for foster parents regularly, and Stirling helps to set up new foster parents with kids in need. Every month, some of her previous foster children stop by to catch up or volunteer in their spare time. Some are better off than others, and Stirling is always eager to give them a warm meal and pieces of life advice as needed. That’s the main difference that separates this home from others.
The foster community recognizes that Stirling’s efforts go beyond her care for the kids at home. Her system has sparked discussion about the state of child welfare in Canada and served as a role model for neighboring homes.
It feels good to know that genuine people like Cindy Stirling exist in this world. It’s a selfless position that she assumes, but one that she cherishes and looks forward to every morning like none other. Cindy Stirling is a role model for her foster children and her hometown of Mississauga.