An Ohio couple married for 53 years fostered nearly 100 girls over three decades, USA Today reports.
Ann and Al Hill were born in Georgia and moved to Cincinnati, where they eventually meet as sophomores in high school. Ann’s aunt raised her, and Al had 16 sisters but unfortunately didn’t grow up with them. When he was drafted into the military, serving in Vietnam, Ann wrote him and sent baked goods. Five decades later, he still remembers that she was the only person that could cook better than his grandmother.null
Al went on to work as a bus driver and manager for 37 years. When he and his wife’s two daughters went off to college, the home felt empty, and they decided to become foster parents.
“You know what you learn? There are so many people with nowhere to go,” said Al.
The two fostered nearly 100 girls over three decades, barely remembering all of their names. Ann was soft-spoken but strict. Al always backed her up, even today, checking with her to make sure he recalls their time as foster parents correctly.
For the two of them, fostering came naturally. The notion of bringing children and teens into their home and looking after them as if they were theirs wasn’t extraordinary. To this day, the two don’t think they did anything remarkable; they just showed up for those who needed it the most.
“We made our home for everybody,” Al said.
The Hills provided a home for anyone who needed one, making sure to show up for the girls in large and small parts. Al, 79-years-old and Ann, 78, continued to foster children up until last year. Now the two are both retired, from work and fostering. However, the last year hasn’t been easy for the couple, losing their youngest daughter Rhonda to cancer at 46. Ann now wears a pendant of her around her neck.
It wasn’t always easy fostering children, but their love and devotion kept everything running smoothly. Some of the girls ran away, and some stole from them. Over the years, they have visited girls even after they left, and some of them still call and come over for Thanksgiving dinner.
For the couple who has been married 53 years, that is all that matters.
“We were a team. That’s how we did it,” Ann said.
Thank you for opening your home and heart, Mr. & Mrs. Hill.
Photo Courtesy of Meg Vogel/The Enquirer