Our family has grown so much since my last post. Not in quantity, but in size! :) My last post, we added Kenna, Korbin, and Klaire to our family making us a family of 12. The past 3 years have been spent bonding, learning, and adjusting. The adjustment has been MUCH easier in some ways but much more difficult in other ways (mostly catching them up in school, cultural miscommunications, and helping them to feel safe in their new world) than what we had prepared for. They are truly INCREDIBLE kids and have added so much flavor and joy to our family. I thought this post would be a good opportunity to "reintroduce" our kiddos. People often wonder how big families work. They see big families as one big "whole" and while that is correct in a sense, each of our kids are so unique and such individuals who happen to share a home and family, just like smaller families.
The whole Crew on Easter 2016
Kemry, far left, is 9 now. She was adopted from Guatemala when she was 7mo old. She is seriously as hard core as a person can get. :) Extreme sports, extreme love, extreme energy, extreme tomboy.....EXTREME is her word. :) She is usually the first Cash kids others' meet or get to know when they meet us because she tends to put herself out there (understatement ha). She is seriously SO joyful and truly loves and wants to know everyone.
Kenna is now 17 and the word I would describe for her is SERVING. She was born to serve. She is an old soul, mommy at heart, incredible service-minded young lady. Her mission in life is to make everyone feel loved and important everywhere she goes. She sees the person and their needs before she sees anything else about them - their clothing brand, their hairstyle, their "cleanliness", their "social position". She lives to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Kerrigan is now 5. Where did the time go? She is a great little combination of all our daughters, so she can be quite complex. :) She makes it work beautifully, though. She is extremely girly, something new to our family. She is extremely loving and her love language is TOUCH. Oh my word, this girl must be hugging, touching, holding hands, patting your arm, or whatever all the time. :) She laughs through everything from dental procedures to grocery shopping. She is genuinely just HAPPY. That would be her word. HAPPY.
Karly, is now 18, almost 19. AHHH She is our oldest daughter. She graduated from homeschool last May and is in college this year (commuting from home). Karly's word would be FREE. She does not take life too seriously or stick to the status quo. She isn't going to stress about life's decisions because she knows the most important thing is living for Jesus and the other details will just fall into place. :) Whether it's college courses, plans for the day, or even her future, she is content to enjoy each day and just let God make the plans. :D I secretly wish I could be more like this. :)
Karaline is our 3rd oldest daughter and she is 16 now! She has a pet snake and has inspired us to look at the magnificence at God's less desirable creations. She can find beauty and importance in the underdogs, the feared, the "gross" and tends to have more love for those creatures than the cute, cuddly. The word I would give her is JUSTICE. She hungers for fairness and equality. She does not like people or animals being treated unfairly and will fight with God's sword if she encounters this. Being still a young lady and in her walk, she is having to learn how to fight these battles with God's love (her mama is still having to learn that too) because she is so passionate about this.
Klaire is now 10, almost 11. She has had the most struggle with finding her new place in our family. See, in Ethiopia, she considered Kenna her mom because Kenna cared for her and kept her safe from birth and throughout their lives in the orphanage. She never felt she "needed" a mom like the other 2 felt, so coming to America WITH "her mom" to get a "new mom" was difficult. :) We are so grateful she never felt the loss of someone to protect her and care for her, however it created an unfair situation for Kenna in having to be a mom so young instead of being a child herself. So we have worked hard since she came home to transition her to trusting me as her mom to provide for her in order to free Kenna up to reclaim some of the childhood she lost. It hasn't been easy....at all. Klaire's word would be TEACHER. She loves to help others and to teach them new things. She is so good with younger kids and I can trust her so much with Kerrigan (she and Kemry have much more of a struggle). She is such a very sweet girl always drawing pictures and writing love notes to each of us, even though life has made her sweet little heart very complex with her feelings.
Kolton (far left) came home from Ethiopia 7 years ago at the age of 6. He turns 13 in a couple of months! His word would have to be CHILL. Oh my word, this boy is SO laid back and easy going, it's almost envious. He takes things with a grain of salt and is possibly our most non-confrontational. When he gets upset, I know to take it very seriously. He is a natural with babies, I think because they sense how easy going he is. He is the best babysitter in the house (as long as he isn't SO easy-going the tougher kiddos take advantage of his sweetness ha).
Kollin is 20 now and in his 2nd year of college. Kollin's word is PRECISE. He has everything planned out and analyzed and has put it into action. :) He is studying psychology with a minor in logic with plans to go into psychological research after he is finished with this studies. He is also very loyal to his friends. It takes longer for him to consider someone a friend, but once he does, there is nothing he wouldn't do for that friend.....for LIFE. Kollin is my brain workout. He keeps my brain well exercised with our conversations because they are usually one step above the level my intellect is typically working at.
Korbin is about to turn 14 (on paper, that is. We all know he is actually older but Ethiopia's birth date estimation is usually very far off). My word for him would be LOYAL. It is harder to break through his wall to earn his trust, but once you do, he will devote his life to you for eternity. Because of that, he is close to fewer people, actually VERY few people, but those he is close to, he pours so much intense love and trust into. He is actually like this with all of life. Whatever has his interest at the time, he pours all of his time and focus into until he knows it better than the experts....animals, math, the human body, whatever has his interest at the time.
Karson is also turning 13 next week actually. He is a mama's boy and has always been my shadow. I love his companionship. :) His word would be LOGIC. If something doesn't make sense, he must find a way make sense of it. He is the inventor, experimenter, mad scientist of the family. :) He is always coming up with a new system for doing something that will make life more efficient for our family (even if the process itself makes life very UNefficient haha). He is a very helpful personality to have around! ;)
And that's us....I wouldn't trade even a second with my crazy crew for all the riches in the world :)