Darlene Tarnoski was an empty nester enjoying her life and a small jewelry business. Then a chance encounter with the FBI jiggled some old, buried emotions and pushed her into action. Find out what the everyday woman did to help rescued teens…
“Darlene Tarnoski spent a lot of her childhood being shuffled around by parents whose priorities didn’t include their children. What happened back then explains her really strong adult feelings about children with similar experiences, including her belief that “no one should feel alone or unwanted.” That outlook is how a casual conversation with a customer at work turned into Darlene’s passionate mission.
When she was a child, Darlene was in and out of foster care. She says her parents were “deeply disturbed” people and, when they split up, they couldn’t care for Darlene and her two brothers. She was in foster care and about to be adopted when her father, remarried to a woman with her own children, brought
Darlene and her brothers to live with his new family.
The young trio quickly realized their stepmother wasn’t very happy about having them in the house.
Calling her the “step-monster”, Darlene says the woman would lock her and her brothers outside in a “dog .run” whenever she took her own children out. She often didn’t feed them and when she did, Darlene remembers, “Meal times were always miserable, so I weighed a buck nothing. Almost every teacher I had
reported me as malnourished.”