SAN ANTONIO — By the numbers it is more than impressive. Joseph and Diane Ness have four biological children and four adopted children.
As if that is not amazing enough, they've fostered roughly fifty children over the last thirty years. Recently SJRC honored the Ness family as their foster parents of the year. More than deserved! Their opening hearts and loving home is almost impossible to measure. They have positively impacted countless children over the years.
"I love children," said Diane. "I'm also a teacher and it is something that we could do."
"It was just, 'join the family,'" Diane said. On average there have usually been five to six children in the household at any given time. "Again, that's what I do."
"We've tried to raise them like our own kids, with the same expectations," said Joseph.
Diane said the children they've welcomed into their home simply need to feel all those parental loving and teaching moments along the way.
"They need nurturing and someone to read them a bedtime story and rock them to sleep at times," she said.
She added that sometimes, they also need to be told to put their dirty clothes in the basket!
Joseph said the children they have fostered need to see what moms and dads do, because they probably weren't getting the right examples at home. Diane told us the foster kids they've housed also help, in some ways, keep them young.
"They have fresh ideas of life, and I enjoy doing things with them," she said. Diane also told me she has 13 grandchildren, and I told her that she needs a spa day! She just laughed, and said some of the children were repairing her front porch flower beds, and she was thrilled with that.
One of those adopted daughters, Rose, visited with us as well offering her perspective on all the children her parents have taken into the home.
"I was the first one to bring up, like, when are you guys gonna retire? When are you go travel the world? I think it was their purpose for what they were supposed to do for this world," Rose said.
"We want to help any way we can," said Joseph. "And until we can't we just wanna keep going."
"We're not gonna be able to do it forever," said Diane. "We are going to age out, and we need the younger crew to jump in there. The benefits that we have gotten through fostering and the joy that has been in our life from welcoming children into our homes has well outweighed any of the challenges."
Diane still teaches full time. Joseph is retired from sales. Congrats to this amazing couple on being honored as the SJRC Foster Parents Of The Year!