Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Date night for the Kings has become an act of ingenuity. Fitting in time for just the two of us, while taxiing six children to their various activities, is understandably difficult. In recent months we've adjusted to date mornings instead of date nights. Yes, we do wake up around 7:00 AM on Saturdays just so we can go on a date. As an added bonus, I am a morning person. Even more of a bonus, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. And if that's not enough, breakfast is typically cheaper than other meals. But, there are those rare Saturdays when the children's taxiing begins too early and the date has to be nixed. Like this past weekend. However, we did find a few free hours Friday evening so John decided we should see a movie. The movie of John's choice: Babies.

If you had known the two of us in our pre-children years, this choice would definitely shock you. Let me explain:

John comes from a family of six children. He decided long ago that six children is way too many. It's nothing personal against all of you King siblings; it just wasn't for him. I, on the other hand, had decided early on (as in about age 6) that I had only two goals in life: two be a teacher and a mother. If you look back at that wonderful School Days book that my mother kept for me, you'll see something like this listed under "Future Goals": Kindergarten: Nurse or teacher, 1st grade: Mother and Teacher, 2nd grade: Mother and Teacher, 3rd grade: Mother and Teacher. . . I won't bore you with the next 9 years except to say that it eventually just became "teacher". Not because I had decided not to become a mother but because once I learned how that happened, it wasn't cool to say it anymore.

I didn't give up on that God-given dream, and I truly believe it was/is God-given. Just as my oldest son plans to pursue a career in film technology, and my oldest daughter was born to act, I know I was to be a "Mother and Teacher". Of course one must build skills for her future position. So, babysitting became my thing. I also read stories about families. My favorite books were about families that adopted numerous children.

Fast-forward to college and after 2 years of dating John I decided that I'd better let him in on "My Plan"; the one that included tons of biological and adopted children. I decided that the best way to share this with him would be to ask him to read my all-time favorite family story: 19 Steps Up the Mountain. It is the wonderful story of a sacrificial family that had a total of 19 children, many of whom had physical and mental handicaps (this was all part of "My Plan", too). Surprisingly (to me) John did not share my love for this family or their mission. Interestingly, since that day John refuses to read any book I recommend. My daughter, however, will read any book about foster care, adoption, and large families. I have also read many of these books, including 19 Steps Up the Mountain, as family read-alouds. I figure a little education and persuasion, mixed with a large dose of brainwashing and indoctrination can only help "My Plan".

It could have been a deal-breaker. I'm not sure John really understood my passion for "My Plan". Everyone else did. Even our younger brothers got it and at our wedding performed a song they had written. One of the verses said, "And when your 13 kids are grown, we'll call them on the telephone. We'll tell them they should make a fuss 'cause we want them to be just like us." He still didn't get it.

So, here we are, 6 kids later. John wanted 2; I wanted 13. Six could be a pretty decent compromise. If I thought it was enough. But I don't.

To be continued . . .

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