Jeanne Morrell, a Sister of St. Joseph and former school teacher, started foster care about 30 years ago. "There was a Mercy sister who was doing foster care and I would visit her now and again, and it was just enticing to me.", she says. Since then, she has fostered almost 80 children at her home in Pittsford, NY. She is currently the foster mother for two children, Z. (10) and K. (7), half sisters who were born with a genetic disorder, and the legal guardian of Keyajsha Singletary (7), who was born prematurely and suffers from cerebral palsy, seizure disorders and blindness. When Sister Jeanne began her foster home, Morning Star, she took in any child, but now cares almost exclusively for children with severe physical or developmental disabilities. "There aren't a lot of homes that take the real medically fragile... these children would be hard to place...There aren't a lot of homes that would want nurses in and out all the time. This just works for me, for us."

Jeanne Morrell (left), reads the nurse's log in her foster children's bedroom at her home while Z. (right), continues to sleep on Nov. 27, 2017. 

Sister Jeanne speaks with one of the other sisters while caring for Keyajsha. The nurses are there to help give medications, move the girls in and out the bed, and watch after them as they receive suctioning treatments for Z. and K.'s tracheal tubes. 

Sister Jeanne (right) gives Keyajsha medicine through her feeding tube while Sister Anne and Griffin (last names withheld), 2, clean the neighboring room. Sister Anne used to work at Daystar, a pediatric day program ran by Sisters of St. Joseph. She now takes care of Griffin four days a week at Morning Star and helps Sister Jeanne with caring for the girls. 

Sister Anne and Griffin play in the kitchen while Sister Jeanne writes appointment times on her calendar. Keyajsha, Z. and K. all see doctors frequently to treat their various needs, including pulmonary and orthopedic specialists, gastroenterologists and opthamologists.

Sister Jeanne holds Keyajsha's face at a doctor's appointment. Keyajsha has been wearing a hip brace for 11 weeks because she dislocated one of her hip bones. She encountered some minor abrasions from the brace on her inner thighs.

(left to right) Sister Jeanne, Griffin and Sister Anne watch as Keyajsha gets on the school bus for the first time since having her hip surgery. Griffin, a nephew of one of the other sisters, comes to Morning Star Monday through Friday for daycare, and Sister Anne comes to help four days a week. 

Sister Jeanne attends church once a week on Sundays at Our Lady of the Americas in Rochester, NY. She plans on bringing Keyajsha back once she has healed from her hip surgery and cold symptoms.

Sister Jeanne pushes Keyajsha into the car after a doctor's appointment.  "Everyday is different, I might go to doctor's appointments, you have to go to court sometimes, you have to meet with case workers, seems like I always have a slew of phone calls to make about, like, ordering supplies, or getting a wheelchair fixed..." she says.

Sister Jeanne discusses the removal of Keyajsha's hip brace at a doctor's appointment. Since having it removed, Sister Jeanne thinks she has been recovering well. "She will be moving her normal in a couple weeks."

Sister Jeanne does laundry for the girls everyday. Her day begins at 6am when the night shift nurses leave and she starts preparing Keyajsha and Z. for school. 

Sister Jeanne plays a puzzle game on her tablet and watches the news as she gently rocks Keyajsha in her wheelchair. Sister Jeanne hopes to continue her work as a foster mother as long as she is healthy and moving. "I don't see any end in the near future."

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