Blog Post: Donna, Pathway Trainer

Getting Goods on the Ship with Donna

  • May 12th, 2023
  • By Pathway Caring for Children

Donna and her husband Tony fostered high-level teenage boys for 20 years. They welcomed over 35 young men into the Romano home whether it be for a little while or a long time, their goal was to get goods onto the ships that came into their port.

Donna describes fostering as an adventure of a lifetime and that lives can be changed. When young men came into the Romano port, they were given lots of “goods” including gentleness, politeness, and if they left with a few less bad words on the ship it was a successful day.

Donna is never lacking in stories and teachable moments to share during her lively foster parent trainings. She emphasizes tremendous patience and “Don’t step in the field when the field is on fire. Just step away from tough circumstances for a few minutes.” Donna will put “new tools in the toolbox” as she teaches parenting skills for caring for children from hard places.

Donna reflected, “Boys love to cook, and you don’t know what angel hair pasta tastes like after it’s been boiled for 15 minutes. It doesn’t taste like your pasta. But we often dumped spaghetti sauce on it and ate it anyway because they made it. These young stormtroopers are brought to a place they don’t know, to live with people they don’t know. And they don’t know what their life is going to be like tomorrow.”

Building children’s self-esteem in foster care is critical because they are so often broken when they arrive at their new homes. “We are responsible for a child’s life, and we are responsible for shedding light on a past life that often is dark,” Donna shared.

Compassion, stability, love, understanding, and the desire to share your life with a broken child are qualities needed to come along for the foster care journey.

 “Is it easy? What do you think? Is it frustrating? Sometimes. Is it rewarding? …Absolutely.”

Your support has given foster parents like Donna the encouragement to keep going.

Interested in making a difference in a foster child’s life? Reach out TODAY! 330-818-0444 or