What is life really like as a Martindale? When any family is affected by a disability, they often feel like they live in a fish bowl....with nurses, personal care attendants (PCA's), social workers, teachers and other people that often have front row seats to our world. But they often have an obstructed view...one that is blocked by their own lives and preconceived notions of what life must be like here in our family.
Recently, I had someone say to me that our home must not be like a "family" with all the extra people helping us out. The truth is the people that we welcome into our family as nurses and PCA's are "family." As you can imagine, we don't define family in a traditional way. Each time we have adopted a child into the Martindale clan, our numbers don't go up by 1. Instead, we add a whole lot of people to our numbers...former foster families, birth family, even social workers and others who are special in that child's life.
This life does not provide alot of privacy...we live our live's in a fish bowl. Whenever we go some where, we make a statement whether we feel like it or not. Through size, diversity and disability, there is no hiding in the crowd. I want our life to shout that every child is made in God's image. I want our life to say that we are not afraid to live our life out loud for our faith in a God who has created beauty in diversity of His people.
So, I know that many people have some preconceived notions about what it is like to live in a big, complex family like ours. I just have to say, that life in this family may not be ordinary, but it is one thing for sure....a family.