Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Defending Big Families

I am accustomed to hearing lots of comments about big families.  Many take the liberty to share their unsolicited opinions with me.  Some find it fascinating.  Some think we're nuts.  Some believe us to be blessed.  Very few comments surprise me anymore, as very few people use "filters" when they speak.  Many make grand assumptions about us.  Last fall the 3 little ones and I headed to Wal-mart.  We held hands as we navigated through the parking lot.  There was a woman standing by the door of the store who said, "What lovely adopted children you have.  Are any of them twins?"  I smiled and corrected her, "These are actually my biological children and none of them are twins."  She replied, "Oh" with raised eyebrows. 

At ignorant comments, I generally just smile and walk away.  I do find some of the people who make such comments amusing, because they tend to think that they are ever so clever.  I have heard, "Have you figured it out yet how this keeps happening?"  Some have even mocked our decision to use Natural Family Planning in saying, "How's NFP workin for ya now?"  as if somehow NFP has failed us because of the number of children we opened ourselves up to having.  Little do these folks know that Monkey and I desired a large family before we were married.  We didn't set out to have exactly six kids, but we did prayerfully discern what God's plan for our family life to be. 

About a month ago, I found myself in a conversation with a protestant pastor's wife.  I only share that fact because I would assume that she would have more sense.  I have given too much thought and energy into this situation, so I am hoping that by writing about it I can put it to rest. 

I was at a gathering where I found myself talking with this woman.  She was asking lots of questions about me and my family.  When she discovered that I had six kids, the conversation turned awkward.  She shared her concern with large families.  Although she found them to be lovely, she was concerned that large families were using up the earth's renewable resources.  If it continued, what would be left for future generations?  She concluded by saying, "Maybe consider adoption instead of another biological baby."  Completely stunned (I'm pretty sure I had a scowl on my face) the woman just turned away from me.  Of course I couldn't think of what to say in reply until I returned home that afternoon (the perfect response always comes to me a little too late!)

What I wanted to ask her was this:  Which child should I not have had?  Sweet Potato?  With his memory and his smarts, he is going to make a difference in this world.  Honey Bunches?  He has such passion and creativity that he will greatly influence, and possibly even change, many lives.  Gummi Bear?  With her charitable heart, I have no doubt that she will lead a life of service.  She desires to help others and care for the earth.  Cucumber?  Her sense of humor and outlook on life will help others put their own lives into perspective.  Sweet Pea?  She has so much concern for others and so much love to share, that people will feel valued in her presence.  Pumpkin?  Although she's only two, she is confident.  In some degree she will be in a leadership position.  And if you want to look strictly through secular lenses, then Monkey and I have given our country six future tax payers.

I will never regret having my children.  God loved these souls into being and I can't imagine my life without any of them.  And if it is willed for our lives to have 10 more kids, then we will joyfully accept that plan without apology to anyone.

I've stated my peace.

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