Where There’s a Will

by debi9kids on January 10, 2012

I think there comes a point where every parent most parents realize that the responsibility of their children may (or could) fall upon someone else if , God forbid, a tragedy occurred. It’s not something that anyone wants to think about, or admit, but in being honest with ourselves, we know “things” can happen.

Russ and I have put off the Will discussion for a long, long time. It’s not that we’ve never talked about it and it’s not that we don’t think about it, but it is something that has long stumped us.

The choice to have a large family is a private one and we realize that often everyone does not agree with us. So, the decision to possibly leave our children with someone who wouldn’t necessarily chose to have a large family on their own is absolutely not made lightly.

That has long been the reason we have left that part of our will blank, in hopes that there would never come a day where our children would be left completely parent-less.

However, as we have gotten older and the complexities of life and finances have become more apparent, we realize we can no longer just “skate by”.

Sadly, Will also now creates a larger “burden” as well.
And God, I hate calling him a burden because to me, no matter how difficult raising him may seem, that is the last way I would ever describe my son.
However, I am not so naive as to not realize that Will would absolutely be seen by some as a burden and it’s heartbreaking because the last thing I would ever wish for him is to be seen as too much responsibility.

We have had 5 years to get used to all of the ins and outs of being a family of eleven and during those 5 years, all of us have learned how best to raise William in an environment that constantly keeps him happy and safe. The idea of someone needing to attend a crash course on raising him as well as my other children stops me cold.

Please don’t get me wrong.
Our families love our children and I’m certain all of them would step forward if something happened but the thought of it, the sheer thought of choosing someone…

How do parents do this????
How do you choose someone for your babies if you needed to?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa January 10, 2012 at 11:49 am

This topic really touches me. Although Joey is a foster child still, we have not legally adopted him, they certainly want us to, but for financial reasons and other private reasons, we aren't there…YET. I cannot see him in a group home, I just can not. He is very pampered here. This is his home. He doesn't know that we are not his "real" mommy and Eienno' He has no clue. We have always been here, he has always been here, this is his home . He's been here apart of our family since he was 19 months old. He's not had visits since he was under 3. He has no memory of his biological family. We are for all intents and purposes his family. but not legally. And that scares me. We don't have the say, i am limited in the way I can advocate for him. I am always walking on egg shells. not wanting to get on the wrong side of any workers. They can scoop him up and away from us at anytime. Not that we wouldn't fight. And Debi, you have family who would step up. NO ONE will for Joey. NO ONE. Just the agency til he's 18 and then it's straight to community living into a group home. No if ands or buts. So we are working away at saving so we can step up then. I pray we will be able to. Not at the cost of my marriage though. Gino is not on the same page as me always. He of course doesn't want to see Joe in a group home but we do know that he is extremely challenging. He is aggressive , verbally aggressive, not toilet trained, prone to severe tantrums, has a sleep disorder, up every night (most every night) many times a night where he requires me to lay with him at 11! He's extremely hyper active and causes much stress in our marriage. So I leave this is God's hand. I avoid thinking about the negative (although it doesn't always work) I focus on the positive and I dream it will all work out and if in the end he does need to go to a group home i pray I am the one who chooses it, who has the say, who can visit and take him out weekends. I never want to abandon this wonderful gem of a boy. It's heartbreaking to think about. And the time does fly. Sorry for going on and on. It's just …it's just unavoidable I guess. I do have a success story to share with you at another time. I am thinking of starting a new blog on word press but have yet to figure it out. xx

much love to you and your beautiful family Debi, you continue to be a huge inspiration to me in all areas.



debi9kids January 10, 2012 at 12:03 pm

You COMPLETELY spoke to my heart here. I know EXACTLY what you mean. It does scare me, as I am certain people will step up, but not certain anyone would want to. (does that make sense?) I know my family loves him, but not sure any of them love the idea of changing their retirement plans for him….

In fairness, we haven't really asked… because really, who wants to go there?

Please keep me posted on your possible new blog (WP is definitely a learning curve!)


Cindy January 10, 2012 at 11:49 am

My mom told me that she would take my kids if something ever happened to us. As far as findinga spot for Will, is it possible that one of your older children would be willing to raise him? I know that if something would happen tomorrow that would not be possible, either that or maybe one of your grown sibblings could take one of the older children that is used to what it takes to keep Will safe, at least then if they could guide his new family into help?


debi9kids January 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Right now, that is our thought process… Stephanie has told us she would raise Will if anything happened…but she's not old enough to be named yet in our will. (both Alex and Henry have also said they would)
It's a rough thing though… you know, putting that on someone before they even begin really living their own lives. you know? (I do LOVE that they are willing though)


Beth Zimmerman January 10, 2012 at 11:52 am

That is a tough one! And it gets harder when issues of faith get woven into the mix because you are considering not just your child's immediate future but their eternal one as well. We have been blessed in that Josiah has always chosen his own "external" family. There was a family that lived next door, we all home-schooled, our beliefs were in sync, they had 2 boys on either side of him (age wise) and they grew up like brothers anyway. They were an obvious choice and they were willing to accept that role if it ever became necessary. And now he has friended his way into 2 other families so deeply that THEY are so much more than friends … and I know (yeah, I know he's 22) that if anything happened … he would not be left alone! And there is much peace in that!

