HUNTER, Okla. — Weslie White has found room in her heart and her home for 19 children since she became a foster parent in 2009.
Three of those children have a permanent home with her because she has adopted them. Two other children, ages 3 and 7, currently are fostered in her care until it is determined whether they will return to their families or be placed for adoption.
Being a foster mother satisfies a lifelong desire for White.
“My mom says from the time I was really young, I said when I grow up I’m going to be a doctor and run an orphanage,” White said. “I think I always want to do it. It was not one specific incident in my life.”
Tyler, 5, is the first child Weslie and her now-former husband, Corey White, adopted. Weslie White adopted Ricky, 17, and his younger sister, Alona, 9, together after she and Corey separated.
Corey White maintains an active role in parenting the children — all of them, Weslie White pointed out.
On days when Weslie White works late at her nursing job, Corey comes to the home she shares with the children and spends the evening, feeding them dinner and seeing to the bedtime routine.
Corey and Weslie both focus on the importance of his role as a father, for the good of everyone.
“I think the most important thing people need to know is, you can ruin people’s lives by being selfish or not thinking of anyone but yourself,” Weslie White said.
As for the two foster children in her home, whose ages are 3 and 7, Weslie White said she would be happy to adopt them as well. One has lived with her for three years.
After Weslie White became a foster parent, her two sisters and a brother became foster parents, too. One other brother has yet to become a foster parent.
Her oldest sister, Shannon Cavazos, is a missionary in Mexico. She has three biological and two adopted children.
Her younger sister, Sarah Cobb, of Enid, has two biological and two foster children — one of which might become an adopted child.
Her younger brother, Zack Babcock and his wife, Effie Babcock, of Enid, have one biological and one foster daughter.
Weslie White’s father, Rodney Babcock, is proud of the family and the large flock of grandchildren he now has — even though it means borrowing extra tables and chairs so everyone has a place to sit during holiday meals.
At times schedules become hectic, what with getting everyone where they need to be at the times they need to be there, but the kids are worth the effort, he said.
“I believe it’s all going to work out,” Babcock said. “I believe the kids are all doing well.”