Northampton Co. woman fostered close to 100 children over the last 50 years

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Thursday, June 2, 2022
Northampton Co. woman fostered nearly 100 children over last 50 years
Mary Grube just recently became an empty nester after sharing her home and fostering nearly 100 children over the last five decades.

EASTON, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Mary Grube just recently became an empty nester, after sharing her home and fostering nearly 100 children over the last five decades. Eddie was the last to leave and go out on his own. She started fostering him at the age of eight, and now he's 38.

Grube says she was able to foster so many children because she did emergency care.

"If something wasn't going right at home, they removed the children until they can locate relatives," she said.

This meant many children would "come and go" in those emergency cases, but Grube also did long-term fostering for other children.

Growing up in Easton, Pennsylvania, Grube says she always wanted a big family.

"I always wanted to raise children in style," said Grube.

She says it was important to her that they "have all the privileges."

Grube and her husband, Richard, had a son, Edward, before they took in their first foster child, Rick, in 1970.

"I got a six-month-old," said Grube. "And the six-month-old is, to this day, my son."

Grube had Rick for about five years before he went back to his biological mother, but they've kept in touch.

"Through the course of my whole life, it was like a second family," said Rick, who now lives in Nevada with his family.

"He's just one of ours," said Grube.

Grube also had a biological daughter, Nicole, who now has a family of her own. She adopted two girls, a set of twins, that Grube had previously fostered.

Many more foster children followed for Grube, some long term and with special needs.

"It just worked," she said. "You just really had fun with a large family."

Grube says she wanted every child who came into her home to feel special, and when you're able to do that, "they just fly."

"The goal is to just get them into the proper home, their forever home and give them a good childhood," said Grube.

She says some of the kids she fostered have returned to their families, while others were adopted.

Rick says he feels, "very thankful," for being placed with Grube's family as a foster child. He says it made a difference in his life to have their support and feels, "blessed for that unconditional love," he received growing up.

Grube, who's been in a 12-year battle with ovarian cancer, recently decided to stop fostering. She says her children have been "wonderful support."

She adds that she would "love to do it over again," since fostering children brought her an inner happiness and lots of memories.

"When you know you did it right, you're very proud," she said.