The Boroughs Family

The Boroughs Family

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas! These pictures are from my phone, so not the best. I had to share the sensory wall panel my husband made for our youngest kiddos. Isn't it great?! They all really enjoy playing with it!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Christmas Ornament Fundraiser!

We are so excited to be doing another fundraiser with These gorgeous ornaments are made out of recycled oil drums! $10 per ornament or 3/$27 or 5/$45. Shipping $3. Please email for availability and payment instructions:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions: Part One

So I thought it might be fun to answer the questions we hear most often, by category:

 As you can imagine, a household of 13 individuals produces lots of laundry! Currently we have one large capacity front load washer, and one large capacity dryer. We put quite a bit of mileage on those appliances each year. Laundry day is EVERY day. If I am out with appointments one or more days during a given week, the catch up can be challenging. Four of the older kids do their own laundry, each on an assigned day, including their bedding and towels (each kid has their own towel). The number of loads varies on the events of the day: diaper/catheter malfunctions mean additional bedding/pillows - as was the case yesterday. We use homemade laundry detergent and instead of dryer sheets we use wool dryer balls.

 People are always curious about how I cook for a large family. I remind them that I stared preparing meals for a much smaller family, and just learned to make more as we grew one (or two) at a time. Meals are planned. There is no "winging it" when you cook for 13. I plan for a week or two weeks at a time, trying to arrange meals based on the calendar (meaning if one of the kids has a specialist appointment, then it's usually a simple meal that can go in the crockpot, like a soup). We have 4 crockpots of varying sizes. We also have 2 bread machines that are used to make dough for pizza, rolls, breadsticks, English muffins, etc. We eat lots of soups, casseroles, pasta/rice dishes.

 Last year my husband moved us to a completely electronic calendar. Initially I resisted giving up my old fashioned paper calendars, but it has been a huge improvement.  We both have a calendar on our phones and on the iPad at home. Whenever we add an event, it immediately uploads to ALL the calendars. Technology is awesome!  I schedule follow up/routine appointments when I am at the doctor/dentist/orthodontist/specialist with the kids. It's impossible to keep track if I don't get it on the calendar immediately. We have eleven kids in 8 different schools, 6 different districts, so keeping track of schedules is essential. We try to be very conscious of how much we put on the calendar. Not every person can do every event that comes up, or it would result in complete chaos. For instance, my one daughter is finishing up her cross country season, just in time for my two seniors to start practice for the school play. Two of our kids participate in special olympics bowling, but practices are just Saturday mornings. There seems to be a natural rotation so that everyone gets to participate in some activities that they enjoy. It's also been very helpful having two additional drivers in the house! Part two coming soon.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What we've been up to: in pictures

Sam turned 8!

Ivan took his military costume very seriously

Blair was Woody. Again.

Maddie the monkey, Sam the M & M, and Luke the karate champ

Our beautiful Albertine turned 17!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bracelet Fundraiser!

I love, love, love these bracelets! They are made in Haiti and each one has a tag sharing about the artisan who made it. The best part is half the profits go to help the artisans and the other half go to our adoption expenses. They are perfect gifts, each uniquely handcrafted. 

Each bracelet is $8, and $3 shipping per order. Please email me if you would like to order for payment instructions (and to make sure we have some left! They are selling FAST!)

Thanks for supporting our adoption! Our goal is to sell 150 bracelets.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Wrung but not broken

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken.
If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin
of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable." ~ CS Lewis

Wrung(verb): to twist forcibly, to affect painfully by or as if by some contorting or compressing action, to distress.

Wrung is a good description of the state of our hearts. The day our special visitor left us, was one of the hardest of my life. I am choked up as I write this. I never felt compelled to host, because I knew it would be so hard to say goodbye. I truly had no idea of the depth of the grief we would feel. That being said, I wouldn't trade those 5 1/2 weeks to escape that pain. We cherish every moment we had this summer, and although our hearts are wrung, they are not broken! We are working as hard and as fast as we can to bring our boy home. Forever. It's what carries me through the intense ache in my heart. Please join us in praying earnestly.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Our Special Visitor

We are having so much fun with our special visitor. We enjoy seeing his personality come out and the friendships that are forming. He had a dental exam and cleaning (and was a model patient), went to the movies, visited with some cousins, went out to eat, and celebrated his birthday! He fits in perfectly with our crew. Not sure how we will say goodbye soon. We are praying that it won't be goodbye, but rather "see you later"!

