As a parent of over 50 children the past 18 years, through adoption, foster care, and my own biological children, each day is pretty busy for my wife and I. Visitations for my children from foster care with upset birth parents, untold amounts of doctor visits with sick children, homework, bath time, laundry for up to 11 kids at one time, and of course 75,982 diapers changed in 18 years (my best estimate!)
There will be difficult times during the adoption process, and afterwards too. It may seem, at times, that your relationship is going backwards. Yet with time, love and patience, adoptions are often one of the greatest gifts of love you can offer a child; a gift that will bless your family, as well.
Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of being a foster parent is the moment when our child from foster care leaves our homes. As a foster parent, our home becomes a place where children placed in the foster care system come for a period of time, with the goal of being reunited with their family in the near future.
Children living with relatives often receive the short end of the stick -- regularly lacking health benefits, access to programs and college grants received by other foster youth -- but, seemingly, no one knows or cares to discuss the topic. Often, the media discusses foster care, yet does not go into the deeper complexities of the confusing child welfare system.