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Starting a New Tradition

October 13, 2015

Over the years, I have been blessed with amazing kiddos (those I birthed and those on loan temporarily from their families).  We are planning our annual family photo, and I got to thinking the other day how there are two photos that I really want.  One would be similar to the one buzzing on social media where shadows would be in place of our children who reside with Jesus.  I am proud to be a mom of seven, even though only three share the earth with us today.  As long as I live the most difficult question to answer will always be, “How many children do you have?”

Every fiber of my being wants to yell “SEVEN”, but sometimes I don’t because I don’t always know how invested in the inquisitor I will eventually be.

Yet to pull off a picture of that significance means having to coordinate schedules with the three children who have busy lives. It will be a cherished treasure when we finally coordinate it all.  The other photo I hope to organize is one with all of our children, including our “adopted” ones – who call me Mom, but only in the “God put us all together” sense of the word.  These sons have never lived in my home and all have families who love them. For a period of time, we have had the joy of calling them one of our own.  Now if I thought the first picture was going to be a challenge to coordinate, imagine adding one son (and family) in Africa, one son (and family) just up the road, two additional college student sons, and two other sons from our school days. If you didn’t notice a pattern here, our daughters are really outnumbered. Yep, I love each of extra sons as if they were my own, and once upon a time one of them surprised me one of the greatest honors I have ever received.  I wrote more about it on the Minnesota Bridging the Gap ministry blog page, and I am sharing it here.  But let’s just say the little girl in the tutu stole my heart from the moment she was born.

Future Mustangs

Adding a grandbaby into the mix helped start a new tradition – which is a really BIG thing around Team Stevens Headquarters. From cookies and cocoa on the first snow to tracing our handprints on Thanksgiving, we excel at celebrating the every day. To the world our celebrations may look to revere the ordinary, but to us, it is the reminder of who we are and what we cherish. The little stuff truly matters.

Families are incredibly unique. Birth families, adopted families, blended families, or family of your own creation. God loves them all. However you define family, and whatever traditions (old and new) you celebrate, be blessed in knowing that God loves the things that bring families closer together!

Now here’s hoping those schedules will work out for those photos!

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