I think with a large family a lot of the assumption is that the older ones will help with the youngers … or take on responsibility if needed. But your family is unique and all packed together in age. That's tough!

Praying blessings on you as you make these hard choices!


Mama D's Dozen January 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Tough stuff. I understand.

When our house was full of young ones, that was a very hard discussion for us to have. We don't even have any extended family members that would take our crew. No. Not one.

When we had 3 or 4 young ones, we wrote a will and asked some friends if they were willing to be in it. They were fine with that. When we had 6 or 7 young ones, we asked some "adopted grandparents" if they would be in it. They agreed, but told us it would give them great reason to pray that nothing happened to us.

We don't currently have a will, although we do still have 6 children at home. With 6 adult children, I am sure that they would figure out how to care for their younger siblings. However, we should write a will so that our wishes would be spelled out. (Can you imagine older siblings arguing over who gets the kids and/or how they are to be raised? … or fighting over the life insurance? Yikes!)

Now … especially with a special needs child … even if you do have loving family, that does NOT mean that you need to choose them. It also does not mean that you need to keep all of the children together. (Sad fact, but something that must be discussed.) When we had 8 children, friends of ours with 5 children asked to put us in their will. One of their children has down syndrome, and this child had a very special relationship with my husband. They knew that we would love Daniel, and do what was best for him, no matter what.

Do not feel guilty if your older children want to take on the responsibility of William. Thankfully, more than one has offered, so they can share that task if the time ever comes. (And, make sure you have life insurance sufficient enough to cover the expenses of his care.)

Another thing, I would suggest that you not spell out "never put him in a group home", etc … While these may be your wishes, you MUST trust the decision making to whomever is responsible …while doing your best to not make them feel guilty if they cannot honor your wishes. (We would hope that our children would still be able to be homeschooled. But, we must leave that decision to whomever we ask to be responsible for our children.) Make sense?

Also … it may be a good thing to have 1 person responsible for the financial side of things (life insurance), another responsible for 4 kids, another responsible for 4 kids.

Just some thoughts. Thanks for the reminder that we, too, should face this not-so-fun task.



Shari January 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm

We have the same exact dilemma right now because who would take care of Curtis? He has high needs like Will does and nobody wants that on my husband's side of the family. My side just stays quiet. Ugh. It's a tough,tough decision.


debi9kids January 10, 2012 at 4:39 pm

yep, because it's not just a "until he's 18" thing. It's a lifetime and expecting someone to dedicate a lifetime to my child is rough 🙁


Barbara Manatee January 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm

We've talked a few times about who we would designate as guardians if something happened to us and we could never make a decision either. My parents are getting older, my siblings couldn't likely handle the financial responsibility, my inlaws aren't really an option…and that's only with 3 kids and no disabilities. I can't imagine trying to make that decision with bigger issues to consider. We took care of life insurance a few years ago but never got around to Wills either…I guess I should put that back on our "Must Do" list…


debi9kids January 10, 2012 at 4:40 pm

yep. We've taken care of the life insurance route as well, esp because of Will's needs, but the "who will take care of him part" , not so much….


Brianne January 11, 2012 at 2:41 am

After reading this post and these comments, I probably have no right to even publish one because I have a very small family and no special needs children. But that doesn't change the fact that we do not have assigned guardians for our kids. We have legal papers in place of who is NOT permitted access to them (just as those papers are active now when we're all living). My sisters are NOT an option, my parents are certainly NOT (!) an option, so we have just not named anyone at this point. Realistically, the odds are that both parents don't die at the same time. So those are the plans we have in place, financially speaking. It is why we once again are purchasing a house on just one income (that and because I am going to grad school and not sure when I'll get back to working).

One thing that has not been brought up here is life insurance for kids. Ryan brought that up to me a long time ago "just in case", and innocently, but I threw up (literally) at the thought. It is logical, but like you said, who wants to go there?

Sorry I don't have any answers for you, Debi. This is the kinda stuff that I personally tend to put off so I'm not one to dish advice on it 🙁


Mama D's Dozen January 11, 2012 at 6:53 am

Just had to share …

my dad was 90 years old before we could get him to write a will. He just didn't want to discuss the possibility of dying. Seriously. He would not talk about it.

🙂 🙂 🙂


debi9kids January 11, 2012 at 8:01 am

my parents don't have one and still have 6 children at home… although I will say that the 6 older children (myself included) have all discussed amongst one another who would raise our younger siblings (2 are disabled as well) should something happen and it seems they will be covered 😉


cat@juggling act January 11, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Ai yes, and we want to change who are responsible for our kids and not sure how to go about it. DIfficult thing.


Christina Heim April 13, 2012 at 10:25 am

Hey Debi its T, umm I would love to have that oppurunity of having my name on the will for my little nephew or neice. You know I would be reliable , you know he loves me and he keeps me busy. I would like to talk to you about Will whenever you get the chance. I love you all . Love tina , ps. ill watch him whenever im not working Ill do a summer job to help you with him.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: