My name is Henrietta Daveneaux (Dah veh no). I live in Galveston, Texas, with my husband, Charlie, and our ten children. We have seven of our own and we just recently added three more, swelling the ranks to ten total.
It is already mass chaos and confusion, but with time, I am sure the three new additions will settle down once they get used to us and their new life here in America.
My husband works for American Airlines as a mechanic. He makes darned good money, so we don't have to worry; however, raising kids today is expensive, especially with gas (and just about everything else on the up and up). I am, meanwhile, a homemaker and homeschool instructor. I love it; I can teach my kids and know where they are at all times and teach them at their own pace.
And I can teach them about God and the Bible.
We have three daughters and seven sons. We have one daughter and two sons who were born to us (Charlie, Jr., Christopher, and Camilla, who are 17, 14, and 11). Then a few years ago we started adopting. We adopted children with special needs: children older than the age of two years or children with physical, behavioral, emotional, or mental disabilities or conditions that prevent them from functioning within a society that does not accept people who are "different". We wanted to make a statement, to show these kids that we cared, so we took them in to raise as our very own.
Our special children came to us from a variety of places: China (Emma and Dorcas, who are 4 and 10), Russia (Ian and Scottie, who are thirteen and six), Haiti (Christopher, who is eight), Poland (Antony, who is three; he's our youngest), and finally, Talen, who is nine), who comes to us from Uraguay (South America). They are all wonderful kids but all are learning about their new home here in American and some are even learning English for the very first time, which is always a challenge.
Three (Ian, Antony, and Talen) were born with spina bifida. Ian and Scottie can walk (with braces and crutches); Talen, meanwhile, cannot. He has other serious medical problems and is often in and out of the hospital, which is always a scary time for all of us.
Emma has cerebral palsy (she cannot walk either) and Dorcas has a mild form of autism. Scottie has severe asthma and is allergic to just about everything under the sun; like Talen, he, too, is often in and out of the hospital.
Finally Chrstopher is blind but gets around very well with the aid of a white cane and a seeing eye dog. He has always been very independent, ever since we adopted him five years ago, when he was only three. He is such an amazing little boy; we couldn't be more proud of him!
We have lived in Galveston, Texas since 2005 (six years). Before then, we lived in Lake Charles, Louisiana, but Hurricane Rita forced us to leave. Then we got hit with Hurricane Ike and had severe damage to our home, but friends and members of our church came to our rescue and rebuilt our home and replaced what we had lost in the storm. It was a genuine miracle!
I don't konw what we would do without our newest additions to the brood, but one thing IS for certain: we cannot imagine our family without them. Sure, there may be many challenges, but we are willing to face them head on and give our kids anything they need in life and to ensure that they are loved, fed, and well cared for.
We don't know what the future may hold, but as long as we have God on our side, we WILL make it!!
I hope you enjoyed reading about our growing family. It is crazy at times, but we wouldn't have it any other way!
God bless and take care; I will write in here again soon!
~Love, your new friend from Galveston, Texas, Henrie D. :)