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Oklahoma Couple Honored For Fostering Over 200 Kids Over 55 Years

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For Nelson and Ivy Pendergrass have adopted four children and fostered more than 200, over 62 years of marriage. For Nelson and Ivy Pendergrass have adopted four children and fostered more than 200, over 62 years of marriage.
For Nelson and Ivy Pendergrass these photo albums are priceless. For Nelson and Ivy Pendergrass these photo albums are priceless.
Ivy said it will feel odd when the senior they're fostering now graduates and they retire. Ivy said it will feel odd when the senior they're fostering now graduates and they retire.
KANSAS, Oklahoma -

Two of Oklahoma's Own will be honored Tuesday night for their longtime commitment to fostering children. There are currently more than 9,000 kids in Oklahoma living in foster care.

Some say pictures are worth a thousand words. For Nelson and Ivy Pendergrass their photo albums are priceless.

Over 62 years of marriage they've had four adopted children and more than 200 foster kids.

It all started when the Pendergrasses decided to take in young David from the Bethesda Boys Ranch in Mounds.

"It just kind of evolved from that. We took more, more, more and finally we built a house big enough that we could take care of 12 of them at a time," Ivy said.

Nelson admits it was a challenge caring for boys, but he said he wouldn't change it for the world.

"I was a sergeant in the Army, and when we took care of boys, I think I kind of run it like a platoon of soldiers, I guess," he said.

After ten years of fostering boys, the couple decided to go to DHS and take on a new challenge: teenage girls.

"We always have to try to think about them and how they feel, because they've been disrupted from their home life and they have been placed in a strange home with strange people," Ivy said.

For fun, the couple would take the kids on trips to the zoo. They also strove to implant valuable life lessons, like how to be responsible.

They say the key to success is keeping the kids busy.

"Idle hands get into trouble, and it'll wear you out, trying to find little projects that they can do," Nelson said.

The Pendergrasses are currently fostering a senior in high school. Once she graduates this weekend, they will retire.

"It's a strange feeling, because we've had children in our home since 1958," Ivy said.

The couple says it's time to rest, but their door will always be open for any of the children to come home for a visit.

The Pendergrasses will be honored Tuesday night at the First United Methodist Church in Grove.

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