November is adoption awareness month. Well it's almost over. Last year I was writing an article that didn't make the newspaper in time, this month my article should make it in the local newspaper by the end of the month! Few.... I'm always advocating for large families. A passion of mine. "Our experiences and benefits of having a large family"
I wanted to write this letter to explain and educate on how our family works raising (currently) twelve children. Before we ever thought of being a larger family within today's society it was always in our hearts to adopt. Once the process started we realized that within BC alone there are over 1000 waiting children to be adopted. So not only did we want to adopt, we wanted to continue as long as we could, within our capabilities. Having a large family is not only a passion for us but a life that we enjoy immensely. There is definitely challenges but there are challenges within a smaller family as well. It's all in how you manage the situation. Our numbers for incidences of course are higher. We're definitely not perfect parents but we're dedicated parents to our children. I do stress that not everyone can manage a larger family unless they are willing to dedicate themselves to routine and structure. It definitely requires organization skills, patience and a sense of humor at times. We are learning as we grow that we need to educate others of the benefits and the reasons that we have ventured on this path. We can't stress enough that this is our passion and we love our family as large as it is. Speaking of large, my husband and I always state, "We're not large" and this is simply because we don't feel like a large family. This is our life. Basically we live day to day with our family of twelve children; we're not any different from a family living with three except the numbers are higher. Everyone has different paths and focuses in life; where to put their dedication and commitment and ours is with children. Here is some of the benefits we experience within our family that smaller families might not.
1. All our children have a sibling that they can confide in or have support from when they can't go to a parent. They will never lack peers or companionship.
2. Our children learn to share, have boundaries and patience with one another.
3. We're also practical with spending, we teach our children to get the most out of their dollar. For example I cook and bake seven days a week, homemade lunches instead of pizza days that costs $5.50. With this our children aren't deprived but it makes them more appreciative when we do go out for dinner or have those special snacks.
4. When we're choosing sport activities, we usually group up our children which cuts down driving time but also creates companionship and builds relationships. For example two of our girls is in horse riding together.
5. When it comes to adoption, from our experience it's an easier transition for a child when there is other children in the home coming from the same circumstances.
6. Our children will always have a sibling that they can grow up with and will become more confident within themselves due to a sense of belonging. Our children with special needs will always have family members for support and relationship long after we as parents are gone.
7. We are extremely active and do everything as a family.
8. Our expectations for our children are based on their capabilities and we're extremely satisfied when a simple milestone to some means a huge success for us. So we're very relaxed.
9. Our children learn compassion, cooperation and responsibilities because they are more aware of boundaries, learn respect for one another.
10.No matter what happens, they have each other forever.
I know everything above can be true for smaller families but when you're a special larger family through adoption, there is differences that we all accept within one another. It comes from past experiences, grieving and loss then moving forward positively with unconditional love and acceptance. This is what I see within our family.
11. Our children learn not to judge, not to favour or have racism. Being a larger family we learn most of all, compassion and acceptance of not only our family but for others. This will give our children huge benefits within their future to succeed. Society plays a huge roll in what someone should or shouldn't be or do - we start right here with our twelve children and counting. We live, learn and teach that we're all compatible, acceptable and compassionate individuals and should be towards each other. I as a mother of twelve children and adopting again believes large families work together and should be acknowledged in today's society as any other family - normal - just a bigger happier crowd!
Nothing against you smaller families, you're awesome! (I love you too) Basically being who we are with all our challenges and more rewards I feel the need to advocate our strengths and reasons why. In my mind, if we can do it, "Why not?" I will tell you something honestly - We would adopt a child before wanting anything else in this world.