Pro-Life Heroes: Texas Couple Foster More Than 170 Newborn Babies By Tré Goins-Phillips for Faith Wire
Over the course of 36 years, Burrell and Leanna Lankford welcomed a total of 173 newborn babies into their home.
It all started in January 1976, Lankford told KUT-FM. Looking back, the now-77-year-old Austin, Texas, native said his wife, who died five years ago, “brought the issue up before the family and decided that she wanted to be a foster parent, so she asked me and the kids if we would be interested and everybody said ‘yes.’”
Local Mark Charbonneau discovered the Lankford’s incredible story when one of his neighbors decided to visit the widower one day and noticed something unique: there were baby pictures all over the house.
“Looking at the number of pictures, she asked a question: ‘Well, how many?’” Charbonneau said, referring to his neighbor. “He said, ‘over a hundred.’”
Charbonneau, a father of three young children, said the fact the Lankfords took care of 173 babies over the course of their lives “boggled” his mind. So he asked KUT-FM to highlight the couple’s incredible life during its “Hi, Who Are You?” segment.
He described the Lankfords’ selflessness as “an incredible legacy.”
For his part, Lankford insists fostering so many babies wasn’t really an inconvenience because they just fell into a routine.
“Feeding, bathing and getting ’em dressed,” he said. “You’ve got to give all the credit to the foster moms. In my case, I worked during the day. [My wife was] here all day long, working with the babies.”
With two biological kids of their own, Lankford said the family went about their normal business and the babies just tagged along. There were several times, in fact, the family had three babies at one time.
Lankford did concede that made life pretty “busy.”