Tuesday, September 11, 2007

No individual attention? Answering objections against large families

Several days ago, I had a few idle minutes during which I browsed the web, and came across some articles which spoke in the most hateful, disgustingly rude way about large families in general and the Duggar family in particular.

I should have been wise enough to turn my eyes away and close the browser window, because it was obvious such awful things could only be written by someone who has no idea what he's talking about (and should get a life!), but for some reason, I didn't do that; for a couple of minutes, I looked through some of them.

One of the most common objections against families with many children is that children are deprived and get no individual attention. Ten children inevitably get ten times less love and attention than one child, they argue. How ridiculous! Love is not a pie to be cut into pieces; our kind, loving, amazing God loves all of us infinitely, as communities, families, and individuals, and knows us better than the oldest, most faithful friend. His love has no bounds or restrictions, and none of us will ever be deprived. In a good, strong family we find a reflection of God's love for all the children, together and as individuals.

What shows the hypocrisy of this claim is that the people who shake their heads when they look at the Duggars, saying that the Duggar children are 'lost in the crowd', are usually precisely the ones who don't hesitate even a moment before shipping their own children off to daycare, where it's certain they won't get any individual attention.

Another argument was that in a large family, many responsibilities inevitably fall on the shoulders of older children. That one especially made me roll my eyes. Wow, children having actual responsibilities! What a tragedy.

My grandmother grew up in a family with seven children, and since five of them were boys and her only sister was twelve years younger than she was, you can imagine the amount of washing, mending, sewing, fixing and cleaning Grandma had to do as a young girl! They weren't rich, but there was order and dignity in their household, and all the children (except the younger girl, who sadly died when she was young) grew up to be respectable, responsible adults, without commitment phobia or self-centeredness. Surely, no one says older children can or should replace parents. But responsibilities are good for children, and help them form their character; and looking after younger siblings, even more so.

Certainly, children are a gift from God, and therefore a married couple might have only one child even if they long for more. I'm not saying being an only child means being self-centered. But to say that doing chores and helping little brothers and sisters means being deprived and 'robbed of childhood'? Excuse me, but is there any better way for developing a loving, gentle, patient, generous and noble character? I'm not a mother yet, but from my observation, teaching children to be helpers and givers early in life encourages them to develop into wholesome adults, as opposing to the self-obsessed, immersed in egoistic whims, immature 30-year-olds we sadly see all too often.

The picture above is of my Grandma (middle of the back row) and her family. I know it's blurry, but this was the best of my attempts. It was taken sometime between 1931 and 1933.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

I grew up as the oldest of eleven children, so I find myself agreeing with this post. I learned a great deal from being in a big family, and I loved it. The Duggar children are obviously well-cared for and very, very loved. With so many abused and neglected children in the world, we can only hope as much for every child.

~Jenna

Anonymous said...

My maternal grandmother was the eldest of 12 children and she had 13 children herself. I can only imagine what I would say if someone was so rude as to comment on the size of these families, probably along the lines of, "And which ones would you suggest that I give back?" It is also interesting to note that she has always thought that the women's liberation movement was the cruelest joke that men have ever played on women.
As always, thank you for your wonderful blog,
Suzanne

Serena said...

My mom is one of twelve. She has mentioned to me how she felt like she didn't get quite enough attention from her parents. She certainly GOT attention, but she didn't feel that it was enough. I'm not sure if that had anything to do with her mother being ill with cancer for parts of her childhood or not. My mom and all her siblings are very close, though, with each other and their dad (my grandma died when I was four).

I'm one of five and never felt like I was neglected, but I *am* the only girl... ;)

I wouldn't exactly mind having 12 kids...or more...

Kaeus said...

firstly, how lovely that you have a picture of your family like that. most of the pictures my parents have of their parent's families are horribly faded or ripped. how i would treasure something in such good condition.

and now to your actual blog post.

its entirely likely that the people who raise objections to large families were themselves from smaller families, probably going to daycare as children, and when they see how little time their parents had for them, they cannot possibly imagine how anyone could have time for MORE children.

raising children can be difficult and trying, and and not everyone is able to cope with a whole bundle of children, no matter how much they would like to. but just because one person cant do it, doesnt mean no-one can. God knows our strengths and weaknesses and never gives us more than He knows we can deal with.

as far as the children raising children argument, i totaly agree with you about the responsibility factor. the older children should not be left to raise the babies on their own, by any means, but really, in a Godly, loving family, how often is that going to happen?

