updated 12/03/2013 AT 6:00 PM ET
•originally published 12/06/2013 AT 10:35 AM ET
When Patricia and Richard Logan agreed to foster a blind 11-year-old girl with cerebral palsy 22 years ago, it was an easy decision.
“We got really attached to Michelle,” says Patricia, 60, of Warren, Mich. “I wanted to give her the best life she could ever have.”
It went so well that not only did they adopt her, they later adopted four more children with cerebral palsy.
“Everyone needs a loving home,” says Patricia, who worked at a nursing home before deciding to care for their special-needs children full time.
“If I had a bigger home I would adopt even more,” she says.
It all began when Patricia’s friend told her she should consider being a foster parent to Michelle.
Already a birth mother to three children, and now a grandmother to six, she talked to her husband, Richard, and they decided to give it a shot.
Caring for her was not easy but Patricia didn’t mind.
“She is blind so she gets nervous about sounds,” she says. “When it would storm, I would put her on my lap on the rocking chair.”
Suffering from a rare neurological and skin disorder called Sturge-Weber syndrome and cerebral palsy, he passed away when he was just 23 years old.
“Taking him off the ventilator was the hardest decision I ever had to make,” says Patricia.
“That was a low point,” she says. “I knew I could never go through that again.”
Somehow, though, she found the strength to risk a broken heart three more times.
They have raised Evan, 31; Jason, 23; and Shana, 29, as their own, with daily family meals, pool time in the summer and walks in the park on nice days.
“It’s not always easy,” says Patricia.
“Your day can be going fine,” she says, “and then all of the sudden somebody is having a seizure and you have to go the hospital.”
Grateful Biological Parents
The biological parents of the children are close with the Logans and say they are grateful to them for caring for their kids.
“They have this calmness about them that lets them deal with one thing after another each day,” says Evan’s father, Dwight Cendrowski, 61, of Ann Arbor, Mich.
“They were my lifesaver,” he says, “when I realized I couldn’t care for him the way he needed to be cared for.”
Saveta Lynch, Michelle’s birth mother, says she can sleep at night because of the Logans.
“I sometimes feel guilty because I think that I couldn’t care for one child with special needs and they take care of four,” says Lynch, 61, who lives nearby in Novi, Mich.
“They make me feel like I never gave her up,” she says. “Like it’s not a big deal they’re taking care of her.”
But it is a big deal to her.
“They’re the most unselfish people you will ever meet,” she says.
But Richard says he and his wife are the lucky ones.
“It’s the best feeling in the world,” he says, “giving them a shot.”
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