Knoxville foster mom earns national honor

Published: Aug. 7, 2019 at 12:00 AM EDT
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The Rivers family might not be your ordinary family.

"Every kid that comes into my home, I treat them like they're my own kids," Earnestine Rivers said.

She is a single foster mom and has been for almost 15 years. Rivers has even given two of the dozens she's taken care of a permanent home.

"I don't care if they call me mom, if they call me Ms. Earnestine, its fine," Rivers said. "The ones I have now they all call me mom, so I feel like I'm their mother."

For her its about showing children someone cares.

"She will take kids with special needs, any different background. With her, she just sees a child in need of love," Trey Farmer with Omni Vision Adoptions said.

That's why she's been named best foster parent of the year by Transfiguring Adoption, a national foster and adoption support group. She says while she likes being recognized, the real reward is the feeling she gets from raising her children.

"They just want that love and their looking for that love," Rivers said. "You get attached the them, and they get attached to you. They just feel like you're their parent."