CJ said...

I am so glad to have happened upon your blog. You have a great head on your shoulders and such a sweet spirit. You views and family and "womanhood" are wonderfully biblical.

It is a breath of fresh air!

God bless :-)

Connimom

Mimi said...

I am from a family of 9 children... my uncles and grandparents always referred to us as Eunice and all her children they don't have any money because all they have are kids!
however when my grandparents died.. it was my mother who paid for their funeral expense.. like I said in one of my comments on an earlier blog... it's not how much money you make but what you do with it that counts.. I was taught to always be responsible and pay my church tithes!!

Lutheran Woman said...

I have 8 children (7 of them boys) :o)

My husband's boss confessed something to my husband a week or so ago. This is what he said:
----------
Count yourself lucky you have as many children as you do. I had 2 children, they are both adults now but they have no one. No other brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins ... no one. When my wife and I die, they will only have each other. This will be especially hard for my daughter because her mother is everything to her. Once my wife is gone, I she won't have anyone there for her, no female family relation and it breaks my heart!
-------

My husband told us about this conversation during family devotions. It struck a chord in me because I am the second born out of 2 children as well. I don't get along with my parents nor my brother. I essentially have no one except my own children and husband. I know that void, that emptiness ... that ache and longing for familial relationships. It hurts deeply and at times is crippling.

These people who advocate smaller families have no clue what they are saying. They are completely, utterly and totally blind and deluted to the truth of the matter. The problems lie with small families, not large.

How many large families have you heard of having had a child shoot up a school? Kill Mom and Dad? Become a mass murderer etc?

Maybe I am a fool, but I know of NONE.

Anonymous said...

I have read some of these rude remarks you've mentioned, Anna. Some of them are rabid, aren't they? I can only shake my head...

My husband is one of twelve children, & he never has talked about feeling neglected, or somehow overlooked. I'm sure everything wasn't rosy all the time. But I do know there was a lot of love, each of them for the others. They're all smart, educated, productive members of society. Some families that produce only 2 children cannot say that.

Is it possible there's some envy going on here with those naysayers? Or are they just so jaded by life, they can't believe that sometimes what they see in front of them is actually "the real thing". And perhaps they're frightened at the thought of some observers getting ideas about their own procreation...oh no!! More large families!

Your grandmother's family photo is lovely. They didn't take as many pictures back then, & those photos that have survived are real family treasures, aren't they?

I wish you a beautiful day,
Brenda

AnneK said...

It is very coincidental that you mentioned the Duggar family becuse today I got an email forward from my friend about the Duggar family. It is a power point presentation with pictures that are still not online. If you are interested I will email it to you. Let me know. I myself probably won't have 17 children, but I have no problem in others doing so :P My mom and dad both had 7 siblings each and each of them have 3 or 4 kids each and so I have a total of 42 first cousins all of whom I am very close to. I love large families. Even though we were only 3, we were taught responsibility at a small age. Since both parents worked, we always had our chores to do. We couldn't sit back and relax and expect Mamma to do everything.

Michelle said...

Haha, I see you stumbled across that article too....I wrote a blog on it too a while back here - http://michelleshomestead.blogspot.com/2007/07/duggar-family.html
although it was no where near as eloqently written as yours : )
PS - I want a dozen kids too - 2 down, 10 to go!

Anna S said...

Brenda,

Indeed, I feel many of those nasty comments originate in envy and fear - fear of seeing the REAL THING, the true, deep happiness that takes lots of hard work; fear of realizing something profound, that will make them change their own way of life.

Annie,

Yes, I'd love to have that presentation. Thank you for offering!

Gothelittle Rose said...

I talked to one young woman who is one of seven children. Someone asked her mother once, "How do you remember all their names?" The mother's response was priceless: "Do you have seven friends?"

It really is interesting how people can say things about large families that would be a hate crime to say about minority-race people etc.

