LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- With more than 3,000 foster children in Clark County, there are thousands of women who step up, to take on the role of mom.
In the Smith house, there’s always something to do, someone to find or feed. Donna Smith takes care of four children.
There’s Charlie, “Charlie is my nature kid,” Smith said. And David, “He’s kind of a momma’s boy,” Teva and Nick.
“Nick is the master of destruction,” Smith said. “Everything he touches, he manages to break.”
Smith first fostered Charlie and David, then adopted them. She is in the process of adopting Nick and Teva.
Smith said it was never her dream to have children herself.
“When I was young, I used to dream about and write out plans for an orphanage,” she said.
While that didn’t pan out, she did become a foster parent.
“I think of them as my children,” she said. “I always did. Even though you have to give them up or give them back. When they’re in your home, they do really quickly become your children, part of your family.”
For a decade, Smith said she has been fostering children in Clark County.
“The kids let me sleep in until 7 this morning,” she said on Mother’s Day. “They all rushed in at 7 and said, ‘Aren’t you so happy, we let you sleep in?’ I was like, ‘It’s 7 o’clock!”
But she admits it’s not always easy.
“Sometimes for Mother’s Day or their birthdays, it’s a time their minds will naturally go toward their birth mom, so those days can be hard for them,” she said. “[I] let the kids know it’s okay to feel sad about a loss that they have. They can also love me and love this family. It’s okay to be happy and sad at the same time.”
While Smith didn’t give birth to them, she is counting her blessings: all four of them.
“Each child is bringing something unique and special to the family that we wouldn’t otherwise have,” she said. “We listen to music as a family. We dance as a family now. I can see how the children really are starting to feel like siblings.”
May is National Foster Care Month.