20 February 2008


People ask us all the time if we're "done" having children.

(Just as an aside, isn't it amazing the personal questions people will ask? I want to reply, "Do you have prostate issues?" "How much do you make per year?" "So, are those real?")

Occasionally people really ask that question just so that they can give their opinion about it. And there seems to be two distinct camps over that issue.

Such as, if we respond, "Probably" we hear either "Oh my word, WHY would you want more than five kids?!" or "That's phenomenal! Good for you guys!"

If we say, "Probably not" people say "Yeah, five is already so many! Yeesh!" or "Oh, well, I love large families. The more the merrier."

Some people think of a houseful of kids with all the noise, and mess, and expense, and lack of privacy, and on and on as a burden. Others wouldn't have it any other way.

Some people think of adopting/birthing more kids into a large family is unfair to the kids. They won't get enough attention. Others think it builds a sense of community, teaches kids how to share and relate well with others.

But, the truth for me is that it's really about what the Lord has for our family. What does He say?
The Gospel tells us that

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress..." James 1:27

Michael and I share a burden for orphans, a passion for adoption, a love of children, a heart for Africa, etc. But, we can't adopt them all (although when you're there looking at all those beautiful motherless faces, your heart breaks that you cannot). On the other hand, we look at our lives and think -- We have room. We have the resources. How can we not?

The answer is... We don't know. And, it isn't really up to us anyway. It's up to the Lord.

Michael thinks we may have another little son out there somewhere. He has a name. Does that mean that he is mine? I don't know yet.



Tish said...

Excellent post! When we rec'd our baby's referral file, there were some serious medical concerns (even though we specifically stated on app and in homestudy a request for healthy). It took us a month to officially accept the referral, but I tell people it was NOT like we were taking that time to "decide." It was NOT our decision to make. God alone has that right. We took the time to make sure we were in His will, and that His will was this child. Even though at moments I am overwhelmed and sleep deprived with just one child, I hope that God has more planned for our family!

Jessica said...

I found your blog while researching Ethiopian adoption and I just had to comment on this post. As a family of four, we get this question all the time. And we do intend to adopt another little girl soon, but we do not have a magic number of children that we are trying to get to. I now tell people " I will never say we are done because I never know what God has planned for us!" Your kids are gorgeous by the way!

be_a_Mary said...

Good post, Laurie. The social ettiquette these days is astounding. If you've never seen me cry, if you've never seen me wet haired & makeup-less, if you've never witnessed C & me in a tiff (a pure delight), you aren't close enough to me to ask me if we're done having children. :) In defense, though, I honestly think it is an etiquette problem. There is no forbidden topic these days. We know each other's age, sexual preference, income, mortgage payments, and vacation expenses, etc. It's getting blurry out there!

Coming to Amharica said...

Thank you for that post. I don't get the same question you have been getting because we are bringing our very first child home from Ethiopia soon. I can relate, however, to the fact that people ask VERY personal questions and see nothing wrong with it. It feels good to know that I'm not alone with this frustration.

I enjoy reading your blog and got chills and a lump in my throat when I read that last paragraph!!
Good luck to you and your family!

Dee Dee
(AGCI family)

Lori said...

Oh Laurie, Laurie, Laurie.... I think we both know where this story goes my friend!

And I can't wait to see it all unfold........... xo Lori

Lori said...

And another thing missy! I saw your comment on Em's blog about going to ET on a trip to "build stuff".... I cannot get my head around it fully now since we don't even have our babe, but as soon as these next few things unfold, it will be my "mission" to find a way back to Ethiopia... And how in the world could you even think that you wouldn't be coming with us! I don't know if Em and Moody are even interested, but I seriously think we could easily build a team or a few teams with the network that we have to go back! :) Let's just plan on it happening semi-soon!

Rebecca said...

Laurie, I so enjoyed this post... I could completely relate, as we get the sideways glances too (4 kids, adopting ANOTHER, and NOT saying we're done??) I can't stand it when people comment about our family size. It makes me want to adopt 15 kids just to make their heads explode. LOL.


Rebecca said...

By the way... what a pretty Easter blog. :) That is one nice kit you picked there girlfriend. Hee hee.

Hauswife said...

Rebecca, you did such a lovely job on my blog! THANK YOU! Love ya, girl!

Drew Carey Show said...

Although we're not in the "volume" game yet (but I hope to be!), I share in your astonishment over the things that will come out of people's mouths! Can't wait to meet you all this summer at the blog union!... if not, prior =)

Rebecca said...

OH, I can't wait to hear!

I would be one of those people that asks if people are planning to have more children. Because, I love big families and I think everyone else should too :)

Brianna Heldt said...

yes i agree people always seem to have an opinion. most people we encounter are of the "wow you have a ton of kids" variety, not the "you're supposed to have as many kids as possible" types.

to me it comes down to, are we seeing children as the blessing that they are? if so then we will rejoice with each birth and each adoption that we see. and as for ourselves, i think we have to discern what God would have us do. and hey maybe there's more than one right answer, i don't know!

ErinOrtlund said...

Oops--I didn't know it was rude to ask people if they wanted more children. Is it still rude if I am enthusiastic and supportive about whatever the answer is?