This week’s Large Family of the Week is the Janak family from Michigan, USA. Mum Veronica and Dad Alan have adopted four children so far, and are in the process of adopting a fifth (fingers crossed!). Read on for more about this amazing family:
Introduce us to your family (names and ages & tell us a bit about yourselves):
I’m Veronica, and I am a SAHM – used to be a social worker before we had children. DH is Alan and he is a mechanical engineer. Our children were all adopted as infants, Miranda is the oldest, and was born in Guatemala. She is now 12, and is a sweet, kind, compassionate person. Colin is 10, and was born in South Korea. He’s in the gifted program in our school district, but is quite a handful! Olivia is 5, and she was born in Michigan. She’s very affectionate, and tries hard to keep up with her older sister and brother. Nathan is our youngest, 21 months old. He was born in Ft. Myers, FL. He’s a very busy little guy. Needs lots of cuddles, but also has an independent streak.
Do you consider your family to be large? If not, what do you think is the magic number which turns an average sized family into a large one?
Not really, but I know that most of society considers us such. I think 5 puts you in the large family category. I see 1-2 children as small, 3-4 children as medium, and 5-8 children as large. More than 8 is mega-large to me!
Did you ever think you would have a large family?
It’s all I ever really wanted in life. To be a wife and mother. At a young age, I wanted many children. I used to say 12, but as I got a very late start, that won’t happen for me. However, I am so very grateful for the four, hopefully five soon, that I do have.
What is your best moneysaving tip?
Staying out of stores, and when I do shop, having a list! I find it almost impossible to just “window shop” – I always see something I think I need! And with a list, I find it easier to say no to impulse buys.
What is your best tip for organisation?
Still working on that! But for me, it helps having a minimalist mindset (except for kids!). I believe that things just tie one down, and sap too much energy. So with less things in our house, I can stay better organised.
What is your favourite recipe?
Our family loves Shepherd’s Pie, and it’s great for us as I can make a big batch for two meals.
Do you cook the same meal for everyone or cater for different tastes?
I usually cook the same for everyone, but sometimes I will give a couple of options for lunch when all the kids are home.
What is the best thing about having a large family?
Having lots of people who love you and are on your side!
And what is the most difficult?
For us, feeling a bit crowded. Our house is on the small side, and we do hope to move to a larger home in a couple of years. Right now, all funds are going toward adding one more baby.
If you could offer one piece of advice to parents, what would it be?
Even amid the chaos, take time to enjoy the children. Time flies by so quickly and we don’t even realize it.
Don’t you have a television?
LOL! Yes, but we prefer to be filling out paperwork and making profiles to adopt more kids!
Do you know what causes it?
Yes, but in our case, maybe not what you think!
And finally, will you have any more children?!
HOPEFULLY!!! Our papers are in, and now we wait for an expectant mother to choose us to parent her child. Due to our ages, primarily, this will be our last, but I try not to think about that.