Mamas Tell All: Choosing Your Family Size [a linkup]

Our family of 4 in 2012, with the Indian Ocean behind us.
The question for this week's linkup is: How did you choose the size of your family?

What a question!

We were actively trying to avoid pregnancy when I got pregnant with Nate. We had talked about adoption. We had talked about waiting for a couple of years, then trying to get pregnant. We had not yet totally decided to have kids, how many, or how they would join our family.

I was sick the entire pregnancy, had a physically traumatic and damaging delivery, and had many horrible months postpartum, trying to heal. I was not eager to repeat the experience, and Rodgers was dead set against it. We talked more about adopting the rest of our family, but we were starting to plan moving to Kenya, where we would start an orphan ministry (which we did - Maisha Kamili and Facebook link). How would we choose one or two to adopt and not the rest?

With the prospect of moving overseas, and with Nate already a biracial, bi-cultural, dual citizen kid (my husband is Kenyan, and I am American), I started really, really wanting him to have a biological sibling. We would be bouncing between the US and Kenya. Nate would be part of both cultures, and yet be an outsider in both cultures. Wouldn't it be best for him to have a sibling to experience all that with him? Rodgers was not on board. But he did get on board with not trying to avoid pregnancy, and if God gave us another kid, so be it! Ben was born 9 months later (scheduled c-section, much nicer delivery, and much, much easier recovery, but pregnancy is still my enemy).

Some of the MKKs
With a biological sibling for Nate, I was content, at peace. Rodgers was way past done. We won't have any more biological children (unless God surprises us again). Is our family complete? Not really.

There are 35 kids in Kenya, some single orphans (have lost their fathers), some double orphans (have lost both parents). Most of them live with their relatives, but 4 (ages 18 and older) live in a duplex right next to our house, and some other 18+ year olds live in rooms we rent for them near their schools. We help them with school fees, buying books and uniforms, medical care, and even groceries, where necessary. These are also our kids!

Some of them have exited Maisha Kamili's sponsorship for various reasons (finished school, got a job, found alternate means of support), but we still count them as MKKs (Maisha Kamili Kids).

People have asked us how many we plan to help. The duplex can fit 8, and we can handle 30 sponsored kids at a time, but as they grow up, finish school, and get jobs, we can take on more. Children's homes for those who have no relatives to live with are also in our future. That will increase our capacity over 30, also, as new staff will be hired as house parents. There is no limit but what God has planned!

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Find more family stories at the linkup:


  1. Still trusting that there will be no more biological siblings for Nate and Ben.


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