Our Family Story on Film

All twelve children - the Sullivan family


All twelve children - the Sullivan family


I have some public speaking engagements coming up, and trying to explain what our family is about in a three minute introductory video is easier said than done!

I’ve given it a shot.  What do you think?













12 thoughts on “Our Family Story on Film

  1. In 15 kids and counting you talked more about your faith. I wondered why it was something that has not been mentioned really in your story in more recent times. I hope you don’t mind me asking.

    1. 15 Kids was hugely skewed in its editing, not only from the religious
      angle but also from the health in pregnancy one. We were in serious
      discussions after the airing and very close to taking the matter
      further, given that our Twin Pregnancy Diary which was published the
      month before the programme had aired, was nothing like the portrayal
      given in the programme.

      Whilst we were prepared to be criticised for having a large family and
      home educating, we were not prepared to defend the poor pregnancy
      health I didn’t have nor did we expect to defend religion, something
      we had explained to the producers we actually knew little about but had set about finding out before having six children baptised, as we wanted to know
      the reasons why we would want to do it and not just have a christening
      for christening’s sake. This was then edited to make us seem that rather than having faith and a belief that there is a God, and wanting to find out more about it, that we were ‘extreme’ in our views.

      Having had eight miscarriages, we do view ourselves as being very
      lucky to be able to carry a baby to term and to give birth to it and
      hold it, so do regard that our children are blessings. We do not think that children should be taken for granted.

      Regarding religion, I am a Greek Orthodox, Mike is Catholic, my oldest
      son is agnostic and my oldest daughter is atheist. My parents were
      Greek Orthodox and non-practising muslim, our children go to Boys and
      Girls Brigade as part of a night’s socialising (run by the Baptist
      church). Mike and I believe in God, I would like to think the children
      we lost are in heaven, but have only attended church maybe four times
      in two years. So you see the reality is far different to the
      portrayal. We had been told lines to say in 15 Kids, and again in 16 Kids but by then were less naive about their editing, so were quick to refuse to say things we wouldn’t normally say. This led to some issues sometimes!

      Our quest to be self-sufficient is led more by Richard Briers and The
      Good Life than the bible, and our determination to support our family
      by ourselves rather than to depend on anyone else is to allow
      ourselves and our family more freedom than a boss or employer or a
      teacher or school would give us, both in what our children learn, how
      we earn, how much we can earn and what we can do with our time – not necessarily because that’s what the Bible says as we haven’t studied it like perhaps we should, but because that’s how we feel. Life is short!

      Some people do believe in God, some don’t, some aren’t sure and some don’t care and all of that is fine by us. Our views are very simple, we believe because we do, but we aren’t able to defend or argue things like someone who has studied it as we haven’t. If things that we believe in line up with the Bible, that’s great by us!

  2. Thank you for your honest and interesting response. I was amazed how the portrayal of you in 15 kids was so different from reality. I wonder if they wanted an English Duggar family and so edited you that way. The Duggars and lovely, but so are the Sullivans, just coming at the same thing from different angles.

  3. What a beautiful family you have! The video is showing so much love, fun and so many children :) 5 loads of washing a day. I have no idea how you manage that, let alone anything else! Well done to you guys. I am glad you found your way to my little blog (haha, I consider us a large family with 4 children, you must be laughing!)

  4. Awwww, you made me smile with tears down my face!

    Hope you don’t mind, but I think I’m going to be one of your biggest fans =)

    I’m a father of 12 (last boy born Nov. 3rd 2014) and no twins, no adoptions. So when I started searching for parenting websites for families i could relate to and talk with, I found yours. =)

    Will be back after work to start reading and commenting. God BLESS you!

    Wait…He already has….LOL

    – Jaime Buckley

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