Move over, Angelina! A woman from Chelmsford, MA who recently celebrated her 90th birthday, looked back over her long and happy life, the highlight of which was raising 155 children. Jane Cryan, who has five biological children, along with 18 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren, also spent over 30 years taking in foster kids – 150 total.
It takes a special person to be a foster parent, and Jane clearly had love to share. While many parents can’t imagine handling more than the 2 or 3 kids they already have, Jane found the patience and care necessary to help as many children as she could.
Jane and her husband took in a variety of troubled or abandoned kids, from a confused 17-year-old to four-year-old triplets to impressionable infants, and everything in between. And they have a lot of happy memories to show for it – including big group meals, family chores made fun when disguised as games with numerous participants, and always-crowded bedrooms full of makeshift beds. Some children stayed only days, while others remained in the house for years., but the Cryans always considered themselves lucky to be able to have an effect on the children’s lives, no matter how much time they spent with them.
Although they are now grown and long gone, Jane is in contact with many of her former foster children, and she hopes above all that she has taught them love, compassion, and respect. For their part, Jane’s five kids, who enjoyed having so many playmates around, believe she did just that. After all, if anyone could be a role model for love and compassion, Jane is that person.
Although she admits that not only were there never any dull moments around their house, Jane also says it was never quiet either. Yet she managed to pack a lot of life into her 90 years – and that’s something to be grateful for.