Monday, January 03, 2011


I haven't posted a bunch since coming home, though we're only on day 6 of being here.  But what I have posted has been-- I believe-- a pretty true-to-life account of what life is like here with 8 little people and 2 adults and the tag-teaming process of getting to know each other.  There's been some hard spots and some easy spots and some areas we were expecting the worst and hoping for the best and we were pleasantly surprised.  Other areas we were thinking one thing and found something totally different.  Neither of the kids' adjustment has gone exactly as we imagined it would and in some ways that's WONDERFUL and in some ways-- notsomuch.

But what I do try to be is REAL on here.  Real about the struggles as well as the joys.  Real about what our expectations were and what the realities are and how those coincide or differ.  Real about the feelings of our kids and the things they're all doing that helps or hinders life in general.  I generally just try to be real.

It's interesting to me that since I got custody of my newest kiddos I've gotten many comments that say exactly what I just posted... basically "thanks for being real."  And yet, today I received a comment that said this:
"How amazing to have such a perfect life!! You never seem to have any problems at all, and your family is always so supportive and perfect and never grumbles, even when WAY too much is asked of them! How can anyone ever have so few problems??" 

Before going any further, I want to add that immediately following this I received a second email from "a friend" of anonymous which apologized for the friend's comment and said that they were just talking about it.. etc.. she didn't know the friend would post that.  Thank you, friend of anonymous, for the apology.  I do appreciate that you are kind enough to write!!  I actually found it intriguing though, and it was obviously the topic of conversation... so it made it here :)

Now, back to the comment...

A few things stood out to me, of course the "snarky" attitude was the first, but once I got past that I realized that someone that has some resentment for me somehow actually agrees that I have the "perfect life!" LOL!  Ok, now seriously... take a step back and think.  I'm 28 years old (for another 3 weeks) and have 8 kids.  I have 7 kids in diapers right now.  6 have disabilities.  5 of my kids are adopted and we had to get 'permission' or even be chosen to have them.  4 of them have fairly severe limitations in what they're able to do for themselves.  3 of my children don't walk independently yet.  2 of the kids joined our family in the last week and still understand next to zero as far as English goes.  And I'm pretty sure that after all of that there's supposed to be a partridge in a pear tree.  And when you read between the lines it means that we make 3 meals a day for 8 kids on 6 different diets.  We change about 35 diapers per day and YES, we pay for every one of those diapers too.  We carry kids all over the place, lifting and moving and helping to walk and and and... for those that can't get around well.  We have kids who will need our help for their entire lifetimes.  We have kids that don't talk and don't communicate their basic needs or desires.  We are BUSY and it takes a lot to "run" our household on any given day.

Seriously, I don't try to claim that my kids are perfect and I BY FAR am not perfect, but this comment stood out to me and I'm SO THANKFUL that they posted.  Because aside from the laundry list of things that we deal with in a 24 hour period in our home, I am SO GLAD that I am still able to have a positive attitude and outlook in life through it that I can come across sharing our joys and trials and still seem to "have it all."

Most people don't comment to me and say I have the perfect life.  In fact, many heard about our latest additions and asked if we're gluttons for punishment or something along those lines.  People look at our family makeup and assume that we are miserable with life.  People find out we have multiple disabled kids and PITY us.

I was very glad that that anonymous post was there.  Because it said much more to me than the negatives, and showed me that even to the people that don't like me... (given from the tone of the comment) they can still see the joy in our family and in our lives.  Disabilities aren't the end all. Multiple little ones isn't the end of a happy life.  Diapers make landfills but not depression.

We DO have the perfect life... the one that God brought us to and that we are determined to ENJOY!

As for our families.  WOW, you are SO right that we are absolutely blessed by them!  We wouldn't ever just 'expect' them to step up in the ways they have recently and many times offered to hire babysitters to relieve them or make other arrangements, but you are absolutely right that they have stepped up and never grumbled.  God didn't just speak this adoption to us, but to others around us that HAVE supported us.  It is absolutely a blessing!

And lastly, I'm not really sure how anyone could have so few problems, but again... I think it's all just perspective.  I could write about the same things that I already write about but in a different perspective.  Instead of the positives of Aleksa figuring out how to lift a toilet seat and laughing about her peeing ALL OVER it while it was closed since they didn't have seats or lids on the toilets in her institution, I could write about how frustrating it was to clean it all up and how she needed a bath after peeing all over then sitting on the floor since I asked her to stop since she was covered in pee and she sat right down in it instead of just stopping leaving the room.  I could write that all up as a big frustrated VENT.  Or, I could get my breath back and my perspective back into where God wants it to be and be THANKFUL that she learned to lift the lid the next time and share that same experience as a tale of "oh goodness how my day went" with laughter through it and the many experiences of a day in the home of the Cornishes.

