Couple fosters 168 children over almost half a century

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To call Sandy and Bud Wilwerding parents is a bit of an understatement. (WPVI)

A bittersweet chapter in the lives of an Omaha couple is soon coming to an end, KETV reports.

Sandy and Bud Wilwerding have spent the last 46 years of their lives as foster parents to 168 children.

Sandy said it won't be easy saying goodbye when the last two boys currently living in their home go back to their parents. She said there will be tears.

"It's going to be an adjustment," Bud said. "Not on my end, but on her end. It will be a big adjustment."

The couple have been married 52 years and have four children of their own, along with 12 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Growing up, Sandy said she always wanted to open her home to foster children.

"I heard on the radio, 'If you have room in your house for one.' 'Sure I have room. I only had one and from there it voomed."

"She does 99 3/4 (percent) of the work, I'll be honest," Bud said of his wife.

"He ran a business and he brought the money in," Sandy said of her husband.

The couple considered adopting a few along the way.

"One little boy I was not going to take, can't do it," Sandy said. "They promised just for the weekend. He stayed for four years. He's 17 now, adopted, and he tells me he is going to come back and live with me someday."

Mary Uhlig, with Children's Square, said she has come to respect and rely on the Wilwerdings.

The couple's retirement from fostering is going to be a loss for her agency, as well.

"They are hard to replace," Uhlig said. "I don't know how you do that. They have things they want to do."

The couple said they plan to spend time with their grandchildren.

"I don't think I did anything unique," Sandy said. "I know a lot of people who have done it 20-30 years. Lots of kids and probably did it better then me. I don't feel like I'm that unique."""
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