Friday, July 26, 2013

For Hanson

Today a candle lit in memory of a precious little boy who perished while an orphan. He now rests safely in the arms of Jesus.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A week in pictures!

Our special visitor has been with us a week! What a great time we are having with this precious little boy! So much fun and so many firsts for him! I think we've worn him out with all the adventure!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Keeping it Real: Autism

The day we met Irina we knew. I loved her immediately, we knew she was our daughter, and yet fear bubbled up in my heart. Autism. It was at the top of my list of "can't handle" diagnoses. Autism. I whispered in my heart, "God, I'm scared. I think she's Autistic". If we had known in advance, I'm not sure I would have been brave enough to proceed. God knew that. That night, I finally summed up the courage to say it out loud to my husband, "I think Irina has......Autism". He simply responded, "I know. It will be okay." End of conversation. We proceeded with Irina's adoption, and a year later we accepted the "formal" diagnosis of Autism by our trusted Developmental Pediatrician. I had officially entered new and unfamiliar territory.

I want to be clear, I do not regret for one second that we adopted Irina. I love this little girl with a fierceness I can't even describe. But, it has been hard in ways I could never have imagined. There are worries and challenges I have never previously experienced with any of our other children. Somedays we rejoice at the amazing progress she has made, and the milestones she has met and surpassed. Somedays I cry. Hard. Somedays Autism makes me feel like a failure as a mom. Most days I wish it wasn't a challenge that Irina (and our family) has to face.

This week we took our son for a follow up appointment with the Developmental Pediatrician. He sees his doctor on a regular basis for his ADHD and Down syndrome diagnoses, but we had some specific concerns regarding his development and behavior. The doctor spent three hours evaluating Luke and discussing our concerns. We are scheduling some more testing/evaluating, but I knew at the end she was going to say that her concern was Autism.

The drive home from the appointment, I was a little surprised about how fine I felt. Maybe hearing "autism" for a second child was easier to accept? It wasn't until hours later that it hit me like a ton of bricks, and I felt my knees might buckle and the tears flowed. I don't love my son any less, and he is the same little boy he was days ago, but it's hard to explain the weight of an Autism diagnosis. It is a hard road to travel.

Maybe you are facing a potential Autism diagnosis for your child? Maybe you just have concerns that your child's development is tracking toward ASD. I guess I just want to say you aren't alone. It's not an easy thing to hear. It doesn't change "who" your child is, but it does set you on a new path. Autism is a road that isn't easy to travel, but one that I can assure you that you will not travel alone. I am no Autism expert. I'm still trying to find my way. I am just a fellow traveler, but I understand. Feel free to contact me if you need someone to talk to.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

You might have a large family if....

You buy a 35 pound pail of peanut butter

You make this many twice-baked potatoes

This looks like your laundry room (only the baskets are rarely empty!)

This is the size can of tomato sauce you need

You need this many pull ups

Summer Fun!

Summer has officially begun! That means lots of fun in the pool, eating outside, popsicles, and ice cream!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Happy 10th Birthday, Blair!

This guy is truly the life of the party! You would never know he started life as a medically fragile baby. We are so thankful for all the love poured into him by the amazing staff at Mother's Choice in Hong Kong. We can't imagine life without our precious Blair-Blair!

Happy 8th Birthday, Irina!

It's hard to believe that four years ago on Irina's birthday, we were in Ukraine adopting her. It made us so thankful it was the last birthday she would experience in an orphanage. Every year since, she celebrates as a precious daughter, who is treasured and loved!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Randomness in pictures

Just some of the random happenings at our place: We got chickens!

My brilliant plan to make ahead sandwiches for the summer!

The items my husband found while doing washing machine repair.

The Queen of Sass!

Homemade Sunday morning donuts.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

What are you doing this summer?

We are very excited to be hosting this precious little guy from Asia for 5 weeks this summer! This will be our first experience hosting. The goal of these programs is to expose children to family life, while hopefully identifying a forever family for them. We are really looking forward to welcoming this precious one to our family, even if only temporarily. Please pray for us and pray that God will send the perfect family to make him their son!