After 12 years as foster parents, my wife and I said goodbye to our license upon the adoption of our fifth child. It's more than a little bit sad for us.

My wife and I became foster parents in order to adopt. It is a second marriage for both of us, and we wanted to start a family. We checked out both foreign and private adoption and decided that adopting out of foster care would be the best option. We thought that we could both have a family and do some good at the same time. We took the classes, got our background checks, filled out a bunch of paperwork and became foster parents early in 2001. Our oldest daughter was placed with us in February of that year, and was adopted nine months later. .

Since then, we have adopted four other kids out of foster care, and fostered three others. It has been very rewarding.

Now with our latest adoption, we have run out of room in our home, so we retired our foster license. I think about the three infants that we fostered and the homes that they have gone on to. It was our job to give them a proper start in life, and I hope we did. It was tough to say goodbye to them, but that's what a foster parent does sometimes.

By the way, the State of Washington is actively recruiting foster parents. It's not an easy job, but it is more fulfilling than most people ever know.

Get information about becoming a foster parent here.