It's not that we don't have any problems... It's that our perspective isn't looking for the negatives-- though they're SURELY in there as you read.  Our perspective is to share our family in a very REAL way but to continue to keep our eyes focused on Christ through it all.  Before I put letters to paper (or, keyboards, rather), I have to check my perspective.  Words are one thing that cannot be returned to owner, and a written word never stops at the initial print.  JOY is that which our children bring us, and though I get FRUSTRATED, I wait until I can see past that and express what God had ME to learn before I vent out the frustrations to everyone else.

Do we have bad days?  CERTAINLY!  But the good ones far outweigh them, and as we travel this road with God as our guide, Jesus as the pilot... I have no doubt that we can find goodness and joy and teachable moments in every single day.  Like, for instance, a comment that was probably written to drag me down, but unintentionally has helped me to refocus and remind me that.. we DO have the perfect life, according to God's plans for us as His followers!!

Now, back to that thing called sleep which I DEFINITELY could use a little more of.  Four of my kids (minus Brianna) go back to school tomorrow so it will be an early start!


  1. The only issue I have with all you people who adopt is that you personally don't FUND the adoptions yourselves! You EXPECT people to donate money so you can go rescue a kid! THAT is what bothers me the most. I dont' care if you adopt 20 more kids! Just don't expect others to pay for it!

  2. I find people like that sad.. to be alive is a positive be graced with children is a privilege..if we were able to adopt i would from reeces in a heart beat but because we cannot we help fundrasie and donate..but i have children who even now want to save to adopt when they are older.I ask the negative person to be grateful for what god has given us and find one positive thing everyday to be grateful for.

  3. You guys are so amazing to me. I'm glad you posted about the Anonymous comment - your perspective is refreshing. I can't even imagine how challenging each day must be for you, but I also can't even imagine how wonderful it is to have such beautiful kids around you all the time, some who never would have had a chance at life outside an institution without you. My hat's off to all of you for being so selfless and, definitely, real.

  4. Bravo to you Meredith!!! I want to say "Thank You" to you for opening your lives for the world to see. Thank you for 'choosing' to see lifes obstacles differently than many do. Thank you for continuing to inspire other moms to strive to change our prospective on all of the things that can make us crazy on a daily basis.
    Thank you for loving those babies unconditionally and following where Christ leads your life. Thank you for living your 'Perfect Life' that God has designed for you. And Thank you for doing it with such JOY in your heart.

    Tami Wetmore

  5. good for you Cornishes;) I'm sure many people look at you as inspiring rather than all the negatives--yet I'm so glad God worked out the good in that comment;)

  6. From what I can guys are awesome! My husband and I often say we hope to have a family like yours one day- we are working toward that goal. I don't think you write anything that makes you seem like you think you're 'perfect' but I think you are honest and constantly positive. You are a true testament of people living for God.

  7. You nailed it when you said it's about perspective! You have such an amazing family that God has put together. Lately I've been convicted when I find myself grumbling (about really superficial things), and I just need to have a big dose of perspective. I love reading your blog and find your family inspiring!! One of these days I'm going to make it to your "hood" and meet you all!!

  8. My father in law always told me that "attitude is EVERYTHING," and that is one of the great truths I have come to live by. Your perspective might make it sound like everything is honky dory in your home, but how refreshing! Really. To read about what you guys do each day to care for and love these kids God has blessed you with, WITHOUT COMPLAINING, is quite inspiring. And I am so glad you have the helpers that you do! Thanks for sharing your life with us. It's a modern form of fellowship; don't you think?

    God bless.

  9. I feel certain that the negative comment person did not intend for this to end up being a positive pathway to communication, but it has turned out to be one. Meredith, you turned out to prove that after all you ARE the bigger person by not taking offense to the intended affront but to use it for reaffirmation of your goal to have a happy, well functioning family, and to enjoy life in the process! Life is about choices and it is a choice to see positives in every day and to consider the negative things as learning moments. You are living the life you choose with the family you choose. While it may at times feel hectic, you seem to be making sure that each of those small souls feel like a cherished person who will not grow up to feel like a burden to you, even if they remain dependent forever. Isn't that what we all intended when we adopted? God is blessing you every day.

