by Donna Parker
Rebecca Nelson '82 and husband Michael Kruc '83 are dedicated to quietly, yet powerfully changing the lives of children who have lost their homes, families, and their path in life.
"We've been foster parents to 17 in our home and adopted four," says this supportive mom who discussed her life while cutting out paper shapes for her young son's teacher.
"We had our own children and then just kept on going with the adoptions. I will say that even love does not conquer all problems. This is a daily walk of faith and dealing with the children's issues. They grow up with those problems, and all of our adopted children have some form of mental health issues. To be taken away from your birth parents creates a substantial loss."
So, she and husband, Michael, create structure and consistency.
"We create a structure of predictability. We call this our family mission. There are great days, but it is definitely a team situation with our birth children accepting the adopted ones."
Rebecca stays focused by studying theology in her down time, trying to read between 10 and 11 o'clock at night, when things finally quiet down in the house.
Michael, who works for Oracle as a computer consultant, likes to ride his bicycle to de-stress.
Both remember their Trinity experience fondly.
"It was sweet-smelling," reminisces Rebecca. "Walking down from the old library, it was lined with flowering bushes. I loved sitting there and studying. I can still smell it in my mind."
"Frank Garcia, department of religion, meant so much to me. I don't think he realized how much he taught us those many years ago. I'm still using those principles in my daily life."
"The funniest was Kenneth Staggs, department of English. He had a coffin in his office."
"Jesse Schilling, department of chemistry, was amazing. We are still in contact with him. He would open his home at any time to any kid who needed help. He is actually the one who inspired us to become foster parents. Of all who embodied Trinity, it was Jesse. He truly sacrificed."
"When I left Trinity, I had these wild aspirations about doing a thousand things to change the world. I now realize that it's taking my life to make a small dent."
Seventeen foster children who've had their lives improved dramatically may call it more than a small dent!
You can contact Rebecca and Michael at kruchome [at] comcast.net.