They always made room for one more.
Aaron and Sandra Stockton are residents of Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Over the last 27 years, the two have made it their mission to help children who need it the most, fostering over 100 children in the DMV area, Fox 45 News reports. Their motto over the years has been "There's always room for one more," something Sandra's mother always said at their dinner table. It wasn't until later on in life that She learned her mother was in foster care, which spurred Sandra's desire to help others. At 72-years-old, she's still holding onto that motto.
The Stocktons got married in 1973 before Aaron became stationed at Andrews Air Force Base. Sandra says Aaron's selflessness and commitment to their family reassured her she was marrying the right person.
"We have been married 48 years, and when he met me, I was widowed with four children. He had no kids, but he still married me and all of my kids," said Sandra.
In 1994, the two took in their first foster child, who still refers to Sandra as "Mom."
"I was reading the newspaper in the kitchen about a white girl who needed a home. Back then, they didn't adopt white children to Black families...I said, we need to change this rule because it's old," Sandra recalled.
She and Aaron served in the military, hoping that their backgrounds would favor them in the foster process. Sandra still remembers being excited to receive a letter confirming her first foster child.
"It was history from there, kids," she exclaimed.
Posted around their home are thousands of pictures of children on every wall. While it wasn't always easy, the Stocktons hung in there, giving each child the necessary care and concern, no matter their challenges.
"We were therapeutic foster parents. All of the kids came with some type of baggage between medical and mental," said Aaron.
Over the years, they do their best to keep in touch with the kids, mainly through Facebook, but it depends on the child.
"Some children we never hear from after they have gone, but others we do hear from over the years. And some are attached for life, and we are the family that they identify with, regardless of color or race," said Sandra.
The two keep up with all the happenings in their lives, including marriages, even lending a hand as much as possible, recently launching a GoFundMe to help one of her foster sons.
"Jonathan had a rough start as a child and was placed with us when he was about 12. He is truly one of ours," Sandra explained.
While their story is unique, they hope it inspires others to give back and foster children who need it. Aaron shared some advice for those who are foster parents or looking into becoming one, saying, "They are going to make mistakes when they get to you but just don't throw in the towel right away."
Thank you for your service Mr. and Mrs. Stockton! Because of you, they can!
Photo Courtesy of Aaron and Sandra Stockton Family Photos