In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Child Raising - With my Background

As a mother of almost a dozen children, I think I need to give a little background about myself. I grew up as an only child until my sister was born when I was 12. At that point, I was more of a second mother than a sibling to her. She could do no wrong in my eyes and we both were fairly easy children to raise. (Rumor has it that things changed a bit with my brother, but I was married and out of the house before he was old enough for me to see it.) I grew up thinking that most kids generally did as their parents told them and loved their siblings. (Living in this fantasy land was also when I decided that it would be great fun to have a large family - which I considered four to six kids!)  It only took one year after my second child was born that I started to wonder what was wrong with my children. Gabriel was a complete terror at two years old, often hitting other children in public and pulling the little girls' hair at any McDonald's Play Place. Once Alei could walk and talk, she and Gabriel were fighting over toys and she would resort to biting him when necessary.  JD, who was the youngest of six children, assured me that this was "normal" children behavior - not to be endorsed, but normal just the same. Somehow, he never took their short comings as personal as I did.

Moriah with the three little girls - I love matching dresses.
After parenting for 22 years, I have the whole fighting thing down - yeah, I got that! In some ways, however, I'm back at the same point; I'm fighting the disillusionment of bigger trials of child rearing  - things like lying, stealing and manipulation. I love my children, but they have taken me to places as a parent I never thought to go! We are adjusting to the reality of our current challenges, but I often take their short comings personal and am discouraged that we have to expend time and energy on things that I hoped were considerably beyond my scope of parenting. 

I could give example after example, but they all just prove a point that children are born with a sinful nature and it is our job to train them in righteousness. Unfortunately, they still often disregard our wisdom and choose things that only bring them harm. Lately, I feel like I am battling that on an almost daily basis.

I've stated a few times before that I don't want people to assume that things are always smooth at our house - they often aren't. Since I am a "what you see is what you get" kind of person, I would actually feel better blogging details about real issues we are struggling with; but since my children have to live with the consequences of what I blog, I have to be careful for their sakes.
(I wonder if they would be deterred if they knew everything would be publically aired on the blog....No, I can't afford that therapy bill!)

One of my favorite pictures of Ben and Moriah
Just know that if you are struggling as a parent, I understand! And also know that if I blog about canning pumpkins, that isn't actually the biggest challenge I'm facing!


  1. Hoping you have a great week, Jen, and I want some pumpkin!

  2. I only have 3 but my youngest came to us through the foster system and she too has taken me to areas of parenting I never wanted to go. I know exactly the worry and frustration you feel. Thanks for this post. Knowing I am not alone helps. Have an awesome Thanksgiving! :)

  3. I too have been taken to areas of parenting I never wanted to visit. My youngest came to us through the foster system and lets just say she is a handful. :) Thanks for this post, it actually helps to know I am not alone. Have a great Thanksgiving!