88-Year-Old Grandma Honored For Fostering Over 40 Kids

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An 88-year-old Maryland grandmother has been honored for fostering over 40 children.

According to Today, Emma Patterson, 88, was recognized by Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich last month for her commitment as a foster parent to dozens of children since the 1980s.

“Every time I think about it makes me want to cry, because I didn’t do something because I thought anybody paid any attention to it," Patterson said. "This was just something that I felt I wanted to do.”

Patterson was inspired to become a foster parent after her children would bring home friends that needed food or a place to stay.

“The best part of everything is all of my children have turned out to be absolutely fantastic,” Patterson told Today, noting that they've grown up to be "just wonderful humans.”

After decades of fostering children, Patterson said she's retiring. The 88-year-old is currently caring for one high schooler who is graduating this year.

Montgomery County officials said Patterson is one of the longest-serving foster parents in the county and is among those who have cared for the most children.

Madison Scott, one of Patterson's foster kids and a current basketball player at the University of Mississippi, said she "wouldn’t be here without Nana."

“She took my mom in and took me in and treated us like we were her own," she added. "She's loved us, she's cared for us, she's done everything.”

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