Earcylene Beavers is featured in HBO’s new documentary Foster

By Diane Herbst
May 20, 2019 03:56 PM
Earcylene Bevers and one of her foster children
HBO

When Earcylene Beavers started fostering children at her Los Angeles home three decades ago, she quickly saw how desperately people like her were needed.

Social workers would drop newborn infants off every two weeks, sometimes in the middle of the night. The babies had just been separated from their birth parents, most oftentimes due to drug use.

Beavers, 71, kept two cribs in her bedroom, and sometimes both were full. She’d care for the babies for 15 days while juggling a full-time job (she had some help from sitters) before the infants would be placed somewhere else. Then she’d receive some newborns.

“It would hurt my heart,” she told the Los Angeles Times of the pain she felt saying goodbye. “I cried so much over babies leaving me, and I said, ‘I can’t do this no more.’ ”

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Earcylene Beavers and one of the children for whom she serves as legal guardian
HBO

The pain led to Beavers becoming a long-term foster parent, and over the years she’s cared for over 1,000 children, as well as adopting three kids and serving as the legal guardian for a handful of others.

Beavers’ story is one of the moving first-hand accounts from the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services in the HBO documentary Foster, which premiered earlier in May during Foster Care Awareness Month. (Click here for viewing information.)

Producer Deborah Oppenheimer and writer-director Mark Jonathan Harris unveil foster care children at different stages of their lives, as well as the journey of parents in the system.

“I’ve been a foster parent for at least 27 years,” Beavers says in the documentary. “I like challenge. And I think I might have asked for too much challenge.”

Mary Montoya, one of the featured foster children 
HBO

Beavers told the Los Angeles Times that she took on the role of foster mom because she “wanted to give them what they didn’t get in life by their biological parents. When they came to me, it was like, you’re not in a foster home. You’re in a family.”

She became a foster parent after she and her husband experienced some infertility issues. (The pair separated about 10 or 15 years ago, she told the Times.)

Called “Mom USA” by her scores of children, Beavers told the newspaper, “I’m doing what I want to do. My kids are happy. I got God in my life. These kids fill a void.”

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