When people question my large family with questions like Are they all yours? or Are they foster kids? or better yet Are any of them real? I would like to tell the whole story. Of coarse I never have time and they probably wouldn't want to listen that long. Every life comes with a story and each one of these little lives have done a lot of living. I can't answer some questions. Why do you want so many children? I don't honestly have an answer. I just know I do. The desire is there. I love it. I love taking a little life and molding and shaping and loving and training it. I am so proud of where my children are in their lives. Not to say they aren't normal children with issues and problems, but they have chosen to overcome some things they had no control over. I can positively say Adoption is not for the faint of heart. When people say I could never do it, I know they are telling the truth. Each and every one of us has a gift and mine just happens to be being mom. I wasn't meant to be famous, or move up the corporate ladder, or any other thing women my age are doing. I want to parent. Is it easy for me? Absolutely not! It's hard. It's real hard. You have to be tough from the inside out. You have to love and not be loved in return. That's hard. Everyone wants to be loved. And I am. That's what makes it OK for me. I had the loving cuddling babies that looked at me with adoration. Who wouldn't let any one else comfort them, that wanted only their mom to rock them to sleep, or only mommy to kiss the bo-bo. Years ago when I read an article about the great need for foster parents, I decided this was something I could do. It's no secret I grew up in a dysfunctional family. But like these kids I made a decision to over come it all. I was determined to marry and raise my kids "normal". And I did. My birth children will tell you they were so normal they were very boring. When I checked into fostering I saw an opportunity to do something for these kids. I could show them another life. Now they may choose to rebel and forget everything they have been taught, but they KNOW, they know. I've also tried to teach that everyone makes mistakes. Their parents did. We still have to forgive and go on. Each and every child loves their birth parents. No matter what! And that's OK. They can love us both. They can't be part of their lives right now, but some day. Birth parents are a part of our everyday lives. We talk about what happened in the past, what could happen in the future, where they went wrong (the parents), what they could have done differently (parents). One thing is for sure. My children will always have someone to stand by them. I don't think some of their parents had that. I may not agree with how they choose to live their lives when they get older but I will always be here for them. Not to say I will every support bad choices, or bail someone out of jail , or agree with them on everything, but I will be here to lead, guide and direct. And love. I have the gift to truly love my children. Sometimes it's taken longer than others. It's not a magical thing that happens. It grows just like every relationship does. One of my teenage adopted daughters said to me "you don't love me as much as you do Staisha" My reply was Yes I do. It may be different, but I want the same thing in life for you that I do for her. I love you with everything I know how. After this long discussion I think she got it. She knows I love her. It may not be the same as a birth parent. It's different. It's better . Or at least I think it's better. I can't every imagine any thing keeping me from my children. Well I could go on and on , and I will but not today.