My pastor and his wife had twelve boys and adopted more. When I visited their house, I saw a plaque up on their wall, large and wooden and full of pegs. Hanging from each peg was a little wooden duck with a child's name on it. The top of it read something like this: "It's hard to keep up with everyone sometimes, so if you have an issue you want to talk about, take your duck, and we'll come to you." How beautiful!

JoAnn said...

First, I really like that picture. I think those old ones are so neat.
My husband grew up in a family with 6 children. He has a wonderful family. I think it's up to each couple to decide what is best for them on the size of the family.
Thank you for sharing about your Grandma's family. It was nice to read about how things use to be. :)
JoAnn

Terry said...

Anna, as usual you have made some wonderfully intelligent and relevant points. I'm still constantly amazed that people in today's world can't see that our kids have gained little to nothing from being relieved of any and all responsibilities. My husband and I have 4 daughters. There is an 11 year gap between our youngest (13 months), and the next two girls (12 year old twins). We have a 13 year old as well. They all adore the baby and constantly argue over who will get to hold her, change her, etc. Thankfully since I breastfed, I'm the only one who could feed her and we had some bonding time. I think my older girls are better for the experience they are gaining and they have no complaints. I do not compel them to care for her whenever it's convenient for me. She is my child and I'm her primary caregiver. If we are blessed with another child, that won't change. Kids aren't scarred by additional responsibilty: it builds character and compassion to care for someone other than yourself.

Haus Frau said...

Excellent post, Anna.

To be blessed with a bounty children is a lovely thing. Sweet ladies I know are expecting their 8th and 7th - another has 11. Beautiful!

I have one, not by choice. But my one is a true gift. I don't wallow in desire for more because this is what the Lord has deemed and who am I to question Him? Getting to that place admittedly took some time.

The Lord has gifted us with some young people into our home, in various ways and needs and times, and we modified as an extension of their own homes, with their parents blessing. Additional arrows in our quiver, once removed, so to speak.

Karen said...

You know, I have a myspace page on which I have over 40 friends. I ask myself how can I keep this number down...surely I can't keep up with all these people! But you know what...I look down my list and low and behold I *do* keep in touch with all of them! I have no clue how, I don't talk to most of them every day or anything, but I know basically what is going on in each of their lives.

I would love to have a large family, too. Unfortunately I have a disease which may make that difficult without spending a lot on adoptions. It's actually pretty hard for me to get pregnant but we've been blessed twice, and I know God knows what he's doing. We don't believe in birth control, we just let the children come as they will and it has always been his perfect time.

I totally agree with you that the same people accusing these people are the ones dropping their 1 or 2 children off at preschool for ungodly amounts of time. I know because I used to work in one. Some of those people dropped their children off at 7 a.m. and didn't pick them up till 10 p.m.! I often had to stay past my shift just waiting for the parents to come get their kids already!

It made me want to cry!

There was a high turnover in both the preschool and daycare areas so yeah, some of the people watching the kids did not even know their names at all! But a mother can't forget a child she birthed and nursed! Especially stay at home moms that spend every day with their children, and ones that homeschool know their children so well, better than the typical mom who now spends an average of 20 minutes quality time with her children! They have no right to judge!

Stam House said...

I have 11 sisters and brothers inlaws plus my 2 sibliling so our little Rebekah has 13 aunts and uncle (more when if they get married)

My husdand love his big family of 12 kids, they had so much fun growing up (mama Stam homeschool htem all and they all got induvidual attention!)

Psalm 127 :3-5
Behold, children are a heritage from teh LOrd the fruit of the wound is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior. So are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his qiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak withteir ennemies at the gate.

Anna Naomi said...

I'm one of 7, which sometimes seems like a small family in comparison to families of 12 or more! =) I never felt neglected; if anything, I had more care with all the older siblings and more fun with all the playmates around! Of course, we were quite spread out, with 2-5 years between each child (19 years between the oldest and youngest) but I've never felt like my parents haven't had enough love to share around.

I've enjoyed our family so much, I'd like to have even more children someday, if the Lord wills! 12 seems like a nice number... =)

Donna said...

