Thursday, January 23, 2014

Our Large Family

I’ve been told that I have a large family. I guess when you start to grow out of the vehicles you drive, one could say that. I've never thought that we have a  large family, but when I really sit down and think about it, I suppose we do. I think the reason for this is because we've added children to our family gradually and it never seemed like a big change. . . until now. 

Just before Thanksgiving we added 3 foster children to our family. At first it wasn’t a big deal, meaning they fit into our family quite well. They got along with our children and they figured out quickly how things run in our home. In fact, it was fun having new children in our home. 

Then ventures outside the home began. We didn’t all fit into our Land Cruiser which holds 8 people. With just the children alone they wouldn’t fit into the Land Cruiser. How would we get to church? My Lutheran Stud leaves long before any of us are awake. How would I get the older children to Confirmation or classes outside of our house? What about story time? The children love going to story time. Changes had to made. We had to purchase something larger that could fit our, now large, family of 11. We ended up purchasing a 12 passenger van—more on that at another time.

With the addition of our new van, aka Tank, Swagger Wagon, Beast, Bus, it’s been much more manageable around here. There are no more worries about how to get from here to there or anywhere. In fact, right now we still have room for one more, if we hadn’t taken out the extra seat. Trips to the library or Costco are a piece of cake. Ok, perhaps, we cause a small scene when we go anywhere. People stare at us and sometimes they make comments. I used to get the, “Are those all of your children?” questions, but now it’s a little more complicated. They don’t just stop at, “Are they all yours?” It keeps going. I get that plus, “How many do you have? or How do you stay so small? Is this a field trip? Do you run a preschool?” I even have little children noticing our large family and commenting to their parents about us. It’s become comical to me and somewhat entertaining. We have too many children for people to count on their own so, I have to actually tell people how many children I have which, probably isn’t such a bad thing because I should probably make sure I have all of them with me anyway. We saw firemen at the grocery store and when one asked if we were on a field trip I should have asked if they would let us tour their rig, right? I’m just not that quick off the cuff. Darn it!

The real difficulty for us, I think, is when we do make a trip to the store, library, or anywhere really, we take up so much space. It is actually kind of difficult to keep my children corralled. When we’re walking from the parking lot to the store my children are all over the parking lot. When we’re inside a store they fill up an entire aisle. It is almost like I am surrounded by a paparazzi of children but, without the cameras. People have to wait for us to move out of their way. Perhaps, it’s because my children are homeschooled and don’t know what it means to stand in a line? Or maybe if they stood in a line it would be really long and they would rather be closer to me? At any rate I now believe I have a pretty large family and all I can do is smile about it and hope that the people we come in contact with can enjoy staring at us as much as they do.

**I am not allowed to post photos of our adorable foster children so, they probably won’t be shown or mentioned by name on this blog for their privacy purposes.**


Lauren said...

I love your large family. And bring on the stares, right? And if there was ever a woman to care for a large family it was you, Jan. God bless you.

Adriane said...

Start telling them you run a human trafficking ring and see what they say.

Gretchen said...

No one can believe they're all yours because you're so tiny and cute. I distinctly remember you saying you were done having kids so you wouldn't have to upgrade to the 15-passenger van. So a 12-passenger van it is. You need to blog that story soon too. How do you drive that thing??