One mother–10+ kids

I am new to blogging. I don’t like to cook or sew and I currently have no adorable pets and no healthy lifestyle ideas to pass on, so what do I blog about? I was at a loss, but sometimes it takes another person to suggest what might be interesting to readers.

So, thanks to my granddaughter’s suggestion, I’m going to blog a bit about what it was like raising ten plus children. I say “ten plus” because during the time we were raising our children, we also had foster children. We had two foster daughters who were sisters, and we had them for about thirteen years. We also had several foster children who stayed for only short periods of time and one foster son who only came during the school year for several years.

Eight of our ten children are adopted and came from various ethnic backgrounds. I have endometriosis and was told early on in our marriage that it was possible that I would never have biological children. I was devastated, because I had always wanted a large family. I remember telling one of my friends in high school, “I don’t know about the husband thing, but I know I want to have kids.” 🙂  Since then, I have learned to value the “husband thing.” and have kept the same good man for over fifty years. But anyway, having to face the fact that we might not have any children was something I just couldn’t get my head around. They had always been my first priority and I couldn’t imagine a life without them.

There had been adoptions in both of our extended families and we quickly decided that we would adopt a baby. Just one baby. It never dawned on me that I would raise 10+ children. That wasn’t the goal. Anyway, we adopted our first baby in New Mexico. What a cutie. We loved and adored him and it was so much fun having him that we quickly decided to adopt another baby. By then we had moved to Utah and we adopted our second little boy.

The adoption process was very different then. The adoptions were “closed” and the adopting parents never met the birth mother and were told very little about her (beyond sketchy medical records). The birth mother didn’t usually have much input in who adopted her baby. That was usually decided by the social worker. And she certainly never looked at pictures and bios to choose the family for her baby.

My husband graduated from college in accounting, but years later got a degree in social work and participated in the adoption process as the case worker. He worked with more “open” adoptions. I personally can see the value for the child and the birth mother when the process is more open, but it seems easier on the adoptive parents with a closed process.

Anyway, I loved and enjoyed my two little boys, who were quite different in temperament and appearance, but got along together and formed the foundation for our growing family.  More to follow.

(The last essay I posted — in my published work to the left of this page– addresses some of our budgeting process with our large family.)



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About Lorraine Jeffery

Lorraine Jeffery earned her bachelor’s degree in English and her MLIS in library science, and managed public libraries in Texas, Ohio and Utah for over twenty years. She has won poetry prizes in state and national contests and has published over thirty poems in various publications, including Clockhouse, Kindred, Calliope, Ibbetson Street,and Rockhurst Review. She has published short stories in War Cry, The Standard and Segullah. Her articles have appeared in Focus on the Family, Mature Years, and Utah’s Senior Review, as well as other publications.. She is the mother of ten children (eight adopted) and currently lives with her husband in Orem, Utah.

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