Every day is Mother’s Day | VailDaily.com

Every day is Mother’s Day

Diane Dike, Ph.D., center in the black dress, is all smiles on adoption day with Judge Paul Dunkelman. Diane and Paul went from DINKS, Dual Income No Kids, to being the parents of seven kids.
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To help

They really do need a nine-passenger van. For information or to help, go to Dianedike.org, or mail P.O. Box 673, Eagle, CO 81631.

EAGLE — Paul Dike was on a trip with one of his buddies and called home to his adorable bride Diane, with what turns out to be a sensible question.

“How many kids do we have now?” he asked smiling.

It’s sometimes a serious question in their household, and the answer is seven.

Let that roll around in your head for a moment. Seven blessings from heaven, ages 8-18. It’s like asking God for blessings and he forgot to stop.

They’re adopted kids. They’re foster kids, but most of all, they’re their kids.

When we caught up with Diane, her kids were throwing sticks in the river for the neighborhood dogs. The kids, the dogs and Diane couldn’t be happier. As we were chatting, one of those many blessings from heaven piped up from 15 yards away.

“You tell him you’re the world’s best mom, and we would know,” he said.

It might occur to some people that seven kids are too many.

It only occurs to Diane and Paul that they need a bigger house. Two more rooms and a nine-passenger van are on the summer to-do list.

If you happen to have a spare nine-passenger van, then they’d appreciate it.

Building blocks

“I am so happy being a mom,” Diane said. “We’re happy every day that they’re mine. I don’t need cable TV. I just watch them.”

They had Lego Fest during spring break last week. A week of little building blocks being molded into the most amazing shapes.

After Diane’s parents both passed away, she thought of kids who don’t have families. So she and Paul visited orphans around the country, doing what they could.

Since they started fostering and adopting kids a few years ago, they have had 15 kids in and out of their home. Mostly in their home.

“Thank God Paul’s willing to help make my dreams come true,” Diane said.

Love is the cure

They all want Diane to be their mom. They also all want animals. They all have Gracie, Diane’s Italian greyhound.

Diane suffers from cryoglobulineamia, a rare blood disorder. Her blood can become jelly-like when her body temperature drops below 98.6 degrees. For now, there’s no cure. She takes anti-inflammatory medicine, and keeps her extremities warm. For that there’s Gracie, who rarely leaves her arms.

Diane used to be good about avoiding stress. Still, she says she hasn’t been this good in 18 years.

“You heal by doing things for others,” Diane said. “I have to overcome it every day, and I have to do what’s best for my family. If it takes a few years off my life, it’s worth it to give these kids the love they’ve never had. In the end, I’ll be sliding over home plate and giving it all I’ve got.”

Together, always

They sing songs every night. They pray together every night. They don’t have a TV.

“We do everything together,” Diane said.

No one sits around in self-imposed isolation staring at an iPad.

“We’re teaching them what family is,” Diane said. “We want to break cycles and put these kids on a better road than they were on.”

There’s a 10-year-old in the fourth grade. He and his older brother were with Diane for a while, then they weren’t, and now they are, forever.

“I just want to tell you how great this is,” the 10-year-old said. “She is believing, kind, loving. She gives a home to anyone who needs a home. She won’t give up on anyone. She believes in God. She trusts in God.”

Generally, the kids are respectful and thankful. Sometimes they’re, well … kids.

At some point, the kids go before a judge and tell him what they want — to live in Diane’s home, their home too — with Diane, their mom.

The 18-year-old has been waiting a long time for this.

“Does it feel like home? Are you kidding me? This is the home I’ve been waiting for my whole life,” he said.

Every kid is tucked in every night and they’re all told the same wonderful things.

Diane holds their faces in her hands, flashes her million-watt smile and tells them, “You are loved, you are wanted and you are home.”

“She’s the most kind and loving person that I know. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be here talking to you,” said another child of Diane’s.

“It’s going to be my best Mother’s Day ever!” Diane said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.