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Who am I?

I am the mother of 5 adorable kids--4 boys and a girl.  The girl came in a package with a boy (twins).  I am married to a charming young man who lives and breathes computers.  She and her husband are also guardians for three nieces and a nephew. I am active in the community having served as PTA President of a local elementary school, on the board of the Salt Lake Mothers of Twins, as a district round-table trainer with the Cub Scouts, as a volunteer for Sidelines (a support network for Women on bed rest during pregnancy) and my husband and I are active in the LDS Church.

My favorite things are designing and writing websites, chatting with friends and family over the internet, listening to music, dancing, and an assortment of other things.

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Our story (from my husband's perspective:

"It's amazing how well children can do when put into an environment where they have structure, rules, and most importantly love. My own story includes my lovely wife, our five children ranging from [eighteen to eleven] year old twins, along with three nieces and a nephew who range from [twelve to six]. Their parents have a long history of both legal and drug abuse issues. They seemed to have mostly gotten over things for a while, but there was a major relapse. We were asked if we could take the kids for a while since they were separated, barely scraping by, and couldn't give the kids the care they needed.

We've had legal custody of them now for over [four] years, and don't know if the parents will recover their lives or not. What matters most to us is that the kids now have a stable environment in which to thrive, and thrive they have. They're doing great in school and church. They have friends. Not to mention never a dull moment with a total of nine kids in the house.

Sure, it's hectic. Sure, it's tough sometimes. Sure, life would have been simpler with just our own five kids. But what would you have done if you knew that you were the last line of defense, the last shot for four children to have a shot at a fairly normal life? The rewards are worth every minute of it. We share. We help each other. We teach each other. I wouldn't ever wish to go back and change that choice to take in four children who needed help.

Personal successes keep us going. Sharing those successes are what keep others going in the face of adversity and trial. Do you have a success to share about raising children of addicts, or with addiction itself? Please share so we can all benefit."  John O.

"Across the United States, more than 6 million children are being raised in households headed by grandparents and other relatives; 2.5 million children are in these households without any parents present. As the children's parents struggle with substance abuse, mental illness, incarceration, economic hardship, divorce, domestic violence, and other challenges, these caregivers provide a vital safety net to children inside and outside of the foster care system." -- AARP Newsletter, September 2005

If you are in a similar situation or know someone who is...Please have them visit A Tangled Web.