Being a member of a large family
I have been asked many times “what it is like to have such a large family.” Another common question is “how do your parents have enough time for each of you?” Or “do you or any of your siblings feel neglected by your parents?”
I have really been considering these question for a while now. There is no hidden message or hint to anyone in this post. These are just my thoughts as I have pondered what it means to be a part of our family.
I love my family and wouldn't trade it for the world. There is not a single one of my siblings that I could dream of wishing were a part of a different family or more horrifically have no family at all. Yes, I have had moments where I wonder what my life would be like if I came from a more averaged sized family. I certainly wouldn't have as easy of a conversation starter. Maybe it is true that Mom and Dad aren't able to give us the same one on one attention that a child from a family of 3 or 4 kids would have but is that a bad thing? No one can doubt that we are each loved individually by our parents, we have been taught what is right, they know what each of our individual needs are, they make sure those needs are met. Isn’t that what is most important? Sometimes making sure our needs are met means sending a sibling to help figure out the math problem, or asking us to reach out a hand of friendship, or even teaching us to love each other so we can be there for each other without being asked.
Families aren't just made up of parents and their children. With it being the parents full responsibility to meet all of the needs of each of their children. Families are made of parents, children, brothers, sisters, daughters, and sons. Think about what each of those titles mean and the responsibilities that come with it. Parents are there to love, teach, and guide. Then we can all work together to meet each other’s needs on every level.
Our family is much like our spirit family. It is not uncommon to hear in Sunday school lesson or a conference talk that we need to be God’s hands. He can’t physically be there for every one of his children at all times. Yet, there is no doubt he loves each of us and takes care of every one of our needs. He accomplishes taking care of our needs by sending his children to care for our brothers and sisters.
Being a part of a large family has played a big role in shaping who I am today. It has helped me better understand our role in our larger spirit family and our responsibility to help our brothers and sisters. I have a better understanding of what it means to be a part of a whole family unit where we all work together.
Mom and Dad adopting two more boys this year is not just adding two more to our family and all the sacrifices that will come with it. It is caring for two more of our brothers and taking care of our Heavenly Father’s children. It is all of our responsibility to be there for each other both in our immediate family and our spirit family.
What is it like being a part of a big family they ask? It’s the best thing I could ask for. Because our parents have raised us in righteousness I better understand my worth, my responsibility as a daughter of God, and my responsibility as a daughter of Doug and Deanne. I am less concerned about myself (don’t worry I still have selfish moments, I’m not perfect) and more concerned about what I should be doing better to be there for my family.