Betty and Ross LeFever
Everybody knows the saying: It takes a village to raise a child. But in very rare cases the opposite can be true. That is, it takes a couple to raise a village. At least that's the life story of Betty and Ross LeFever
of Rancho Cordova.
Everybody knows the saying: "It takes a village to raise a child."
But in very rare cases the opposite can be true.
That is, it takes a couple to raise a village. At least that's the life story of Betty and Ross LeFever of Rancho Cordova.
What started out as a love of babies and a ministry to help them when they were in need grew into a lifestyle. Over a 40 year period these wonderful people raised two of their own sons, provided guardianship in raising two daughters, and gave care to a staggering 231 babies who were placed in their care.
That's right. 231 babies!
It's not a record. But it's something to ponder.
It all started back in 1965.
Betty LeFever says she and husband Ross enjoyed having babies around, but it wasn't feasible to keep having their own.
They hooked up with the Sacramento County foster care system and offered to take care of babies who needed a home. Their pledge was to take them and keep them until a permanent home could be found.
Sometimes that meant a few hours. Sometimes a few days. For others it meant months and even years of giving the gift of a home to the most vulnerable among us: babies.
Betty says that when they started, people would ask: "How are you going be able to let them go?" Her response was, "We won't know until we try."
They spent the next 40 years figuring it all out.
Betty says it became a lifestyle for her and Ross, and it was not unusual to see these two pushing a stroller and lugging babies to community events, even as their hair turned to silver. Some even visited the Cordova Community Council.
It wasn't all easy and it wasn't all fun. But the LeFevers say "it's been a lot of blessings."
The LeFevers gave up their baby care lifestyle a few years ago when Betty faced a cancer diagnosis. She said it has taken her that amount of time to adjust to not having babies around and discovering a new way of life.
But all is not lost.
She told us that "We see babies and we practically cry." But then they remember they can just jump in the car and do whatever they want. And that's been fun, too.
There are many ways to serve children and youth and there are more needs than ever. But is hard to imagine a personal mission more meaningful or important that giving a child a home.
Thank you Betty and Ross LeFever for giving a rare gift.
And for helping raise a village, all on your own.