Mentors Milton and Cindy Brekle have fostered ten children in the 15 years they have been licensed therapeutic foster parents with Alabama MENTOR. They’ve adopted six. Many more—neighborhood kids, nieces, nephews—have filled their home through the years.
“The world is a better place with better-adjusted children,” said Cindy of their motivation. “We just love kids and we enjoy watching them break the cycle.”
Children who come into the Brekle home come with challenges. High medical needs and dozens of failed placements don’t deter Milton and Cindy. Sleeping in two-hour increments, if necessary, becomes the norm with no complaints. A ventilator, feeding tube, ramp and van for a wheelchair, in-home tutors, nurses, video monitors, numerous doctors’ appointments, and extensive behavioral challenges are no obstacle.
“The dynamics of their family are great—you can’t help but feel welcome,” said DeAnna Hand, area director at Alabama MENTOR and the Brekles’ nominator. “They are a true parenting team and pull from each other strength and support.”
Cindy ran a daycare for 15 years, an experience that got her closer to the needs of youth at risk. It also repeatedly reminded the Brekles of the need for quality foster homes, especially for sibling groups. Milton is an engineer by training and trade—something that comes in handy when equipping a wheelchair with a table or filling some other unique need.
That dedication to family unity and ability to adapt is far reaching. As they welcome children and youth into their lives with open arms, they do the same for the family and relatives that are part of the children’s lives.
“We try to go the extra mile with each parent so the child has the opportunity to go home,” said Cindy. “If they can’t go home, they can stay here.”
Alternatively, you may find them down the street at Milton and Cindy’s adopted daughter’s home. She recently became a Mentor and welcomed a sibling group of three into her home.
Pictured (r.): DeAnna Hand, Area Director at Alabama MENTOR, accepting the award on behalf of Cindy and Milton Brekle