I am a huge Duggar Fan! I love to watch that family. They are such an inspiration to what a God can do to those who trust in him. I get so disgusted with the negative comments on the web about them and really hope none of their children come across these comments. I also wanted to comment that having the older children work with and help with the younger children also assures a nice bond for them as siblings. So when mom and dad are gone they will all be surrounded by so much love and companionship from their close siblings. I just can't help but say Rock on Duggars! God Bless Ya!

Laura H. said...

Anna,
I am the eldest of nine, and let me tell you, that there is no greater joy, then to see my siblings beside me. What would I do, if I was the only child? THere would be no room for individuallity! I would be the one, married, and so forth. But would not have the joy of helping my parents with my youngers siblings, and learning to be a housewife and mother, without them. Yes, there are times that I wish I was starting a family of my own, but look at it this way, I am helping my Mom develope character in my siblings, and that would not have happened if my Mom stopped at me, which she had fleeting thoughts of doing so!:)My brother Matt is pursuing a life in politics, and hopes to be president of the united states, someday. I applaude him, as I could never do that! My sister Sarah is married, has a baby, and is living in the woods, in the mountains, at her in law's place, while her husband is building the house they are going to live in! I could possibly do that, if I had to. My sister Becca married this year, and she and her husband are renting a house nearby! I am just plodding along, staying at home, and attending College this fall, to keep me busy, while helping my Parents at home!

There is a huge blessing in large families! I would not have the loving families that are connected with ours, if I didn't have two married sisters! Wow, talk about counting blessings!

That is my two cents worth of wisdom about large families. I want to say this, when my time comes to bring children into this world, I will not think twice about how many I do. Whether it be 1 or 21, I will welcome them all!They will be the Lord's children, and I will be their instructer on this earth. I hopefully will not complain, althought I am human!

God bless all those who have large families, and may we band together, to show the world, the blessings in large families!

het lieveheersbeestje said...

I agree with you all, although I am one of two kids myself, we have 4 kids. And when I was expecting the third, my parents asked me if it was an accident... You can inmagine how welcome my children are at their place, they just feel it. On the other hand I know many large familys that function so well. When they are little they are also fighting like all kids, but they are also playing a lot. It feels so much happier...

Ron and Ginny said...

This is a very good post, but there are no guarantees in anything. I know a family where there were eight children in a christian home and they all grew up to reject Christ. There were also many other problems dealing with trying to get the attention of the parents. Some of the children have died of old age now, and the rest are getting on. It is sad. I do NOT think it had anything to do with how many children were in the home. If there had been one or two, the same problems would have been there, I'm quite sure. I do agree that if the Lord gives you a large family, he will bless obedience, but children will be ultimately responsible for their own choices before God and some of them don't make the right choices.

When I married I was looking forward to 12 children, but the Lord had other plans for me: none.

:-D

Praise the Lord.

Kathleen said...

How do you manage to repeatedly speak the truth so plainly and articulately? ;)

Candy said...

I am a HUGE fan of the Duggars. I LOVE, love LOVE to watch them on TV (Im so glad we get them here in Canada!!!)
I admire how well behaved their children are, how helpful and sweet spirited.

I was blessed with one child.

Would have loved to have 12 but that wasnt Gods plan for my husband and I.

Our son is one of the sweetest little boys you would ever meet. He is not selfish in anyway by being an only child.

Doesnt look like he will ever have a brother or sister but Im not worried about him being all alone. I have to totally trust God that He brought my son into this world and He will always watch over him...even when my husband and I are no longer around (sounds so sad :( to say ..Im only 32!! :) But ya never know..)

Large families are great and samll families are great too. God made all of us.

(sorry if this is sounding defensive...dont want it to come out that way at all. although Id liek to point out that small families have it hard too. Im constantly getting the "awwwww, thats too bad that your son wont have a sister or brother" As if I have anything to do about God's choice)

Thanks for letting me say my 2 cents :)

Anna S said...

Candy, I'm an only child myself, and yes, it's sad sometimes, but I guess it just wasn't meant to be for me to have siblings. I hope things work out differently for my children - but who knows! Many wonderful, godly, child-embracing families are only blessed with one or two children. And some have no children at all. The important part is surrendering ourselves to His will!

