• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Memorial held for foster mother of 14 girls

May 9, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Memorial services were held Monday, the day after Mother's Day, for a woman who had no children of her own, but she and her husband opened their home and hearts to 14 children.

Family and friends arrived at St. Stephen Missionary Baptist Church in La Puente to celebrate the life of Elizabeth Osborne, who passed away peacefully last week at the age of 82.

Along with Ernest Osborne, her husband of 40 years, she was remembered by their many foster children as a woman with a big heart who never lost faith in their future.

"The scars on our bodies are evidence of the trauma we experienced," said one of the Osborne's foster children, Trinity Wallace-Ellis, at the service. "When we came to nanny, we needed somebody. We needed somebody who would accept us, somebody who would love us unconditionally."

ABC7 first met Wallace-Ellis and her sisters at another funeral. It was 1996 and she and her five sisters laid to rest the ashes of another sister named Riteousness, who was murdered by their mother's boyfriend.

The mother ran off with the boyfriend, leaving the girls to poverty and abuse with their father. The girls were later broken up into foster homes, and that's when the Osbornes found them and brought them back together under one roof.

"The girls have brought great joy to our lives," said Elizabeth Osborne in an interview back then. "I usually say my girls and I'm often corrected. They're our girls. We never had children."

Six years later, ABC7 revisited the Osborne home, checking in with the girls with the unforgettable names: Trinity, Spirit, Consciousness, Unity, Eternity and Reality.

"I think these girls in our lives helped us to understand and know what love is really all about," Elizabeth Osborne said

On Monday, there were other children and relatives remembering Osborne as a good mother.

The sisters took their turns speaking at the service, some with their children. Spirit went to the podium with the daughters of Eternity, who died in 2004 because of street violence.

Spirit moved the church with a heartfelt rendition of "Amazing Grace."

Load Comments