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Family History April 15, 2007

Posted by Mrs Flipphead in family, infertility, transracial adoption.

I haven’t really covered many specifics about the makeup of my family.  Perhaps this is a good time, since I can’t really decide what to write about tonight.

I am the fourth in a family of five kids.  I have two brothers (one younger, one older) and two sisters (both older). 

 My mom and dad got married when my mom was 17 and my dad was 26 (in fairness to my dad, mom told him she was older when they first met–he thought she was 19 or something like that).  But it worked out for the best.  They married when my mom was barely 17 (this was the late 50’s) and my mom had her first child by the end of that year, shortly after her 18th birthday.  They were married until my father passed away in 1991.  Still are, really, since my mom never remarried.  Growing up was a little like living with Ward and June Cleaver.  In that we never saw my parents fight and life was pretty good. 

So Mom had three kids, one right after the other (all about 18 months apart–Dec. ’58, June ’60, Jan. ’62).  Then 8 years went by before mom got “baby hungry” and she decided they were going to have more kids. 

Mom wanted 10 kids and Dad thought 3 was plenty.  Which is funny, in a way, because Dad was the oldest boy in a family of 9 kids and my Mom was essentially an only child.  She had two much older half siblings from her Dad’s first marriage, but they no longer lived at home when Mom was born, so she grew up as an only child.

So Mom decided she wanted to get working on the other 7 kids she was planning and went ahead and got pregnant with me.  Four years later, she had my younger brother.  At that point, Dad said 5 was enough and Mom agreed.

So that’s my part one of my family tree.

I won’t really go into hubby’s tree, since that’s his place, not mine.  I will say that he has two brothers, one older full sib and one younger half sib and my boys have two sets of grandparents on hubby’s side.

That’s our separate history, in a nutshell.

And now here’s the “rest of the story”…..

Hubby and I met at church camp.  Yep, church camp.  I think the first time we were actually at the same camp was in “Greenhorns” when I must have been about 8 and he was about 9.  We were completely unaware of each other at that time, as far as I know.

Then, my family moved to Iowa for a few years and we didn’t attend the same camp again until my family moved back to Wisconsin.  By that time, we were both in “Middlers” and I think I was probably 12 and he was 13.  We were aware of each other and, frankly, I wasn’t impressed.  I’m sure he wasn’t real impressed either.

Well, we finally got our act together and became quasi-friends in “Seniors” camp.  More like acquaintances, really.

What got us together (the first time) was actually a church retreat weekend.  We were both on the “youth staff”.  I was a co-leader for the weekend and hubby was on the music team. 

Late into the evening, after the attendees were in bed, I couldn’t sleep so I was wandering around the building looking for a quiet place to read.  I can’t remember if I found him or he found me, but we wound up sitting up together talking all night.

After the weekend, my co-leader, who was friends with him told me that he wanted to ask me out and she set us up for a date.  We went out for two weeks, then he broke up with me.  The only guy in my life who ever broke up with me.  That’s probably why I wound up married to him.

In any case, we stayed friends and went our separate ways, keeping in touch over the years.  Then one year, when I was in grad school (in Missouri) and he was working his first career job at a tiny t.v. station in Colby, Kansas, he drove over to Kirksville to meet me and came home with me to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving.  We hadn’t seen each other in three years. At the end of the weekend, he asked me to marry him and I said, “yes”.

Now, I know you think I must be crazy.  Both of us, for that matter.  But I think I always knew it was him.  I just didn’t know, I knew, until I knew–you know?

So he moved to Kirksville to be with me and nine months later we were married.  We will be married 12 years in October.  Who knew?

So blah, blah, blah…We wound up back in Wisconsin, running the camp where we first met.  How’s that for coming full circle?

Five years into our marriage, it became apparent that we weren’t going to have children through “natural” means.  I had always wanted to adopt, but I had hoped to have a child by birth first.  My thinking was, that then the child by adoption would always know that we chose them, in spite of being able to procreate.

Well, it wasn’t working out that way, so hubby and I went to a fertility specialist.  We decided, in advance, that we weren’t going to waste our money on in-vitro (the expense and the risk of having a litter rather than one child were all the motivation we needed to stick to the low risk interventions).  We tried oral medications for me and that didn’t work, so we moved on to adoption.

