Jeff Faine was one of the fortunate ones.
Just seven days after being born Faine was adopted by parents who provided stability for a lifetime, ensuring he’d never be shuffled between foster homes throughout his childhood.
After a four-year career as a student-athlete at Notre Dame, the 2003 NFL Draft pick (21st overall) embarked on a 10-year professional playing career. Today he helps kids aging out of the foster care system by giving them a chance to transition positively into adulthood at The Faine House, which opened its doors a little more than a year ago.
Faine joined the show Saturday morning to talk about The Faine House and his playing days at Seminole High School in Sanford, Fla., with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and in the National Football League while with the Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cincinnati Bengals.
Faine, who is currently in the process of writing a book about his life with the help of a former college professor, spoke about what he missed most about football since retiring following the 2012 season and what keeps him busy in retirement.
“I wish I was on the better end of winning seasons, more than not, and I definitely dealt with my share of injuries through my career, but I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the entire process, wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world,” Faine said. “The relationships that I developed over the years is the thing that I cherish and really hold onto now dearly.”
He also talked about his unlikely journey to the NFL, the recruiting trips he took while in high school, and went in-depth about The Faine House while discussing the obstacles foster care kids are faced with once they turn 18 years of age.
“At first I just wanted to make a difference locally,” Faine said of The Faine House. “Before I got involved with this I really wasn’t familiar with the process of aging out [of the foster care system]. It is literally, ‘here’s the stipend, good luck’. Even without having to put myself in other people’s shoes, I take myself back to 18 years old and If I didn’t have the backbone and the support of my parents and they just kicked me out of my house halfway through my senior year and said ‘good luck,’ I don’t know what I would’ve been able to do.”