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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Enormous Families: The New Normal?
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rated "G" by the Author.

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A woman tries to understand why some people choose to have so many kids in their families.

I have a neighbor on our street who has so many kids it's a wonder how she (or her husband) can keep tabs on them all.  They must have at least torty (or more) children!

I personally think the cuople must have rocks for brains!

And they're not the only ones.  There are several families, in fact, who have adopted kids (many have opted to adopt more than five kids), which only adds to the noise level on our street.  Most of the kids are pretty good, but some ... oh, boy!  They drive me crazy with their shouting and hollering constantly!!

Some of the families have gone as far as adopting children who have special needs.  I don't know when I have seen so many kids who are disabled gathered in one place.  Like, for example, the Sanduskys.  They have over SIXTY children (all but two adopted), and just about all of them have some type of disability or "special need"; yet Bill and Louisiana (the parents) love them as if the kids had been BORN to them!

They are wonderful parents, but sometimes, the kids can overwhelm them and things get out of control.  That happens in all families, but it seems to happen to the Sanduskys most of all.  A LOT.

Tomorrow I won't have to worry so much about them: they'll be gone practically all day.  Their one son, Johnathon, is getting married.  They are having the wedding at Centennial Park and the reception will be at their church banquet hall.  I am happy for Johnathon: doctors said he wouldn't live to see the age of five because of a neuromuscular disease; he will be 19 the day after Christmas.

Anyway, back to my story.  I have heard of families like the Sanduskys on the news or read stories in magazines, about how they manage to raise so many children ... and that is in addition to paying the bills, working at their jobs, and living out their lives as best as they can.  In today's economy, I don't know how they can even afford to raise all those kids: raising kids, in general, is outrageiously expensive!!

Then you add extracurricular activities such as sports, voice or music lessons, dance lessons, and the like, and you're talking serious bucks here!  How DO these Super Families DO it??  That is what I would like to know!!

And consider the cost of medical care for some of the children.  Medical care is not cheap, not by a long shot!  Some of the kids are in or out of the hospital because of surgery or maintaining their medical needs or they get sick, and I just can't see myself raising a child who is, say, severely handicapped with all sorts of issues.  That would drive me crazy!  How does a family raise their other kids in addition to taking care of the child who needs medical care 24 hours a day??

I couldn't do it!!  I know I couldn't!

Maybe if I had a child who was like ths, I could, but since I don't, it's something I think about whenever I see Bill or Louie taking some of their more seriously disabled kids out for a walk to the park or loading them up in their specially-made bus.

I hear about super families all the time: families who adopt chidlren from distant lands or children who have serious medical needs and yet, somehow, despite cultural or racial backgrounds, or the different types of special needs a kid may have, the families somehow manage to live in harmony.  I know I couldn't do it; they are much stronger than I will ever be.  Guess that is why Merrill or I never had any children.  

Raising one kid is probably hard enough, but I can't imagine someone like the Sanduskys (or others) who are raising 12, 20, 30, 40, or even MORE children than that!!  May God bless them; they need all the strength and fortitude that they can possibly GET!! 

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Reviewed by Paul Berube 10/15/2011
Having been a foster parent in my younger days I can appreciate this, Karen. We helped raise around 60 kids besides our own. Very, very well done, my friend. God bless.
Reviewed by Cindy Tuttle 10/15/2011
I add my admiration and prayer for families who share their love with so many special needs children.Another great story Karen.

With Love,
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 10/15/2011
I'm with this lady, Karen. I couldn't do it, either. ONE child is enough. LOL Well done!

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Rose Rideout 10/15/2011
We raised five children and that was more then enough on our plate Kare. It really takes a very special person to handle it.

Newfie Hugs, Rose

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