A Visit to a Medical Foster Home for Veterans

Lynn Rufing, a career nurse, shares how she, her husband, and their newly adopted daughters worked to open their home to veterans in need of care.


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Hi Guideposts, my name is Lynn Rufing. I was a bone marrow transplant nurse in Indianapolis for about 25 years, and toward the end of my career on the bone marrow transplant unit, my husband and I decided to adopt three girls.

Of course, during this time I was commuting two hours from Greenville, Indiana, to Indianapolis, and I was gone three days a week, and this was pretty hard, on our newly formed family. Something was going to have to change. And I knew about this veterans program, my husband and I had been talking about this, and we decided it was probably time for me to retire and go ahead and move towards a different type of employment.

So we decided to get involved in this adult foster care program through the VA. How we transformed our house to accommodate veterans was actually pretty simple. We had a full walkout basement that we just weren’t using. There were already two bedrooms, a bathroom and a small kitchen area down there. So it was quickly and easily transformed into a a private living area for the veterans.

Having veterans in the house has definitely positively influenced my daughters. In the beginning they were a little shy, a little skittish, but quickly became very intrigued about these gentlemen that were living in our basement and they wanted to get to know them. They started hanging out together, doing puzzles, playing games. Sometimes the veterans would go out with us on outings to restaurants or stores. And so they quickly began to bond with our veterans.

My faith plays a huge role in being able to care for the veterans. It really plays a huge role in being able to care for anyone, including myself. I had to let go of control and feeling like I had to or needed to fix people and change things for them. Really, all I needed to do was trust in the Lord to give me the strength and the wisdom that I needed and the tools that I needed to get through whatever we needed to get through, and having done that has really allowed me to just relax and be more confident in what I’m able to do and knowing that I’m not here to fix anybody. I’m just here to love people and care for them.

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