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East Jordan woman shares story of fostering to adopt

EAST JORDAN — It took a while, but Christa Willingham’s children finally call her Mom.

“I always wanted to adopt, even as a teenager,” said the East Jordan mother of three-going-on-five. “I just wanted to help kids who needed homes, to take care of them and keep them safe.”

Her daily routine starts with breakfast. She then gets each of the kiddos — aged 5, 7, 7, 9 and 10 — off to school, appointments, case worker visits and extracurriculars. Snacks, homework help, dinner, baths and bedtime follow.

“We have four boys, so there’s sports all the time,” said Willingham, who became a stay-at-home mother to keep up with it all. “It’s busy.”

Willingham and her husband James opened their home to foster children about five years ago. They’ve since cared for six children from across northern Michigan. Five stayed — three adopted and two in the process — and one foster daughter was successfully reunited with her birth mother.

Thanks to the Record Eagle for featuring Child and Family Services.

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