TODAY

TODAY   |  May 09, 2013

‘Supermom’ dedicates her life to foster kids

Valerie Crabbe and her husband Larry already had a family of eight when they got married, blending his three kids with her three, but they soon opened their hearts to two more children, Angie and Audelia, who had both been fostered multiple times. NBC’s Jamie Gangel reports.

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>> another day.

>>> well, mother's day is this sunday. and in honor of this occasion, "today" national correspondent is introducing us to a truly super mom. jamie, good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning, savannah. just outside of philadelphia, we met an amazing woman dedicating her life to foster children who need to be adopted. and she and her entire family are leading by example.

>> dancing, dress-up. even dinner, there's never a dull moment in this household.

>> how did people react to your family when they see you?

>> heads turn and stares. but also a lot of smiles.

>> that this large family is african-american, hispanic, and white is just a small part of their story. what's special is how they all came together. when valerie and larry married, they had already made families, three kids from her first marriage, three kids from his.

>> " brady bunch 2."

>> but it wasn't enough.

>> within one year, you tell him --

>> i always wanted to adopt a little girl .

>> and larry ?

>> he says, okay.

>> so valerie responded to an ad for troubled foster children .

>> she said i have a little girl for you, her name is angela and she asked me to come in and read a report. i read it and fell in love with her.

>> she had been through ten foster families. what made you fall in love with her?

>> i felt like she was talking to me through the words on the paper. i felt like she was calling for me.

>> but at the last minute, the agency gave angela to another foster family . valerie was devastated. but her mother told her not to worry.

>> she was standing in the kitchen and she said you are going to get this little girl , mark my words. two hours after that, my mother died. got the call that evening and they said this -- we wanted to know if you wanted angie. and i said, wow, she knew.

>> they just seem like they actually love me. i could trust them.

>> then angela begged for a baby sister and she joined the family.

>> that's when i came along.

>> it wasn't always easy.

>> angela pushed everybody's --

>> buttons. she would go into a temper tantrum to a point where she's tearing up her room. and i said why are you doing that? and she was just screaming, you're going to get rid of me, you're going to get rid of me. so i started tearing up the room with her.

>> an inspired move.

>> we tore that room apart. she looked at me and says, you're weird. and i said but i love you. you going to get rid of me now? nope, you're not going anywhere. and after that moment she realized i was in it for the long haul.

>> why did you know this was the place you wanted to live?

>> because i felt loved.

>> what is one word that you would use to describe your mom?

>> caring?

>> and they are both thriving. angela is on the honor roll with straight "as" and she has big plans.

>> what do you want to be when you grow up?

>> a doctor.

>> as for their blended family , they admit it took some getting used to.

>> some people go, oh, yeah, i can see the resemblance.

>> and on this mother's day, they hope their mother will inspire others.

>> all those kids out there need families and it's not about race.

>> she always wants to rescue people all the time, that's how she's always been, just a rescuer.

>> she's everything you want in a mom.

>> you going to cry?

>> what kind of car did you want to get?

>> larry , greatest lesson learned.

>> more is better. when these guys are grown and gone, there'll probably be a whole new crew coming.

>> look at how happy she is. she got her mother's day gift.

>> she's super mom. that's my description of her. super mom.

>> come on.

>> and larry is a super dad, this is a super family. not only did they open their hearts, but valerie and larry have started a foundation called being beautiful to help foster children and promote adoption. and if i had to bet, there will be more children joining their family down the road. savannah?

>> well, they've got the heart for it. jamie, thank you so much. now let's get