  10. I read regularly and rarely post, but just have to say that I admire your clear gifts of being positive and creative multitasking! Your family seems such a beautiful oasis in our perfection obsessed, kid-unfriendly, hedonistic throwaway culture. Little worth doing is easy, but it must be really rewarding. Personally, I can barely handle my home, toddler (just 1!) and two puppies, so I find your answer to God's call very inspiring. How you manage it all, take great pictures of your kids, AND keep up a well written, detailed blog, is beyond me... maybe I will glean some wisdom/advice from your writings about your ability to keep your sense of humor, smile at the good things, and effectively manage the tough things of life.

  11. I love that you are positive. I also think it's nice there is someone out there who thinks a life like yours, a mom to 8 kids, 6 with special needs, is a perfect life. Even if she is being snarky while saying that!

  12. Yeah...what they all said!!! sad to find gloom everywhere...ya know? It must be difficult for some people to just get out of bed in the morning knowing all the negative crap awaiting them. I much prefer your attitude.
    My Noah has recently discovered the joy of being nekkid, much to my dismay. BUT, I realize the EPIC accomplishment this was for him and look at it that way, even when I'm cleaning pee or poo out of the carpet or reminding him to keep his fingers out of his butt cleavage. LOL! I love laughing, I guess that other person doesn't.
    She needs to take a moment and think about the people who have lost a child and would give ANYTHING to have the "negative" experiences we do. I know I think about them, and thank GOD every single day for my life...and Noahs, and for folks like you and Mike.

  13. I SO wish we lived closer so I could come "volunteer" and my Lucy could get some playing experience with your kiddos. We're in MD though :(
    You do a wonderful job of Thanking God IN everything, and I want to THANK YOU for your heart and eyes for God that you share here. God bless and keep you and your family. \o/

  14. Well i just have to add I think God has placed two amazing people to "handle & care" for His children. He gave you both the fruits of the Spirit and you both gladly accepted them. Galatians 5:22-23 (New International Version, ©2010)
    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

    I showed my husband one of your blogs and I had mentioned "Can you imagine what they go through on a daily basis?" I told my husband just wait our day is coming :). I read your blogs and I begin to change my ways on how I see things happen in my own home. I love how you write as I know you speak to my heart! Blessings to you today!

  15. you handled that well Meredith... it would have made me mad!!

    Blessings and congratulations on your ever expanding family :)


  16. People look at our family and say "I dont know how you do it every day!" it's all perspective. Our life is our normal, just as yours is your "normal". We learn to adapt. Yes there are some days when I wish my kiddos could walk themselves to the car, but 2-3 trips to the car is our "normal". I figure let people think what they want. We are happy and blessed to have great family support!
    For what it's worth, I think God has blessed you with an amazing job as a Mom! He had this all planned out long ago for you!

  17. So well said!!!! Perspective is everything and kudos to you for being able to move beyond this person's bad attitude and mean streak to find the positive in even that. I only hope to be so wise in my walk with God.


  18. Wait a minute! Wait a minute! I think you're perfect, and I think you have the perfect life! How do you do it? How do you always look so fresh? How do you manage to stay so composed, even with a glass bathroom door with no doorknob?

  19. I think you are absolutely right when you say it's all about perspective. You DO have an amazing life, and while 8 kids aren't for everyone, I love seeing your joy. It's so easy to tell that you love your kids so much, during the awesome and the frustrating. And everyone has the frustrations, some people just don't let them get them down.

  20. pooh on them...and if they cant find humor in life, thats their issue. Ive seen you in action, albeit with fewer kids, and even then I was in awe. You really ARE that capable, determined, positive. And I think you're pretty amazing, myself. So there. Michelle & Ciarra

  21. This is my first time posting. I am pretty new around here :)

    I plan on posting more and cant wait to see your family grow! (we have three, and are planning to buy a house in the next few months, and begin the adoption process of disabled children soon after...thats the hope anyway!)

    Real quick- have you ever thought of cloth diapering? We have for our three (not the old school, they have some great, easy as disposable) diapers out there (that also come in large sizes). Just thinking it might save you some money :)

  22. oh silly negative people! You handled that one very eloquently. Not surprised at all! You're a good egg Miss Meredith!

  23. Oh my goodness. I love reading your blog. That person must not be very happy. It is your blog and you can write about the positives of your beautiful life. That really urks me when people have to be nasty. NO one is perfect. My goodness. Keep your head up. You don't have to justify anything.

    You are so sweet. You all are so cute! I love reading your posts. Keep it up.

    You know sometimes technology makes Lions out of cowards. Having a face to face to conversation would never happen with this person.

    Bravo for how you handled it. I probably would have handled it um.... alittle differently LOL you know me being puerto rican and all LMAO.. :)

    You rock!