That is how we were blessed with our oldest son.  We adopted him when he was 3 weeks old and he has been the joy and light of our life.

Our youngest son was a bit of a surprise.  Let’s just say, that I don’t think the fertility specialist was very “special” at what she did since her medical interventions didn’t help get me pregnant.  Apparently, hubby and I didn’t need her help after all since we managed to get me pregnant quite by accident, when our oldest son was two.  I mean, we thought I couldn’t get pregnant, so we weren’t taking any precautions.

Imagine hubby’s surprise when (and I will regret this part until the day I die) he listened to his voicemail on speaker phone, with the male anchor in his office listening in, and I told him I was pregnant.  I know, I know….You don’t have to tell me how lame it is that I left him a message.  I should have done it up right, but quite honestly, I didn’t really believe it myself and I was still in shock when I called him.  He’s my best friend and when I found out, all I wanted to do was tell him, as soon as possible.  I wasn’t really thinking clearly–obviously.

Well, I can’t take it back, but it’s all good.  8 months later, we had our youngest son.  In spite of his antics, he also lights up our days.  He just plants the seeds of gray hairs while he’s at it.

 So there you have it.  How our little family was formed, from beginning to the present.


1. ~ Stacy ~ - April 16, 2007

Oh, that was fun to read! What an interesting past between you and hubby; and how romantic really. It would have been fun to be in his head the moment he decided that he wasn’t going to let you go; that he was ready to make his claim. A storybook tale. 🙂

And you really must know that calling your hubby up and leaving him a message about your pregnancy is perfectly acceptable. I mean, really, I completely understand. You were caught up in wonder yourself and excited to share with him. I would’ve done the same, were I in your shoes (so to speak).

I just went and clicked on your Flicker pictures; and ya know… the boys have similar shaped heads and ears. How adorable is that! Truly, they are sooooo cute. You have a lovely family, Mrs. Flipphead. Good golly those boys are so hugable! 🙂

2. Mrs Flipphead - April 16, 2007

I think my boys are pretty hugable too! They do look quite a bit alike. Thanks! We are pretty lucky. If we manage to live through the next 17 or 18 years, it will be exciting to see what kind of young men they turn into.

I’m pretty sure the youngest is going to have an occupation that involves high adrenaline and many sleepless nights for me. If not his occupation, then his hobbies for sure.

The oldest is so funny, he might turn out to be a comedian or who knows?!

3. mr. flipphead - April 18, 2007

Really, you wouldn’t have wanted to be in my head when I made the decision. I actually discussed it with the Tundra, her/our dog first. (but I knew it for at least 6 years before that. . . .and I told her many times!)

4. ~ Stacy ~ - April 19, 2007

Mrs. Flipphead – LOL! @ your son being a future adrenaline junky. [grin] Ya never know, really. Give him some time to mellow out. I used to lose my breath often over the wild stunts my daughter pulled (starting at 9 mos of age!), but she’s not so wild anymore. Clumsy, though. She tends to walk into walls and furniture often… and there is nothing wrong with her eyes; I had them checked. It’s just her way of barreling through life without stopping to look at the map. (Did that make sense? Writers. [heh])

Mr. Flipphead – Eh, you’re probably right about not wanting to be in your head… it’s kinda squishy and gray and well, it talks to dogs.


Okay, so ya had that one coming. [grin]

6 years is a long time. Wow. And so when you told her, were you basically asking her to wait on you? What did you say, “I’m going to marry you someday”??? ‘Cuz ya know, telling and asking are two different things. Anyhoo, you are one lucky guy that she waited on a the promise of a promise; and you are both very lucky to have found each other.

Hmmm, yes. Definitely a storybook tale. [smile]

5. Mrs Flipphead - April 19, 2007

He was always drunk when he told me, so I never took him seriously. I didn’t really wait, intentionally. I was sort of engaged at one point, but I knew in my heart it wasn’t right and I broke it off.

I did an awful lot of dating in the mean time, I just never found anyone I could really stand to be around for longer than about three months or so, except the Mr.

So when he asked me, the only answer was “yes”.

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