LEVITTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A very special delivery was expected Monday, for a Levittown family about to welcome its 100th foster child.
At 69-years-old, Alicia Bulger was readying the crib for yet another little one whose picture will join 99 others on the kitchen wall.
The Levittown home overflows with toys baby gear, diapers, and love. It’s about to take in foster baby 100.
“Because we can. Because we are needed. Because it makes a difference,” Bulger said.
Jim — a retired banker — and his wife Alicia were already juggling four children of their own when they opened their home in 1986.
“Crack had just hit the streets of New York. There were thousands of babies living in hospitals with no place to go,” Alicia said.
“In the beginning we didn’t know if we could take giving up a baby,” Jim recalled.
There was always a new baby in need.
“The original plan was the baby would stay three months,” Jim said.
Now, 30 years later, the Bulgers have taken in children from New York City and Nassau, often half a dozen at a time, some injured and sick, with drug addicted, abusive, or neglectful parents, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.
“We get to know them, most of them are wonderful people who want their children back,” Alicia said.
Children who have stayed from three days to three years.
The child who stayed the longest is still with the Bulgers 26 years later. He was adopted.
“I wouldn’t be the man I am today without this family, without this house, without the children that come in, and out of this house,” Will said. “It’s a remarkable atmosphere that changes you. It makes you a better person.”
The 100th baby won’t be the last.
“This does not signify the end of what we are doing. We are here if anyone needs us,” Alicia said.
They have no plans to retire from this labor of love.
The current monthly stipend of $600 per month for one foster child does not, compensate for the 24/7 mission, according to the Bulgers.
Foster parenting also requires formal county training.