BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - This a story that shows happiness on the faces in the smiles of four young boys, and on the faces of their new parents.
Richard and Jayne Howard are celebrating 30 years of marriage. They have three grown children and four grandchildren.
At a time when many people begin thinking about slowing down, the Howards are doing anything but that.
A glance at the newspaper led Jayne to inquire about the two becoming foster parents. Working with the Methodist Home for Children, they completed the requirements and became the foster parents of two young brothers. Shortly afterwards, they welcomed another set of brothers into their home. They say God led them to not only become foster parents, but to adopt all four children, which they have recently done.
"We've had a lot of learning how to tie shoes, the alphabet, learning how to write, to do puzzles, and Richard has taught all of the boys how to ride their bicycles, without training wheels, and the last one was just three days ago," Jayne and Richard Howard told WECT's Bob Townsend.
The ages for the boys are 5, 6, 7 and 8. Each came with a variety of illnesses, both physically and emotionally. So for the past couple of years, the Howards have set out, as a magazine quoted them, "to right the wrongs in the boys lives."
According to the Methodist Home, some 8,000 children in North Carolina are in foster care, many because of neglect, substance abuse and chaos.
Bryan Wylie is a foster care specialist with the Methodist Home for Children.
"You have to have the heart for it and a desire to help kids, that's the biggest part," said Bryan Wiley, a foster care specialist with the Methodist Home for Children. "You are not going to get rich of it, I promise you that, but it you get ready and take the money you will get and spend it on the kids, you will see a world of difference in their lives, that's the most important thing."
"We were sitting around with the four boys and we were discussing family, and we asked them what is so special about families, and they said the only thing that they thought would be better is if they had a sister, and I said we will have to pray on that," said Jayne Howard.
And before the end of the year, a young thirteen-year-old lady will officially have Howard as her last name as well.
Because of their love and dedication to helping five children know what a family is, we honor Richard and Jayne Howard as our Cape Fear Heroes.
For more information on becoming a foster parent or adoption, contact the Methodist Home for Children.
For being selected as our August Cape Fear Heroes, the Howards will receive a $500 gift certificate from Reed's Jewelers.