Our Family

My name is Melanie! I’m married to Will, and we have a houseful of little people that make our days incredibly loud and lively. In the rare, quiet moments, I love having the opportunity to share little glimpses into our family life, and even more I love telling about the mercy and faithfulness of God. Because of that, I’m especially glad you found your way here! 

How long have you been married?
13 years

So, how many kids do you have?
Such a simple, straightforward question, but, wow, this one stumps me every time. Sometimes I stumble and stutter through the answer. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I laugh and say “you’re going to need to pull up a chair and grab a cup of coffee for this one!”

The short answer: we have eight with us now and one on the way!

The long answer: we have eight with us now, one on the way, three babies in heaven, another little girl in heaven, and one more little girl who lived with us for five years, but is now living with her new family. With my heart, I know I’m the momma to 14. With my hands, those that I can touch and hold and hug, I’m the momma to 8 (soon to be 9).

Are y’all Catholic? Are y’all done after this pregnancy?
Nope! Not Catholic - I grew up going to a Methodist church, and Will grew up Baptist. 

We love babies and big kids and everything in between, and we firmly believe that children are a gift from the Lord. You can read this post and this one to hear more about our “family planning” or lack thereof philosophy.

Pregnancy is definitely a challenging time for me, but the Lord has faithfully seen me through some difficult days. We prayerfully and humbly put our future into His hands and rest in His sovereignty and mercy, believing He knows what is best for each and every single one of us!

What are the ages of your kids? And what’s the breakdown of boys and girls?
12 (boy)
11 (boy)
10 (boy)
7 (boy)
5 (girl)
Almost 4 (boy)
2 (girl)
1 (boy)
Baby due in April

So, yes, you counted right. That’s half a dozen boys!!! Plus our two little girls here. And our two little girls no longer with us. 

(You can check out the “Our Adoptions” page to read more about our adoption journeys to Bulgaria and the difficult journey we went through over the past five years with our two girls.)

Do you homeschool?
Yes, we’ve homeschooled our crew for the past four years. Our older boys went to a small Christian school for their first two years of school, and our two adopted daughters spent some time in our local elementary school. So, we definitely support all of our schools and just feel incredibly grateful for the freedom we have here in our country to choose how and where we will educate our kids. With every new year, we re-evaluate the needs of each child and prayerfully seek the best option. But we really do love homeschooling and all of the incredible opportunities that it provides!

Who’s the teacher?
I’m incredibly blessed and grateful because Will and I both share teaching responsibilities. I know how rare this is! Truthfully, he does the bulk of it. He does the planning, the paperwork, and he teaches our middle crew (preschool, k-5, and first grade). I technically teach the older boys (4th, 5th, and 6th graders), but the pleasant reality is that much of their work can be done all on their own with the exception of history and science which we do together. So, I guess my main job description during school hours is hanging out with the babies and attempting to keep them from getting into too much mischief! :)

What are your hobbies?
I love flowers!!! I love having my hands in the dirt, and gardening is so therapeutic for my soul!

Writing is definitely my creative outlet! It’s how I process life, and I’ve a stack of journals full of my scribbles to show for it.

Running has long been my escape, but, truthfully, I have a bit of a love hate relationship with it. Over the past several years, I’ve become more up front and candid about the constant struggle I have in keeping this, along with properly fueling my body, in balance.

I don’t think I could share my hobbies without mentioning my husband and my boys’ passion for fishing! They do it all - salt water fishing, fresh water fishing, surf fishing, pier fishing, kayak fishing, backwoods mountain stream fishing. 

I think it’d be impossible to be a momma to half a dozen boys without {at least, in a small way} sharing their love for this cool hobby. I actually do really enjoy fishing, and I love kayaking! An added bonus, it’s the one time when they’re actually quiet.

Any more interesting facts about you?
I’m half Greek, and I still have lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins that live in Greece. My mom was adopted from Greece as a little girl. You can read a bit more about that story here.

Hmmmm. One more cool tidbit: I have a tattoo on my forearm of the word eleos, which is the Greek word for mercy!

Make us feel that mercy is our life.
Teach us deeply that freely we have received, and freely we must give.
Make us broken-hearted, happy, useful sojourners. 
In Jesus' name, we pray, Amen.

John Piper
Life as a Vapor

***Have more questions for me? Feel free to leave a comment or you are more than welcome to email me at blackmonbunch@gmail.com. I love hearing from you and reading your comments!