Room for Everyone
There was always an atmosphere of high energy activity – sometimes even chaos – at my aunt’s house when we visited. She and my uncle lived in a farm house with one bathroom, thirteen children, and one farm worker (who was more or less a family member).
That was 16 people standing in line for the shower before the hot water ran out.
I don’t remember how many siblings shared a bedroom, but if I wanted to stay for a sleep-over, there was a way to accommodate me. And enough hot water for my turn in the shower.
Everyone ate three meals a day around a giant table. And five days a week all of the kids managed to get to the school bus stop on time with their hair combed.
There was enough love to go around in the household, and enough to share with others. It was the place the extended family gathered for special occasions. Some of those cousins have gone on to adopt from the foster care system.
So when I heard Tanya talking in a meeting last week, I understood her point. “We are committed to keeping sibling groups together,” she said.
She has carried out her commitment through adoption and is the mother of 23, five of whom are at home at the present time.
Tanya’s message to workers in the adoption field is: Don’t worry about how many children a family can adopt. Pay attention to the issues and needs of the children; explore with the families how they will cope with the issues the children bring.
Makes sense to me.
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