Foster mother honors late husband’s legacy by caring for more than 100 children - Good Shepherd


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“It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do, and the most joy you’ll ever have.”
        – Robyne Wilson-Cima

Robyne Wilson-Cima says both she and her late husband John Cima should have been in foster care when they were children, but the service didn’t formally exist. So as Robyne and John began planning their lives together, they were both interested in serving their community as foster parents.

John was diagnosed with kidney cancer and passed away in 1995 before that plan could come to fruition. To honor his wishes and his legacy, Robyne got to work and earned her license to become a foster parent.

Decades later, Robyne has opened up her heart and her home to more than 100 foster children.

“We consider Robyne as one of our foster care heroes,” said Kathy Fowler, Executive Director of Good Shepherd. “So many men and women are thriving as adults today, in large part thanks to Robyne’s motherly spirit and dedication to anyone who crossed her threshold.”

We talked with Robyne and asked for her perspective on stepping into life as a foster parent and her experiences with Good Shepherd, among other topics.

Robyne formally adopted three of her long-time foster children – Jesus, Mateo and Erma – last November. She had also cared for their two older siblings, Elias and Marisa, before they  aged out of foster care.

When asked what’s next in her family dynamic, Robyne said, “I think respite could be next if I can get it to work with my kids. It comes down to their feelings and their needs first. And later on, I’m going to sit back and wait for grandbabies.”