Hi. My name is Brian and here is everything you need to know about me in 700 words or less! I am a middle aged man and I am not normal. I was born in Texas. At the age of six weeks I was adopted and my parents took me home to live with them in New Mexico. I don’t remember when my parents told me I was adopted, I just always knew, and I was fine with it. Being adopted was just normal to me. I have a relatively normal sister who has a normal husband. My parents are super normal. My father is a retired air force pilot and my mother a retired community college nursing instructor. So why am I not normal?
I lived a very typical life in a typical mid sized town and made typical grades all throughout school. Upon graduation I went to the typical college down the road. During my sixth year there I met my very not so typical wife Carrie, and two years later we married. Typical couples generally have children within five years. Typical couples work apart and often play apart. They have limits as to how much time they can happily spend together. My parents are that way, my sister and her husband are that way. Most people I know are that way. But not me and Carrie, but then again, we aren’t typical.
Not only was Carrie my wife, she was also my best friend. We did everything together, both work and play. We were both teachers and we shared classrooms and an office. We enjoyed each other’s company and we spent virtually every minute together. We decided early on that we didn’t want children. Why would we want anything or anyone interfering with our special relationship, our super relaxed lifestyle? We didn’t want the responsibility, the financial burden and loss of freedom that children would certainly bring. So, for 16 years we ate out, went to the theater and traveled whenever and wherever we wanted. And then one day we found ourselves driving back to Texas from one of our many trips. On a particularly boring and lonely section of road in Arizona (or was it New Mexico) I turned to my wife and announced. “I think I want to adopt a baby girl from china”. And that’s when the train left the track!
Fast forward 13 years. My wife is still my best friend and we still live in a small three bedroom house in Houston, but that’s about all that remains of our former life. We now have six children adopted from China and the Democratic Republic of Congo, three boys and three girls ranging in age from six to eleven. I quit my job 10 years ago to stay at home and mix formula and change diapers. Now I home school all six of them, and beginning today, I write a blog.
Driving off the track 13 years ago may not have been normal or typical, but it has been very interesting and quite educational. It began with the great adoption paper chase, then the great wait, and finally the Great Wall. We experienced becoming parents for the first time in our 40s (OK Carrie was 39) Carrie and I experienced a third world country and crippling poverty close up. We watched our family grow from two to three and then to four and then six and finally to eight. We watched our house stay exactly the same size. We had the pleasure of four children in diapers at the same time. We have felt the eyes of people trying to figure out just what we were. Were we a small school? or foster parents? We learned about black culture, black hair, and Black Lives Matter. We learned a lot about home schooling and have come to realize that we still know next to nothing.
No, we aren’t normal and the size of our family certainly isn’t typical. Nevertheless, over the last thirteen years Carrie, the kids and I, have learned how to laugh, love and learn together. I hope you will join me as I share our experiences and what we have learned as a family of eight.
The Daddy Who Needs A Timeout!