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Feb. 10, 2022

Help Celebrate Thalia’s 50 Years Of Fostering


This week for Feel Good Friday we want to honor the amazing Thalia Thornton for her 50 years of fostering. Since 1972, the 85-year-old has helped raise more than 700 children in her Oceanport, NJ home.

According to Angela Allora, a retired nurse who worked for New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families, Thornton served as a foster mother from 1972 to 2017. Many of the kids in Thornton’s care are special needs, requiring a sensitive level of care.

Nurse Allora shares, “It’s not only the medical care, but it’s the emotional care these children need. She just embraced them and loved them. It didn’t matter where they came from or what they looked like — they were accepted, and that makes a big difference in their recovery.”

Allora reached out to the Asbury Park Press, hoping they would recognize Thorntons amazing life’s work.

“I’ve worked with some amazing foster parents,” the retired nurse said, “but she’s the epitome.”

A Family’s Foray Into Fostering

Thalia and her husband Kenneth Thornton married in 1956. After having two biological daughters, Kenneth still wanted a boy and that began the family’s foray into fostering.

“I fell in love with it and I couldn’t stop,” said Thornton. “My husband one time said to me, ‘I want to ask you an important question: Don’t you think you’ve done enough?’ I said, ‘No there’s never enough.’”

Kenneth passed away in 1992 and Thalia kept fostering.

I just love children. How can you give up the love you have in your heart for a child? It goes on and on — it flows like a river.

A Safe Place For All

Thalia truly came into fostering with the mentality that all children are deserving of love and care. For 50 years her five-bedroom home housed boys and girls of all ages, races, and ethnicities. Even at the height of the 1980’s AIDS epidemic, she took in babies with AIDS and treated them as her own.

“How can you not want to help an infant child who was born in this world, and through no fault of theirs, nobody in their family will take this child?” she said. “Somebody has to do it. An infant cannot change their diaper, cannot feed themselves, they’re a helpless, innocent human being that God created.”

Thank You For Your Love Thalia Thornton

Becoming a foster parent or a parent, in general, requires a great deal of love and sacrifice. Thalia’s work in the foster care system is inspiring. We hope more people can learn to open their hearts and love others so fully.

If you are looking for ways to help children in foster care, join us here.

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