“Beautiful Parents” Award Goes to Home Schoolers
Home schoolers Claude and Mary Woodard were named “Maryland's Most Beautiful Parents” and honored by Governor Schaefer on August 17, 1991. The Woodards were nominated for this award by the Hartford County Health Department. The judges were impressed by their devotion to their children, including recently adopted Morgan, a 30-month-old bi-racial baby with fetal alcohol syndrome and birth defects.
When Mary Woodard went to Denver to get baby Morgan, a social worker warned her that he was little more than a vegetable. But Morgan has shown rapid progress from an early diagnosis of severely and profoundly retarded, to mildly retarded, to now being considered only slow.
Morgan is now surrounded by a loving family and a stimulating environment. The children encourage him and are proud of his accomplishments. Morgan has many obstacles to overcome: he has had two operations to correct birth defects, and he needs physical and speech therapy. But can you imagine a better atmosphere for his development?
Obviously, the Woodards have had to make sacrifices. The time spent meeting Morgan's special needs must have required a refocusing of their priorities. Claude Woodard is a major in the Army, and he was sent to Saudi Arabia one week after Morgan arrived in their home.
But the Woodards, like all home schoolers, are veterans at reprioritizing and putting their family first. We know that there are many “beautiful parents” out there—parents who lay down their lives for their children, who are willing to give of themselves, investing time and energy to train their children to love and honor God—and we applaud Claude and Mary along with the thousands who affirm the same values.
On September 6, 1991, the Woodards welcomed Andrew, a tri-racial baby into their loving home. Andrew was born three months prematurely and suffered a brain hemorrhage. The Woodards are rejoicing in Andrew's progress—he is now able to sit independently, roll over, and he has recently begun making pre-language sounds.
Mary Woodard says, “We pray that those who read about our family will answer God's command concerning these little forgotten orphans. How far does the term 'pro-life' go? What are our 'comfort zones' and are they worthy of the King's subjects?”