Her smile lights up a room. When you meet nine-year old Cheyenne Ranae Hudkins of Trappe, you realize she has a special spirit. Her mother, Karen Hudkins, proudly tells anyone who will listen to the miracle story of her adopted daughter
Since 1996, Karen Hudkins has fostered and given respite care to over 30 children in her home. In addition, she has raised four of her own children, now ages 32, 31, 28, and 24 and is involved in the lives of her 12 grandchildren. When asked why she took on such an onerous task, Hudkins comments, “If you give children one thing, like a safe home in which to stay, they could have everything one day.””
For Hudkins the reward of being involved in foster care has been seeing the children come back after they are grown to visit and thank her for what she did by giving them a loving home at a needy time in their lives.
Hudkins initially provided respite care for
Hudkins says, “There is something very special about
Hudkins always believed that
A poem given to
Susan Merriken, Foster Care and Adoption Supervisor at the Talbot County Department of Social Services, comments, “Karen Hudkins is always willing to go the extra mile when we call her about children in need. She even answers calls in the middle of the night.
Hudkins remembers some of the difficult calls she has responded to, especially the calls for children who had been abused and the drug-induced babies she cared for directly from the hospital. Looking back on some of the hardest cases, she comments, “Sometimes kids just need to be held and loved.”
She comments about her husband Rick’s commitment to her passion for fostering children, “He’s a hard-working man and has the biggest heart of anyone I know. Because he’s a big kid himself, he loves the kids being here.” She adds, “He says if it makes me happy, then he’s happy.”
When asked about why she and her husband haven’t adopted more than two children over the years, Hudkins says that the others she cared for were not available for adoption; otherwise, she would have adopted more. She adds, “I don’t think I have ever turned down a request to place a child in my home. God gave me a heart to love these children as he loves me.” She adds, “I believe in advocating for children. I always advocated for my own four, and now advocate for my 12 grandchildren. I guess it’s just a part of who I am.”
For information about becoming a licensed foster/adoptive parent, contact the Talbot County Department of Social Services at 410-770-4848 or attend the regional information session for prospective foster/adoptive parents on Wednesday, June 18 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Dorchester County Department of Social Services at