Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Large Families

I used to think 4 kids in a family is a lot. I think most people do. But I have always wanted that many kids. Not everyone understands that. In fact I got a lot of raised eyebrow looks when I was pregnant with Emma and told people she was hopefully only my first of four.

In the past year and a half that I have been surrounded by the adoption community, I have become more aware and less shocked by truly LARGE families - some with 8, 10 or even 21 kids. The more I hear about these families, the smaller "4" seems to me, and the number of kids I hope to have grows.

Brian and I were talking last night about our family size. We will soon have three kids in our family. To some people that might seem like a lot. But to us, we don't really see the end in sight. That doesn't mean that we are going to have a dozen kids or anything. But we do hope to adopt at least one more after Benjamin, and we hope to have at least one more biological child. That would put us at five kids, and who knows if that would be the end.

What got me thinking about this is that just this week our agency announced that Ethiopia has changed its rules about allowing children adopted into large families, and will no longer allow Ethiopian orphans to be adopted into families with more than five kids living at home. There will be some exceptions for sibling groups and special needs kids, but that is the general rule.

Suddenly I feel less free in my ability to grow my family how I want to. I feel like we need to carefully plan the order of pregnancies versus adoptions. I even sort of feel "rushed" to start another adoption while we still can. Thankfully I have a husband who is a voice of reason, and who reminded me that God is in control, and if He is calling us to adopt more children, He will provide a way.

Mostly this makes my heart break for the kids. As it turns out, most of the adoptions of older kids are done by "large families". Even without the family size restriction, the older kids wait SO much longer for a family than the kids preschool and younger. Our agency has always had a heart for the older kids, but now they will be forced to take in fewer, and focus more on the younger kids.

Representatives from our agency, plus a lot of parents of "large families" are doing everything they can right now to sway the decision of the government, and to prove that children still receive all the love, nurture and attention they deserve in a large family.

Please keep this situation in your prayers. Pray specifically for the hearts to be softened of the decision makers, and that these kids will ALL find families SOON.


Ben and Laura said...

You are such a good, GOOD person. Your kids are so lucky to have you for a mom!

Kelly said...

I have been feeling this lately too, I never thought I'd would stress about "timing" our pregnancies versus our adoptions either, because I knew Ethiopia didn't have limits on family size, but now I too feel this sense of urgency. My hubby too is the sane sensible Godly man who is my voice of reason. I'm still praying that they will change the rules back to no limits!