Adoption: Being A Mom to 13 Children and Counting

Adoption. For many it is a last hope, an opportunity in dark times. Charitable, is how some people see it. And then their are the families that go above and beyond, those who adopt multiple children. Today, I want to talk about my journey, some of the comments I have received, and why I do what I do. Feel free to settle in with a cup of tea, and maybe even a few tissues.

Adoption is something that I have talked about previously, two years ago to be exact, when I adopted my first little girl, Avary. Even though she has grown, and isn't the youngest, or the oldest, she is still my little girl. However, quiet a bit has changed since then. Two years and thirteen children later, (yes you read that right), I feel like I can finally write about this subject without fear of what others will think of me.

Anytime I tell someone else about my family I receive the same comments:

"You are crazy!"
"I don't know how you do it!"
"Can you really handle that many?"
"And you home school them?!"

Naturally, I stopped talking about it. I felt ridiculed and didn't really understand why. Having a big household isn't for the faint of heart. Being a mother to not only multiple children, but children that I did not give birth to, can be a challenge. And to make matters worse, I am separated from the children at the moment. Later on I will touch on homeschooling and why I do it, plans for the future, and other adoption things along the way. For now I want to talk about why I have adopted and how the number doesn't bother me (at least not anymore).

I have sat down to write this post for at least a year now. It has been a draft that I have visited over and over, yet when I tried to write this post, nothing came to me. I didn't have a purpose in writing except to share with everyone. I am not saying that isn't reason enough, I am just saying I wanted more from this post than to say I have a large household.

Until the most recent addition to the house, less than a week ago, I had said many times I didn't want to adopt any more. I had plans to marry my fiance and then try for children of our own. God had other plans for me, my family, and my attitude. Most of the children we have taken in have either been abandoned or neglected. I will not go into detail on how we have found them, how they are connected, or any of those details. I well say to those with concern; their adoptions are legal and lawfully executed. The legality of these adoptions has been a question I have received multiple times.

Upon hearing the news of finding another baby, I was upset and not sure I wanted to take in child number 13. Then she called me mommy and my heart exploded; however, I was still asking God why. I was still doubting being a mother to a large family. The first few evenings went well. I did my usual, talk to them and then read the Boxcar Children boxes to them as they fell asleep. Last night unfolded differently than I had planned for it to. Baby B, as she was known when brought to us that late evening, wasn't feeling well. To cheer her up, I decided to tickle her. She didn't understand what I meant by tickling her.

The realization was stark and harshly written for me. This child had never experienced being tickled. She had not experienced happiness and joy to the point she laughed. God knew what he was doing when he bought Baby B, now named Bianca, to me and my fiance. Seeing and hearing her voice light up when she held her first doll, at four years old, shifted my perspective. God whispered in my ear and spoke to my heart: "This is why."

Raising children that you have given birth to and raising someone's child is two very different things. Like someone has told me many times, it takes a special heart to love children that are not your own. Now, I understand why it is my calling to do just that. The past few months has been filled with prayer asking God to show me my calling, to show my where I am meant to be and what I am meant to be doing. I am called to be a mother. For the children who do not have a family, who have never known a mother's love. Am I crazy? There will be days that I agree that I am. How do I do it? One day, one cup of patience, and countless hours of prayer at a time.