This is a story in celebration of Mothers Day on Sunday. We’re introducing you to a Midstate woman who says she’s fulfilling her life’s purpose by being a mom. According to her kids, this mom works tirelessly and selflessly to make sure their family’s life runs smoothly.
Caring, funny and easy to talk to, that’s how one of Clare Ogle’s kids described her. When we asked what she called herself, she said “A boy mom to the extreme”.
“Titus! Hi baby. Good morning”. It’s 6:30 am on a Friday and Clare greets her four-year-old with enthusiasm. She’s just waking up the boys and getting the day started.
“Take it from the top!” screams Titus as his mom looks at him lovingly and laughing. “So this is our oldest son James Providence Ogle, he will be 8-years-old this month. And this is Titus Redemption Ogle, he’s four and our spitfire”.
A former youth pastor and teacher, Ogle and her husband Will adopted these boys. Clare “Our whole lives flipped upside down so that was great because that was apparently just the beginning”. The soon after gained 12 more children. “So these are our only two legal children but we just keep accumulating a bunch of them.”
Clare and WIll are House Parents at The Milton Hershey School. That means that year-round they live with and take care of students physically, mentally, academically, socially and emotionally.
“It’s really fun for me because as a boy-mom to the extreme, this is where so much stuff happens, [in the kitchen]. If this island could tell stories…there would be some really good stories to tell!” said Clare smiling and laughing. She said mealtime is when they can connect with the boys emotionally “We’ll be working on stuff and the guys kind of open up about their day.”
These teens all come from families facing tough situations. “Their parents had to make the really brave choice to say, ‘To give my kid a better future and better opportunities, I’m going to see them significantly less than other parents'”. Will says he thinks sending their children to The Milton Hershey School is a selfless decision on the parent’s behalf because no parent wants to live without their child. “That’s a really tough choice to make. That would be hard,” said Will.
Jacob is a teen student who moved to The Milton Hershey School a few years back. Being away from his mom around Mother’s Day is tough. “I love her with all my heart and she does everything for me and has my whole life”.
Jacob says he feels lucky to have found a 2nd mom in Clare. “Some people do stuff to make themselves feel better. [Mrs. Ogle] just does stuff for us because it’s the right thing to do.” Clare created a family, by simply choosing to care. “We have kids that are graduating from college, some graduating this year,” said Clare. “Our family just keeps growing and it’s great.”
When we asked Jacob if he had anything else to say he said “To all the moms out there, thank you for all you do. You have one of the hardest jobs in the world”.
As a mother of 14, Clare said she never felt the need to have children. But she always an innate instinct to help children thrive. To all those who choose the role of motherhood — Thank You and Happy Mother’s Day.
To watch a behind-the-scenes, emotional conversation with Clare about what led her to this path and what being a mom means to her, click here.