Oprah Winfrey may not have wanted to have children of her own, but that hasn't stopped her from becoming a mother. "I have 172 girls, and 20 are in college in the United States and use my home as their home base,' she said inside of the April issue of Good Housekeeping U.K. about the students in her Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. "It is more rewarding than I would ever have imagined. I was doing this to help them, but it has brought a light to my life that I can’t explain."
The 63-year-old, who has been in a relationship with her partner Stedman Graham since 1986, admits that she never listened to the pressure from the outside world to settle down. "When people were pressuring me to get married and have children, I knew I was not going to be a person that ever regretted not having them, because I feel like I am a mother to the world’s children," she said. "Love knows no boundaries. It doesn’t matter if a child came from your womb or if you found that person at age two, 10 or 20. If the love is real, the caring is pure and it comes from a good space, it works."
The Queen Sugar actress, who will star in the remake of A Wrinkle in Time with Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling has her reasons for choosing to be a mom to puppies rather than children. "For me it was perfect, because I didn’t want babies. I wouldn’t have been a good mom for babies," she explained. "I don’t have the patience. I have the patience for puppies, but that’s a quick stage! But this is so rewarding." One more thing that has been a special reward has been her 40 plus pound weight loss, which she adds has brought her life into perspective. "Now I feel liberated! It’s the thing I have been looking for my whole life. To feel a sense of freedom. The taste of freedom? There is nothing better than that."