Judith Longman is a mom in lots of ways. She began as a single adoptive mom in a private open adoption of a child whose mother she knew. Then she became a foster parent to provide a permanent home for a child who was orphaned, whose mother was also someone she had known. Later she adopted that child and kept her foster care license open for other children. She has eight children now, and has fostered six others. The permanence of adoption is the goal for all of her children, and six of them are in that legal status, while two of them are under legal guardianship with adoptions pending.The oldest two children are 21 and 19. The younger children range in age over only a 22-month time span, from age 9 to 11. The older ones came to her as four year olds, the younger ones as babies (from 3 days old to 2 years) from the foster care system.
Not all of adoption has been an easy road for this determined mom. There have been lots of medical, educational and legal challenges, and she left a career in accounting to go back to school to become an RN, in order to better meet her children's needs. She's become self-educated in the IEP process and sometimes wonders if she should have gone to law school as well. The same Department of Children and Family Services that placed the children with her is now fighting the finalization of the last two adoptions, after approving the first six without any problems.
Through all of the journey, a sense of humor has been a requirement. Many people have asked how she keeps her sanity. Her standard reply is, "I gave up sanity for Lent in 1986, and I've scarcely missed it. I think it's a highly overrated quality. Keep laughing and keep loving."