Mrs. Jo said...

I appreciate you bringing up this issue because I've wavered on it. I was raised in a Christian family where my dad only wanted 3 and kids were seen as lots of work and expensive but my parents loved us and mom stayed home and raised us very well. Everyone in our Christian circles only had 2 or 3.

In college and early marriage, I began to think that letting God decide was the way to go and that we'd have a huge family. We researched birth control options and even though many Christians in our lives were telling us to use the Pill, we just didn't feel God's peace about it and flushed it down the toliet back when we were engaged. We opted instead for fertility charting.

I've had two kids in the last couple of years (they weren't surprises either!) and there are times I feel like having a large family and there are times I think I can barely keep my sanity with the endless demands of two. Also two natural childbirths, very long, and hemorraging after the second make me dread going through labor again.

There are times I wonder if we as Christians should be good stewards of our resources by seeking to avoid more pregnancies if the husband is stressed and having to work too hard to provide for the growing family or in order to give the wife a chance to heal and rest if pregnancy and childbirth are rough on her. I think about someday being involved in missions with my huband and wondering if it's best for us not to have more than 4 to have to raise support for. I also wonder about buying bigger vehicles and having enough space to house a huge family since at this point we have no house at all; we rent.
I heard a woman speaker at our church give her testimony last year at a Ladies' Event. She was one of 10 and she said the only time she ever got undivided attention from her mom was when she helped go grocery shopping. That story, along with all of my friends' complaints about their kids and the difficulties of it all and the cost of living combined to make me feel like we were definitely making the right choice to only have 2-4.
However, recently God has been opening my eyes to the fact that the woman at church was from a non-Christian family and that it matters more how the parents are than the numbers of children. One child can be neglected by a selfish parent, just as the Duggars can enjoy and love each of their many children. The Duggar's kids all appear to be clean, neat, modest, respectful, talented, smart, and musicians. Can most secular families say the same about their TV-and-video-game-addict-kids?
There are definite challenges to having many children. I'm not glossing over the actual work of raising, training, guiding, teaching these children, as well as the cost of feeding them and giving them medical, eye, and dental care. I do believe God will provide and will not bless you with kids only to see you have to go live in a dumpster. With every child we have had, my husband has "providentially" gotten a raise or better job!
I think if one wants to have a lot of children, you should realize that it will take a lot of sacrifice. You may have to have homebirths (I had one and am pro home and waterbirth!) as babies today in our town run $10,500 for a normal, natural delivery. You may not be able to go on as many outings, or pursue your own hobbies and friendships with women or be able to read much. You may feel homebound at times. But those who are seeking to raise a God-glorifying large family are doing eternal work of the most important kind and will be so blessed throughout their lives by all the family!
I would love to hear from some women who have many children who could add input about what their lives are like.

It is a blessing to hear of other young women who have a "children are blessings" mentality. I hope your fiance and you are on the same page regarding this Anna so that it doesn't bring tension to your upcoming marriage. I can honestly say kids are a joy and a blessing even though one of mine is teething and one is 2.5 yrs!

Anna S said...

Mrs. Jo,

Thanks for sharing your testimony!!

As to what you asked, YES, my fiance and I have talked this through and through, and we're definitely of the same opinion on this issue. We want to have as many children as we are blessed with, and if we have no children at all, we're open to possibilities of adoption.

Haus Frau said...

As the mother of an 'only' child I'd like to share a few things...

It is not the size of a family that blesses God, rather it is the heart of the individuals. In both large and small families, if the heart isn't in line with Christ, then it's for naught to assume one is better than the other.

Making assumptions of larger families, tsk tsk'ing behind their backs or to their faces, being unkind, is so very wrong. They are led by the Lord to expand their family as He allows. Praise God!

Unfortunately, assumptions go the other way too...to smaller size families or the dreaded *one child family*.

I've been the recipient of unking or assuming comments from mothers of larger families. "You only have ONE?" "You must use birth control." "Why would you not want to bless God by having more children?" "Your daughter must be spoiled." "She must get everything she wants." "She must be lonely." "Why don't you adopt?"

