By the normal, enjoyable, route God graciously gave us five children, then we adopted two more and have been blessed by a couple of dozen either living with us for a while, making our home away from home or with us developing a close relationship with them as we helped them get reasonable educations.
They are such a good looking mob that I would love to be able to show you pictures of them all, but that apparently is not a good idea. I will just number them and tell a story about a few.
- The first was delivered by Caesarian Section, an operation requested by us. At a prenatal check up his heart was playing up pretty grossly and we were advised that he would almost certainly be mentally abnormal and that we should just allow the pregnancy to go to term (which was soon) and see what developed. We did not accept that. Truly he had an irregular heart for a while but that soon settled. If he is mentally defective, I’m glad, for otherwise he would be so far ahead of me that I would be surpassed by an absolute genius.
- His mother wanted a certain name for him. A name which I didn’t like, so as I was learning by then how to occasionally win an argument , I said nothing but just put my choice in the paper, as we did in those days, with my choice listed. We had agreed on his first name. He has been director of a Bible School in the Sudan, lecturer at a Bible College and director of a mission school in Ethiopia and is now a pastor of a moderate sized church. I’m not sure but I think that he has four degrees.
- He was probably one of the two most difficult of our natural kids as a teenager, but has grown into a man’s man and is great. Trained in science, education and theology, and having been a maths teacher for years, he now is training to be a worker amongst disadvantaged men. He and his lovely wife have plans to extend their ministry even wider in the future.
- Our fourth child was born in the midst of a cholera epidemic. Heavily jaundiced we think that he developed a mild case of cholera. He is also well educated with several degrees and is a Maths teacher. Proud of him for many reasons, I am tickled pink because he turned down a promotion so that he could still keep contact with kids as he was trained to do. He was given a title as a young teacher of ‘magpie poop’. He had a patch of white on the back of his hair where he had suffered an injury and his hair regrew white.
- Our only daughter is the spitting image of her mother and thus very beautiful. Having trained as a preschool teacher she is now personal assistant to the head of the secondary division of a moderately large Christian School. She is a great violinist (her teacher once said that she was Symphony Orchestra material) and a beautiful singer. Which, given her parents singing ability hints at a mutated gene.
- A double orphan, starved, protein wise, as a child, came to us as a teenager. Given his background, he has achieved as much as any of his older siblings and is qualified in geriatric care and has the drive to be setting himself up to provide services for the disabled. Personality wise he is a delight.
- As a child born out of time he became ours legally when we were seventy-ish. Again a near teenager when we ‘got’ him, he has turned out a gem. I guess, like all of us, time will tell but he is a keen and competent apprentice, good at IT. While we were still in Ethiopia he made money by fixing up many others computers and phones. He is very helpful for his IT backward parents!
Older than our oldest child, the first young man we brought to Australia to study has become head of a significant and quite large government organization in Australia. Offered the post of head of a diplomatic post in Africa, he rejected it for various reasons. He has a beautiful family and his oldest son was the first to give us a child who acknowledges us as great-grandparents.
We have been able to help over 20 young people through their education. A few have disappointed us, most of them have made us very proud. CEO’s, presidents of organizations, teachers, and although not helped by us financially a number with whom I’ve been involved in their training are top-notch doctors. I get the greatest joy from them when they write or message and thank me for my work ethic and even more when they talk about our role in their developing Christian faith. Thus several of them are now professors and heads of strategic medical units.
Maybe not financially, but cheaper by the dozen, and we luv ’em all.