San Fernando Mother with Over 35 Kids

For 17 years, children of all ages — from babies to pre-teens — have found a foster home and a mother with Nuemy “Mimi” Madrigal.

The City of San Fernando resident has given her love willingly to any child who needs it, and even adopted a set of twin girls who have grown up with the family.

For Madrigal, being a foster mother means helping a child in need — when they need it most.

Her journey as a foster mom began in 2004 when she found herself at home after being laid off from the law firm where she worked for 20 years. She began to think about what she wanted to do next.

“I told myself ‘I don’t want to get locked up in an office,” Madrigal remembered.

She had always liked children and had two of her own — Erica and Peter, who were out of high school or about to finish.

So Madrigal “did her homework” and thought about fostering kids. She had the space in the house and, with the support of her husband Pedro, began to welcome children into her home.

At age 42, Madrigal began to change diapers again and caring for little ones.

“I started all over again. I loved it. I always loved kids. I always cared for my nieces and nephews,” she said.

Some children have stayed with her for some weeks, others for several months, and two of them all of their lives.

The Family Adopts

Thirteen years ago, Madrigal got a call asking if she wanted to become foster mom to a set a newborn twin girls. She jumped at the chance.

She fostered the girls for a year and half, and  was then they were told they would be put up for adoption.

By then, Mimi had fallen in love with the twins and couldn’t see herself apart from them.

“We said, ‘They don’t know anybody but us,’” Madrigal said.

She and Pedro decided to adopt them. But they talked with their biological kids to get their opinion. Both Erica and Peter “were supportive” of the idea, Madrigal said.

“We talked with each other and then we talked to the kids,” Mimi recalled, noting her son and daughter were supportive of the idea.

“We were happy. And how often do twins come around?” she said.

Twins Amber and Ava—who turn 13 in June—have grown up with the Madrigals, who during all this time have not stopped fostering other kids. The girls currently share the home with a 10-year-old autistic boy who’s been there for a year and a half.

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