* My daughter is not spoiled.
* My daughter has had lonely times in her life, but then so have my husband and I and we're one of four siblings each.
* My daughter works for what she has. She's a lifeguard and earned $ to purchase a vehicle, pays her own insurance and gas. Early on if she rec'd a toy gift she'd have to make a decision of what toy to give away so as not to bulk up on too many toys. To this day she lives simply w/o an excess of things.
* I never used birth control. I had endometriosis (which my daughter now suffers from).
* Yes, I have one. A precious gift when for a time I didn't think I'd be able to have *any*!
* We attempted adoption twice. After the second time the Lord made it very clear that we were to consider our daughter a blessing and to not seek out more children. Reminder - there were numerous 'only children' in the Bible.
* I believe I am blessing God by having raised my daughter in the way of the Lord, as Deuteronomy says.

Blessings...

Candy said...

Anna
I noticed on your sidebar here on your blog that it says if you want to email me, my email address is above.. BUT I cant seem to see it.
Could you email me sometime at
candyathome@shaw.ca
so that I can have your email address..
Thanks :)
candy

Anonymous said...

I am always astonished at how freely people comment on the size of others' families. It's none of their business! I can't imagine asking someone if their 3rd or 10th child is an accident. At the same time, I would never ask someone why they don't have any children, or more children.

Before I have children (hopefully) I want to perfect what Miss Manners calls the "cold astonished look" to avoid answering those questions. :)

That's all!
Emily

Alexandra said...

Thanks for sharing your family pictures. What a nice looking family.

My son is quite a bit older than my daughter, and he's a great helper. Nothing wrong with a family all pitching in to help one and other. That's what a family does...take care of one and other.

Mrs.B said...

Haus Frau,

Thank you for your comment about only children. I am an only child and tire of the assumptions that are made about them.

Blessings,
~Mrs.B

Kristi said...

I am the oldest of six children, a larger family than some, but still...
Being part of a large family has taught me a lot about responsibility; once I turned 16, I got a job and was responsible for my "wants", not necessarily my needs. When I saw a blouse/skirt/necklace/whatever that I simply HAD to have... Well, I found out that there are some things that I really don't need. :-)
I am grateful to my parents for making me pay for my car and the insurance on it! I think I am more careful with money, and appreciative of it, because of my upbringing in a family where there just wasn't enough cash floating around to pay for every teenager's car/gas/insurance.

Just some thoughts.

Anna S said...

*A gentle reminder to all the commenters*... please take the time and re-read the part about grace and courtesy in my comments welcome note. I deeply appreciate those who visit me, and want my guests to be certain they can open the comments section without having to face rude and unpleasant remarks. This post, so far, produced the largest number of comments I had to dispose of. I'm sorry about that, and hope I won't have to do it that often in the future.

Anna S said...

And to Sherry (Haus Frau): I'm really sorry you had to face such comments. It's plain rudeness and ignorance. Especially when we all know infertility problems are not that uncommon at all!.. How painful it must have been to hear all that, while you and your husband would have loved to have more children!

Haus Frau said...

Anna, your site is wonderful. Thank you for your welcoming spirit and maturity they far exceed your age. You exemplify graciousness.

Keep bringing thought-provoking subject matter to the table, dear lady.

Rebekah S. said...

Amen, Anna!!! I completely agree!! I've gotten to where I absolutely cannot read what people are saying against the Duggars. I simply adore them, and it breaks my heart when I read what such hateful and ignorant people write. And it becomes a sin when I read those, because I become so very very angry. I'm so glad there are other young women out there that have some sense and who adore the Duggars as I do. Keep up the great work, Anna!!

And thanks for sharing that picture! I just love old pics!

Andrea said...

Anna,

I've just had the pleasure of finding your blog via a link posted on the Kissack family blog. As many people have commented, the sweetness and grace of your spirit --and your Father's spirit!-- just shines in your writing.

I have always felt extremely uncomfortable at the thought of people having the gall to judge ANY family based on its size, whether it's a family that's looked down on because some might sneeringly deem it "too large," or if it's a family people might, with syrupy condescension, think is "too small" simply because it doesn't match their own personal ideal.

