Air date: April 5, 2012
Tom: Madison, Melinda, Melissa, Molly, Matt. Christopher. What makes a family? Tom and Paulette Duggins have raised over 75 kids. Foster children and biological ones. Paulette: Greg and Lizzy. Tom: Lizzy and, um, Adam Mitch Albom: You know you are only at like 20. Paulette: I know The Duggins were a normal family who happened to read an item in a church newsletter. Paulette: And we said, lets go learn more about foster parenting and what’s involved. One child literally led to another and another. Family outings were huge and they needed big cars. Mitch Albom: What is the right vehicle for large foster families?. We are in Detroit. Let’s get it out there. Tom and Paulette: Right Tom: That was a Ford 150 Econoline conversion by Delegat. The Duggins are also deeply involved with Down’s Syndrome, raising Molly, whom they took in when she was three months old. She just turned 15. Paulette: We call her our little onion because she is like peeling some layers. Paulette works with the Down Syndrome Guild of Southeast Michigan to help other parents cope with what to expect with a Down Syndrome child. You wonder where one couple gets such motivation to touch so many lives. Paulette: We wanted all the kids to understand that regardless of what their circumstances or family situation was that someone did love them out there. What makes a family? Simple, a loving embrace. About the only draw back for the Duggins is keeping the names straight. Tom: I have a family prayer list and there are 266 names on it, Mitch. Mitch: So you are in church from Sunday until Thursday then. Tom: Laughing… Every night. MITCH VO: Raising so many children others have neglected. Tom and Paulette Duggins are also raising The Heart of Detroit.