1. Tell the rest of my readers a little bit about your kids (don't forget the adopted ones).
ALL of my kids??! Geez, everyone should be sitting...
Jennifer is 23, married to Dean and has 2 children. Her dad and I have been *so* proud of her for many things, but most of all with how she has grown to be a wonderful mother, especially to her daughter with multiple special needs
Naomi is 21, in the Navy stationed in Hawaii and engaged. She is one of our "brainy" children, though you might not be able to tell with her curly blond hair. She often used to brag she is "no sheep!"
Janinne is 19, in Alaska. Our Bi-Polar child, it was a relief to finally have a diagnosis after years of wondering, and lots of *stuff*. She is doing ok on her own and could do big things if she so chooses. We had to give a lot to God with this one, because so much was simply out of our control.
Nick is 17- trying to figure out what he wants to do in life. He'll be a great dad if he chooses that, but we sort of hope he or at least one of our boys will be called to the priesthood.
Josh is 15- We are fairly certain he is Bi-Polar as well but not to the extent of his sister. He is highly intelligent and simply chooses not to interact if he doesn't feel the need. He is definitely a non-conformist. We need to find some way to motivate him and help him figure out what to do with his life as well so he will have a direction to move into. We worry about him the most at the moment.
Nathan, 12 is our funny man. He is light hearted, and though stubborn like his brothers I think he takes in more than he lets on. He is becoming more responsible by the day.
Joanna 9 1/2 is our never ending chatter-box. She is never daunted by her brothers teasing, she won't let up if she wants an answer, and she has a pretty good head on her shoulders
Nikki is 10. She tries to please, but then again she can be sneaky. She is good with her siblings, but though she may seem docile on the surface, she can let her siblings "have it"!
Jesse is 7. She is a little harder for us. She came when she was 3. She has a hard time understanding why she can't do everything her older sisters do. She is very smart about some things, but there are others...Well, let's just leave it as some kids are more challenging than others !
Justin is 6. He is smart. He hasn't decided if he wants to be a 'tough guy' like his brothers and grow up, or be the little boy who loves to stroke my hair and cuddle. He was so excited "he" got a baby brother when Jonathan - (almost 2) was born. He is very protective of him and loves to play with him.
Jonathan is a very lucky boy. He has his siblings eating out of his hands. Unlike his older brothers, he has weaned before he is even 2. He couldn't wait to get up and go play with his pick of the other kids. He comes back for snuggles and kisses and sympathy at times, but quickly runs off.
2. How do you deal with the "fertility police"?(those people who feel called to discuss in public the number of children you have or will have)
well- I think it must be that I'm older and used to occasional comments, or maybe that I am so non-chalant about having a large family that most people don't really know "how" to respond, but the fertility police don't bother me too much any more. Every so often when a child acts up someone will try to insinuate it is perhaps because they don't "get enough individual attention at home". (HA!) THAT irritates me at times, but I have a totally different set of values than people like that and no amount of explaining will make some people understand. I guess I've just learned to let it roll-and tease them anput how we might not be "done" yet!
3. What made you decide to become a midwife?
Hmm. It was something I just knew I was supposed to do. As a 2nd grader I "decided" I would be a nurse- my Godmother was a nurse, but I don't know for sure if that was the influence or not. In 6th grade, I knew without a doubt that I was supposed to get married, have lots of babies, and that I was also supposed to deliver babies. I got a little confused at that point because I only knew about doctors delivering babies and couldn't figure out how on earth I could get married and have kids and still do college, med school , and residency. Then a friend of my mom decided she was going to be a midwife. ??? OHH There are midwives? Nurse midwives?? That explained it all. End of decision. I guess it really wasn't a "decision" per se, but more of a calling. Not that I heard any voices or anything. I just knew that is what I was meant to do.
4. Have you always been Eastern Rite, or was this a change in your life?
My mom was a Catholic convert as a teen. When we were kids she was a catachist and became upset at the Latin Rite and the number of people , including priests, that were teaching things that were contrary to true church teaching. She found out about the Eastern/Byzantine Rite Church that had just opened a few years before and we started going there. The Eastern tradition had held true to the "old" and hadn't been impacted as badly by Vatican 2 changes that some people- or many people really- took too far. Not long after that, she, and my dad petitioned Rome to get permission to "formally" change our Rite from Latin Rite to Byzantine. I was around 12 when we became officially Byzantine.
When I met my husband, he was Latin Rite, but one trip to our Byzantine Church and he never looked back. There is such mystery and beauty and deepness in the Liturgy and in the Lenten and other tradition prayers. The singing, the insence, the prayers all make it seem like you taste a bit of heaven for the time you are there.
5. How many icons do you have hanging around the house? Is there one in your office? Do you have a favorite icon?
We have tons of Icons, but truthfully a lot are in boxes because we haven't a place to put them since we have been threatened with the need to move. We have one in about every room I think. I have one in my office, as well as a post card picture of the Icon Screen from our parish in Az. I don't have a favorite. I love them all!