If you would have asked me at the age of sixteen, how many children I planned on having, the answer would have been a quick ZERO! It’s funny how life sometimes throws you for a loop. Now at the age of thirty-three, my husband and I have six children going on eight. Yes, that wasn’t a typo – I meant to say going on eight. Five of our children are biological, one is adopted and we are planning on adopting a sibling group of two from Ukraine.
This summer we are hosting a fourteen year old orphan from Ukraine. She is amazing and she has a little brother. They don’t speak our language and I’m not going to lie, it’s hard. Very hard. But, I have found that the language of love is universal. Some people think we are crazy. Some people think we are saints. And, others I think are just confused at our lifestyle. There isn’t a family outing that goes by that we don’t get stares, rubber-necks, and just out right glares. Oh, but I can not forget the questions, some people can’t help themselves and their need to know more. There are some things that are better left unasked, but I’ll share with you some of the mild questions we get on a regular basis.
“Are you Mormon?” No, we are not Mormon, Catholic, or Orthodox. We are just plain ol’ believers in Christ. We are not procreating on behalf of some religious doctrine. However, we do choose to keep open arms and hearts to children because we believe in the power of love and that God has commanded us and called us to care for the orphaned children. We have been so blessed in this life, it’s our duty and honor to give back.
“How do you handle all of these kids everyday?” Sometimes I don’t. There are some days, I tune it all out and sit in my little chair while I stuff my mouth with candy bars and any thing else I can get my hands on. There are some days when the only words I can get to come out of my mouth are…”Just wait until your Dad gets home buddy!” There are some days when my house resembles a war zone in a third world country. But, there are always the nights when they all fall asleep and I remember just how angelic they are and I allow my mind to travel into the future and imagine what they will become. But, really though, I couldn’t do it without my husband and an occasional glass of wine.
“How can you afford so many kids, they’re so expensive?!” Not with your tax dollars! They usually breathe a sigh of relief and then look at me like…yeah right. No, really my husband works so hard to provide us with a comfortable lifestyle and I mean down right physical labor. I have mastered the art of cooking hamburger and I have to say…Jesus really pulls through with that whole feeding the masses with five loaves of bread and fish trick! We worry about the rest as it comes, God hasn’t failed us yet and he never will!
“Are they all yours and where did you get her?” I don’t even know how to answer this one! Yes, in love they are all mine…from the fruit of my loins, no. In regards to where I got my daughter, I like to tell them there was a sale at Kids R Us on babies. I can only imagine the questions that will be asked once we officially add our two Russian speaking children into the mix!
“Are you done yet? It depends.” Having children biologically, yes we are done! Giving children in need a home, no, we will be done when God says it is finished. Along with this question we also get asked, “Haven’t you figured out where babies come from yet?” Yes, of course, wine and a lot of fun. Why do you think we have so many?
My family is blessed. Blessed with the love of children and the opportunity to teach our children how to give more love to those in need. We may not always have the best clothes, the best cars, or the fanciest house, but one thing is for sure – we will always have each other. We get told everyday, “You can’t save them all.” My brain agrees with this, but my heart does not. While logically I know we are only one family in a world of many, I pray that one day our efforts will make a difference.
I hope that our children will continue our legacy. We may not be able to save the world today, but we’ll go down trying!