5. 5. 5.

Soon, I’ll have only 5 kids at home. Biscuit, Blue, Boychild, Bunny, and Lemon. I’m freaking out, how do I cook for only 7 people?! What will we do with the copious amounts of leftovers?! There will be extra time, room, and finances. Weird. There will be less stress, chatter, and traffic.

We will enjoy our time together until we are needed. I love my community, I love children, I love foster care. There are lessons to be learned about humility, compassion, and pain. My kids understand the importance of helping people and also, witnessing me fail, has shown them that even though you can desperately want to help it’s okay to say ‘enough’ and have a child removed. My kids have helped transition foster kids to our home and comforted them in times of need. They have also disagreed and fought with them. It is all give and take, understanding others circumstances and remembering how blessed you are to be taken care of in a standard in which society deems normal. My kids don’t take much for granted these days because they understand that things change in the blink of an eye.

I’ve been sifting through adoption listings, looking for potential matches. I’ve sent in several inquiries and have gotten very little feedback. Our system is flawed; caseworkers are busy prioritizing and adoptive kids are being pushed to the backburner. I understand that the removal and reunification are high on the totem pole, they are critical to child safety, but having a child wait in limbo for months or years just isn’t right. My licensing worker has assured me that my homestudy has been sent to all of the inquiries that I’ve sent in and even he says he has gotten very little feedback. It shouldn’t be this hard to find an older child, in the United States, who is legally free for adoption, to find a match. It shouldn’t be this hard to help.

On the other end of the spectrum I’ve gotten leads on some foster placements. Unfortunately, they weren’t a match for our home. I do have a strict criteria that I follow as my children are my number one priority. I do not want to expose them to some things nor have them possibly become victims in any way. It’s hard. Often times it breaks my heart but I’ve developed a firm understanding during my years of foster care of knowing when to say yes to a placement and when to say no.

Luckily, when you seek out adoptive children via photolistings or through your agency you can get every detail of their case/life since being in the foster care system. That makes finding a fit easier for families and agencies. I’ve gotten a few responses stating we weren’t a good fit for a child and I’ve sent responses saying we wouldn’t be a good fit for a child. I’m okay with that, I’m all about the best interest of the children. My older girls have taken an interest in looking at potential siblings online, Blue loves to watch the videos and Biscuit wants to see their faces.

Only God knows what will happen next, we may stay with the 5 kids and be done. We may foster more. We may adopt. Until then…we wait.

What makes a household with 6 kids work?

People ask all the time ‘How do you do it with 6 kids?’ or the make comments about how crazy it must be at our home with all of the kids or how hard it must be. Guys, this is a myth…it’s not hard, it’s not a madhouse, and it’s not complicated. It’s really cool. Want to know how I do it? Let’s go!

1. Everyone is held accountable. I have six kids, each kid has 1 chore. The chore never changes, when the chore isn’t completed I know exactly which kid I need to find and talk to. They’re all responsible to keep their rooms cleaned and put away their own laundry. If it isn’t completed I know who to talk to, it’s pretty simple. If your chores aren’t done correctly you lose all electronic privileges. To kids that’s like death, anything but the electronics! Nooooo!

2. Communication. Do you know how important it is to say what you mean and mean what you say? It’s crucial in large households. Think before you speak, speak kindly to one another, and don’t lie.

3. Pick up after yourself. The kids are allowed to play anywhere with their toys, outside, inside, the pool, wherever. They’re responsible to put their things away when they’re done. They also are responsible to put their shoes, jackets, and backpacks away after school.

4. Homework. We pay for A’s, $5 an A. Kids work hard independently to achieve goals, when report cards come out its pretty exciting around here. School is their job and you get paid to work, it’s simple.

5. Love. We love fiercely. It doesn’t matter if you make mistakes, don’t do chores, get bad grades, mess up…we still love. It’s important to know that you have someone on your side no matter what.

Sure, there are house rules but these rules are the most important ones, in my opinion. These things help make things move along effortlessly and swiftly. Yes, we have hiccups along the way but who doesn’t?! Having a large family isn’t hard, it isn’t unpleasant, and it is a chaotic mess around here. We have order, structure, and fun all balled up and that’s what makes our home amazing.

Next time you think, ‘Oh my gosh, how do they do it?!’ Just remember it’s normal for us and we think the same thing about small families. 🙂