I'm going to get personal. I usually don't but this is about myself. Throughout my life I've been faced with different challenges that changed my paths. I believe everyone goes through times in their life where you question why me? I have some significant life changing events that brought me to where I am today. In grade five my parents divorced and I moved twice before establishing into a new city. At age fourteen an event happened that changed my teenage years. For two years from fourteen to sixteen I was out of control. At age seventeen I had my first daughter and married her father. My first marriage lasted seven years and I won't get into great detail but it was rough. Rough enough to count pop cans for milk. To have no heat in the winter. I won't blame my first husband for anything now and I excepted that we weren't compatible. The events in my life is novel material. After leaving my first marriage I took charge of my life. I was a single Mother of two children, I went to college while working full time. I lived in a townhouse and the three of us made it a home. Then I met my husband in 1997, we married on August 14th, 1999. I couldn't physically have anymore children because of a previous uterine rupture with my second child although we decided to take a chance. My husband and I went over to Vancouver where I had a uterine operation and I went on fertility drugs. Ironically I became pregnant within a few short months. This was my husbands first and only birth child. For months I was on complete hospital bed rest because I developed Placenta Previa and my uterus was leaking fluid from the previous uterine rupture. Our son was two months premature. Emotionally leaving the hospital without my baby was very difficult. I was determined to breastfeed. I pumped every three hours like I had a baby under my arms knowing one day he would be home. The day when the hospital said we can take our baby home was emotions I will never forget. Twenty seven months later I stopped breastfeeding. (A sad day) Four years later my husband and I started thinking about adoption. Originally we were searching to adopt overseas because we didn't realize we could adopt within BC. Two years later after the initial call to our adoption worker we had our first sibling placement. From there as you know, we've grown in numbers. You're probably wondering why I'm writing aspects of my personal life? First off, even though my grammar is horrible, all my life I've wanted to write. Journal. When I was twelve years old I received my first old style used typewriter. One of my dream jobs was writing for the National Geographic magazine. I am a thinker which leads me to this post. I have been through many challenges in my life. I just "touched" the surface in this post. This morning I had a call informing me about what people may or may not be thinking about us. (Our family) A call I can say that was genuinely heart felt and concerned that the truth should be told. (Rumors and the questionable gossip in regards towards our large adoptive family) Which leads me to write about myself, who I am and what brought me here today. The fact is, we are a large family with different backgrounds, different heritages, special needs and challenges - we are a topic of conversation. We could be a reality television show but this is the most reality I'm willing to share. People are going to talk. I could have one child and there will be something about my past someone will talk about. Unfortunately within any talk most of it's distorted. I personally try not to talk about anyone unless it's positive and factual in nature. Today I was told I seemed wise. The only wise statement I know is what's true. Our family and friends that mean anything to us know the truth, what lurks the streets is irrelevant. One valuable lesson I've learned was follow your instincts, your heart and believe how you feel about something, about someone. I've learned we are not an exception for gossiping rumors and it will continue for the rest of our life because we're different. Just like my past, I choose not to be defeated. I choose to take negative circumstances that happen within our life as a learning lesson to make us stronger and yes, wiser. I've succeeded through many odds and I can openly discuss my past with confidence, with no shame and I'm not about to stop this now. Life is a choice on how you want to live, you can heal and you can forgive. Forgiving for me is hard but I'm learning that people who are malicious, they know the truth and I feel sorry for them that they have to live with themselves, to live this way. I'm not perfect and I'm not a perfect Mother. I don't have a perfect past. I will state that I am at peace within myself. I am happy for what my past taught me, for whom it helped develop. I'm not perfect but I'm as real as they come. Do you know what? I do thank God and this Universe for giving me my life story, for making me who I am today, for being able to write and share difficult situations in hopes it helps someone else. My life has given me more understanding and compassion for what is. I have a large loving family with all the delightful challenges and I'm "Ok" with people talking because in my heart I know who we are. I know our truths and I'm proud of our family. I'm proud we're not perfect. My motto since I was a little girl was to make a change in this world. It might be one child at a time, it might be writing on this blog, it might be recognizing the homeless and who knows what the future holds.....Besides raising our children as best as we can, I hope to make others smile regardless of their circumstances. Life trials are in place for a reason. It's for growth and gives us strength to become a better person, to understand life isn't perfect and that it doesn't matter what we choose to do in life; not everyone will agree. This is what I'm learning, you can't please everyone and that's "Ok" too. I can be a complete rambler, I might have lost your interest within this post so in conclusion I believe there should be more education about adoption and large families. This is what keeps me writing. There isn't any fame or fortune, it's purely about love and acceptance. We might not be the most popular family, our numbers are against us with different challenges that could arise, we are full of behaviours and special needs, we take up too much space where ever we go, we are noisy and down right different. We are a topic of conversation. I will say we are a family that has embraced each other with all our differences, our different paths and we're healing together. I have been giving the experience to understand, to have compassion for, to accept what is and I am thankful for my past, for my gossipers for giving me the strength to believe in my heart, myself and my family. Our dedication has and always will be our children. Just remember our truth is here in our pudding and not in someone elses milkshake. If you don't want information that is mixed up, please feel free to contact me. I love speaking the truth and sharing our life story. PS - We are doing wonderful and everyday is a blessing in my eyes. I wouldn't change our life because I'm always in "Awe"