It's so easy for us to assume we know everything about a situation when in fact it's more likely we know almost nothing about what is going on "behind the scenes"; I've always felt that for people to assume a family has not devoted as much thought and prayer to having a two-child (even one child!) family as others have devoted to the decision to produce a "quiverful" is at best careless/thoughtless, and at worst very hurtful-- perhaps even cruel.

If you don't mind me asking --and certainly, I would understand if you did-- why have you and your fiance decided to pursue adoption only in the event that you can't conceive? I ask mainly because, due to things that have happened with my own extended family, we don't necessarily see infertility as a prerequisite for adoption, so it's a concept that's taken a lot of time for me to really "get". Personally (again, it is SUCH a personal choice!) I don't plan for my fertility (or lack thereof!) to be forefront in my considering adoption when I get married; if anything, I'd say it's more likely that I'd hope to adopt first, and consider biological children afterward.

I know the issue is often considered very private and personal, since it concerns such a personal choice, but it's something that's begun to interest me more over the past couple years as I see more and more that people seem to consistently view adoption as a "second choice." I know that there have been --and still are-- so many myths and misconceptions (!) surrounding it, but I cannot wrap my head around the idea that adoption is so widely and overwhelmingly a "second choice" -- it was my Father's first choice for me, after all :)

~Andrea

Cinderellen said...

Hi Anna, I'm Ellen, Sherry (Haus frau's) daughter. I've really enjoyed reading your posts. Thank you for being so kind and considerate in how you say things and reply to commenter's. I have been spoken to, and said to, that I must be very spoiled. I'm not, I've payed for almost everything I own, including my car. My life is wonderful, I love what God has given me. It use to get lonely sometimes, but then again, sometimes it was nice. Just wanted to say those things. Thank you!!!Come and check out my blog anytime. God bless you!!!

Emily said...

Good post Anna - the last paragraph especially clinches it. It's not about how many children there are in a family, but rather how well the parents are at their job of bringing them up to be mature, responsible, God-fearing adults. Growing up in a fairly large family myself, I've seen the natural benefits and disadvantaged. But I believe that if a family is led with truly godly, wise parents, then they will be successful at raising their children - no matter how many there are!

Anna S said...

Andrea,

That's a very interesting question! Indeed, we aren't considering adoption only if we can't conceive, but also in case if we aren't blessed with many children, but only one or two, we might also consider adoption - if God will lead us to it - to have a larger family.

In the first place, though, we just intend to let God control the size of our family. We aren't planning to use any contraception. I have no known fertility problems, and therefore it's possible, even probable, that we will be blessed with many children. If this is the case, and God opens my womb to many children, I believe we will not seek adoption.

Ellen, welcome! I'm delighted to 'see' you here, and I'm looking forward to visiting your blog.

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled across your blog by accident but thought I should comment.

I am the oldest of six children and have had a largely unhappy childhood.

I would strongly recommend any mothers or future mothers to critically evaluate their temperament and resources to raise a large family.

My parents are good, well-intentioned people. They have a strong marriage. They really have tried their best--but at some point all the willpower in the world just isn't enough. Love may not be a pie, but love alone will not raise a strong, large family. You need financial resources, the right temperament, and an extremely high level of energy and patience from the parent. You're also going to have to bank on your kids being happy with less. Less attention, less money, and in many cases (my family, certainly), less opportunity to pursue individual ambitions.

My parents just couldn't hack parenting that many kids. They seemed to convince themselves that everything was fine until I temporarily ran away from home and one of my sisters went into a deep, vegetative depression at age fourteen. Every one of my siblings is highly ambitious, but all of our talents have been stifled because there wasn't enough of anything to go around.

I am now much happier that I am in college (supporting myself, mom and dad can't afford college) and away from home. I still visit once in a while, but honestly being home is just a source of stress. My family is still a disorderly mess. It's a shame especially since I saw firsthand how my very orderly parents went downhill after kid #3.

Life was pretty great in the beginning, but my parents hit a tipping point at a certain number of kids. Kids are a huge investment and it drains some parents faster than others. Make sure you're not burning yourself out, or your kids will suffer for it.