In North Preston, N.S., there’s a house where every child is welcome. The door opens up to Viola Cain’s heart.
At her kitchen table, the single mother proudly shows off a family photo of the first children she fostered.
“They were the first people that I took care of,” the 77-year old said.
The first of more than 135 children Cain has officially fostered — but if you ask her, that number is much higher.
“I helped 150,” she said. “Because I took care of kids before I was approved.”
Cain’s work was recently recognized in a ceremony put on by Nova Scotia’s Department of Community Services. She received a certificate for her 40 years of service.
After four decades, she’s still at it.
She cares for an adopted 41-year-old son Danny who’s non-verbal and takes in others.
“They’re not with their parents, they’re not with their family,” she said. “They come into a new environment, a new family. And to see the love on their face makes me happy.”
Jason Cain, 43, and his brother ended up in Cain’s care when he was three years old. Eventually the two were adopted.
“She just made me grow up to be a better man than I thought I was gonna grow up to be,” Jason Cain said.
House rules meant attending St. Thomas Baptist Church every Sunday, as well as doing chores and sharing.
“Sometimes there was six kids,” Jason said. “Sometimes I share a bedroom with two or three different kids.”
Some kids stayed for days, others stayed for years. Some children were brought to Viola Cain from as far away as New Brunswick or New Glasgow, N.S., while others were from as close as North Preston and its surrounding communities.
“Staying here with me and then going back to their parents and then coming back, looking at me, at the ‘Magic mom,’” Cain said. “ You can’t buy that.”
Cain said her values were guided by her own parents and her faith.
“This is my role, my gift from God,” she said. “To take care of kids.”
Miranda Cain, her youngest biological daughter, said despite all of the kids in her house, she couldn’t recall ever feeling like her mom was not there for her.
“I don’t know how she could do it but she made sure I got the love that I needed, she made sure my brother got the love that he needed,” Miranda Cain said. “Everybody there, she made them feel special and that somebody cared for them.”
Viola Cain believes she couldn’t have helped so many kids without the help of her community.
“They went through not only my door but they went through this community and they also went through the doors of St. Thomas Baptist Church,” she said. “I want to say thank you to them.”
Source: CTV News