PA Boy Wins Elks Child of the Year

RENFREW — With a winning smile and a gift for cuddling, 5-year-old Braden Ernhardt of Renfrew easily captures a room. 
“He loves everybody,” said his mother, Linda Ernhardt. “We go to therapy and he’ll get right up on (another parent’s) lap with their kids reading a story. He’s just a very social little boy.” 
Braden’s passion for people served him well May 10, when he officially received the title 2014 to 2015 Child of the Year from the PA Elks at their state convention in Gettysburg. 
“It’s exciting,” Linda said. “We’re not surprised. He’s done amazing things and come a long way.” 
Linda said she and her husband, Barry, have been foster parents to 58 babies since April 1995. 
“My 24-year-old daughter is adopted, and then we got pregnant with my son right after,” Linda said. “We started out with adoption and got into fostering when our older two were in kindergarten and preschool.” 
The Ernhardts began fostering Braden through Family Pathways when he was nine days old and adopted him at 18 months. 
Born addicted to cocaine and opiates, Braden has already faced a host of health problems, including spina bifida, hydrocephalus, microcephaly, learning disabilities and epilepsy. – See more at: http://www.thecranberryeagle.com/article/20140515/CRAN0101/705159853/-1/CRAN01#sthash.bZ01qUg1.dpuf

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