Earcylene Bevers has always wanted a lot of children. She just didn’t know she’d end up mothering more than 1,000.
The 71-year-old first began fostering kids nearly three decades ago after she had one biological daughter before struggling to conceive again.
“That was it. I couldn’t have anymore,” Bevers told InsideEdition.com. “My friend told me, ‘You love kids so well why don’t you become a foster parent?’”
And that’s what Bevers did. She took in her first foster child 28 years ago when the kid was just two days old. She later adopted the child, ending up with six more foster children shortly after.
Her home then became an emergency shelter for babies she’d keep for 14 days.
Bevers kept two cribs in her bedroom for the constant revolving door of infants, but she said parting with the babies became too hard for her after becoming so attached. After 13 years, she stopped taking infants.
Now, she does long-term foster care for older children. She raises the kids with the help of her biological daughter, who is now in her 30s. A babysitter will sometimes help as well.
“I was raised with 18 sisters and brothers and I always wanted to have a lot of kids,” Bevers said. “It’s just a void I had. I just focused on the kids and church and the kids and I just have a lot of fun together.”
She has adopted three kids over the years and serves as a legal guardian for several others. In her five-bedroom home in Cerritos, California, five children live with her, including an adopted son who has cerebral palsy.
Bevers, now retired, said she wishes she had a bigger house so she could help more children.
“I love to bring the kids into my home. No kid is the same,” Bevers said. “They have different issues. I have to treat the kids the way they are. I can’t treat two kids the same way. I have to look at each kid and say what does this kid need?”
And she gets great joy when everything comes full circle — when the children she’s raised come back to visit with their own kids.
“These kids are not foster kids when they come to my home, they are family. I don’t know what my life would be like if I didn’t have the kids,” she added.
Bevers' story was highlighted in the documentary "Foster" that premiered on HBO earlier in May, which is National Foster Care Month.