My life as a follower of Christ, a wife and the mother of many

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Are they all yours?

I don't know if there is a single large family that hasn't heard that question. What constitutes a large family?   The United States census bureau states that the average family size is 3.20, so in reality an average family has one or two children.  Although we don't normally think of a family with three or four children as being "large" I do know many people who have four children and they do get asked this question.  I also know some families who upon announcing that child number three is on the way end up receiving negative comments.  The consensus seems to be that if you have two, and one is a boy and one is a girl, why would you think of having another.  Now, if you have two of the same gender, let's say two boys, then that's okay that you would like to try for a girl.  Three seems to be okay, but four is when I think you really start to get the questions.  "Are they all yours?  Are you going to have any more?  Do you know what causes that?"

Now that we have nine children, people rarely ask me if I'm planning on having any more.  I think they probably assume that I am going to!  However, we still get the question "Are they all yours?"  We've had this personalized license plate for a few years now and I love it!  I've seen people behind me when I'm stopped who read it and I can see them point and start laughing.   We've also had these stickers on the back of our van for a few years and we love them! 

We do get a lot of stares when we all go out as a family.  I've had people literally run up to me from across the mall and the parking lot to talk to me.  They have so many questions to ask,  such as; "How do you do laundry?  Is it easy?  How old are they?"  I'm always willing to answer questions but I'm always surprised at people's reactions.  But when you think about it, how many large families do you see out and about?  I go out often and quite honestly I never see large families.  We go out to restaurants, the mall, the movies, the fair and just about anywhere and we never see families with more than four children.  I think people tend to be fascinated with large families, especially with the media attention that has been shown lately to families such as the Duggars and the Gosselins.  We always tell our children that people will look at us differently because there are so many of us and it is a chance to let our light shine for the Lord and to be an example.  That doesn't mean that we are perfect, but we try to keep in mind that people are paying attention to us.  We are so thankful for our large family and we hope that it shows!  Yes, they're all ours!

Friday, July 16, 2010

My 4 "Littles"

These 4 little boys keep us so busy!  We are so blessed by God and we are so thankful to have them.  I always joke that they are in cahoots!  My house is definitely not as clean anymore and I am finding things broken on a more regular basis.  We've purposely kept Silas in our room because I'm nervous about moving him in with the other boys. 

There was a time many years ago when my heart ached for another little boy.  Don't get me wrong, I love my girls!  But after having one boy and three girls I was really looking forward to the day when I would have another boy.   There were many years when I wondered if we would ever have another boy.  We had some heartbreaking experiences;  we had 2 miscarriages and our son, Samuel Isaac was stillborn five days past his due date. 

Then,  a little over 3 years ago we started the adoption process to adopt a little boy.  We chose the country of Guatemala, which sadly is no longer open to adoptive families.  We chose the adoption agency, All God's Children International and we submitted our dossier and began the long wait.  Shortly after we began that adoption we found out we were expecting again!  Ezekiel Zechariah Mountain was born in March of 2007 and in July we received our referral for Gideon Levi, whose birthday is July 31.  So, they are 4 months apart.  The wait for Gideon to come home took much longer than we anticipated and while we waited, God blessed us again.  Silas Freedom was born on June 10, 2008.  The day he was born we received the e-mail from the United States Embassy telling us that Gideon was ours and he could be brought home the next week.  So, Erick left and when Silas was 10 days old, Gideon came home.

So, we had a 17mo. old, a 10mo. old and a newborn!  Needless to say, our lives were very busy.  None of the boys were mobile yet and Gideon had been in an orphanage up until this time.  That first summer was very hard and made even harder by my mom passing away a short time later.  There were many times I wondered about the timing of everything.  But I kept my mind focused on the fact that God is in control and everything happens in His timing.

8 months ago we were blessed with yet another little boy, Gabriel Michael.  When Gabriel was born we had 4 boys ages two and under.  Talk about blessed!  It's not always easy having these little ones so close together.  4 in diapers was not easy! We try to look past the dailiness of it all and focus on the positives and what joy these children bring to our lives.  So, God has definitely answered my prayers for another little boy even more than I could have imagined.  It can get very noisy and chaotic at our house, but we have so much so be thankful for.

My four precious "littles"

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blessed and Encouraged

Last weekend I was finally able to attend an Above Rubies Conference. This is something that I have been wanting to do for so many years but the timing and location just never worked out for me to be able to go. I was so blessed to be able to go and I came home feeling so encouraged. First of all, I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband who has no problem being by himself all weekend with 8 children. Gabriel, our 9th little blessing was with his mama, of course! I was able to room with a sweet friend of mine and her 2 daughters. The messages were very encouraging and convicting. It was a good time for me to go and get renewed, to get a fresh vision and to be encouraged in my roles as a wife and mother. I really needed that time and I received so much from God during the weekend.

I have already noticed a difference in my mothering and the way I am doing some things. When you are a parent, it's easy to get stuck in a "rut". You get used to doing something a certain way, whether it's discipine or teaching or any number of things you are called to do during the day. It's easy to lose your passion, your joy. I am feeling a real change in some of the ways I am feeling about parenting, and it's a welcome change. I was getting stuck in that "life is so daily" attitude and that can really make for long days!

As an added bonus, I took home a door prize, a new baby carrier! I LOVE wearing my babies, check out The Baby Wearer. I wore Gabriel all weekend in some of my many different carriers. My new carrier is a ring sling called Hava and I absolutely love the pattern. This ring sling is slightly padded, which I didn't think I would like, but the padding is so thin it doesn't bother me at all. Baby wearing is something that I've been doing since my early mothering days and I don't think I could manage without it. It's not only practical, but I love the feeling I get having my little one so close.