Alex Bell has those three qualities in abundance. Not only did she take on her first child when she was single, she has since taken on a further six youngsters - and all of have Down's syndrome.
One of them, Matthew, 20, says: "She is such a special person to me because she has a good heart and gives us all a happy life. I love her so much."
Alex decided very early on that she didn't want to get married, but she was determined to have children.
She adopted her first child, Matthew, when he was 21 months old. Alex, of Swinton, Manchester, says: "Holding Matthew for the first time was like a dream come true."
But Alex's dream didn't end there and over the past 19 years she has adopted six more children. Alex, 47, says: "It's hard. But seeing them blossom is all the reward I need."
Amazingly, Alex is adopting two more special needs children. She says: "We've got the space for them, so why not?"