Pauline, 81, and Roger Fitter, 86, of Haslemere, West Sussex, have raised more than 600 orphans over the past 56 years.
The couple shared that they don’t know the exact number because they stop counting from 600.
From a young age, Mrs. Pauline and her husband wanted to take care of as many orphans and helpless children as possible. The children they adopt are all over the country, even in Belarus and Lithuania, from three days old to adolescence.
Pauline had a desire to take care of children from an early age. At the age of 15, she enrolled in a nursery school nurse training course. She and her husband then opened Camelsdale Kindergarten in 1968. Mr. Roger both worked as a ranger and at the school.
The first child came to them in December 1965 from West Sussex Social Services. The boy had bronchitis and the couple cared for him in a manual sauna tent. One day, the boy was suddenly taken away because he had found a foster family.
Pauline said that the boy stayed with them for 10 weeks. The night he left, they just kept staring at the crib at the end of the bed. As Pauline sobbed, Roger said that they should stop fostering if it hurt every time a kid left.
Even so, they couldn’t ignore the fact that there were babies in need of care. In the following years, hundreds of children came to their homes. Remember one summer, the family brought home 11 children at the same time. They turned their backyard into a campsite for the kids to play. Roger joked that their house was like a ‘production line.’ Every night when he got home from work, he would count the children on the dinner table to check if everyone was there.
Many children remain in contact with the couple over the years. A pair of twins came to Pauline and Roger at the age of 13, stayed at home until the age of 17. One of these has settled in Australia and sent wedding photos in Sydney Harbor to Pauline and her husband. The other person often calls, now works for a construction company, is also happy with a home with two daughters.
Pauline recently met a woman in a park in Chichester who shouted “Aunt Pauline”. She came here with her husband and children, only when she saw her daughter did Pauline remember, she used to be with her when she was 3 years old for about 18 months. From there Pauline talked to her adoptive parents and learned that she was a wonderful mother.
After seeing the children off many times, Pauline stopped crying. She said that they used to have a rule that when she bought them a suitcase, their future was about to begin. And they always treated the kids’ departure as a celebration.
In early May, they handed over their last child to a foster family. The boy came to them when Britain was in lockdown for the first time. He was 20 months old, lively, and lovely. This time, their feelings were different from before because they knew there was no other child to take his place.
Now that the couple is old enough, the couple has decided to retire. Their living room hangs a collection of photos of children who have visited recently. They also keep six photo albums every time the kids visit. In addition to raising more than 600 children, the couple has 5 children, including 4 biological children and one adopted child, and a total of 11 grandchildren.