“Focus on Our Families” is a series of articles that features foster and adoptive parents and their experiences so those inside and outside of the organization will have a better understanding of the importance and the rewards of foster parenting and/or being an adoptive parent.
Shirley Tumlin loved being a part of a large family, as she had grown up in one. She and her husband Melvin, having no children of their own, decided to open their home and their hearts and focus their attention and love parenting to as many disadvantaged children as possible.
These are children who needed not just shelter and three meals a day, but a home with parents who could provide an environment that was loving, structured, and supportive – a home that the Tumlins have provided for the past 36 years.
Coming from a very large family and having a naturally giving and generous nature, becoming a foster parent was an easy decision for Shirley and coming to CONCERN was also an easy decision. After stints at other agencies, Shirley and Melvin joined CONCERN’s Maryland Regional Office in November 2005 and have since become part of the fabric of that office.
Since becoming foster parents, they have fostered more than 100 children. As Shirley likes to say, “We have simply lost count.” At CONCERN, Shirley and Melvin have fostered 59 children and youth.
They have predominately fostered girls with about two-thirds through the office’s Emotionally Disturbed (Treatment Foster Care Program) and the remaining clients through the Mother/Infant Program.
Shirley states, without hesitation, that they have “because of the awesome people.”
According to Teeda Jagne, Assistant Administrator in the Maryland Regional Office, “The Tumlins have worked with a number of our most challenging teenagers, especially the mother/baby population. They have a different style of parenting, setting limits and boundaries by talking to the children and acknowledging their feelings.”
Teeda goes on by stating, “The Tumlins nurture children from every cultural/religious background and are sensitive to children’s spiritual needs. They respect each client’s religious beliefs and values and are always open to learning new information.”
The Tumlins don’t just take extraordinary care of the children placed in their home. They are also always available to provide respite for other foster parents and take children in their home at all hours of the day and night.
If you wish to experience the joys of becoming a foster parent like Shirley and Melvin Tumlin or become an adoptive parent, please contact the office nearest you for more information.