About 14,000 kids are waiting in the PA foster system for a place to call home.
If you ask Marc and Susan Telesha how many kids they have, they'll tell you five.
"I cannot imagine life without all of my children," described Marc.
Three of their children came from the PA foster system. Jayden Rivera was just 13 when she came to live with the Telesha's.
"I grew up really poor, I didn't have almost anything," explained Rivera. "I walked into my parents house with a grocery bag of clothes."
The Telesha's took in Jayden and her two biological brothers, including seven-year-old Zachi. For five years he battled cancer. Zachi passed away in April.
"Even in the face of adversity and a hard thing with cancer, he chose to make the best of it," shared Susan. "You can let life make you bitter or you can let it make you better."
For the Telesha's, they say their children changed their lives for the better.
"There's nothing like seeing a kids face when they realize they have a home," smiled Marc. "Just seeing the kid open up, and just smile and know they belong."
Because of their commitment to providing a family and home to these three children, the Telesha's were honored with an award from the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network in Lancaster Wednesday.
"I know it's not about the award or the recognition," said Carrie Keiser, Director of the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network. "But it is so important to honor those that are so committed to this job, this hard work every day."
Hard work the Telesha's say they wouldn't live without.
"It's been an absolute blessing," shared Susan. "Even though there's been hard days, we watched our kids flourish, and they made us better people."
Allentown, PA 18102