This photograph was taken in the Belize airport before my family flew back to Wisconsin. They had spent 4-5 years in Belize as Papal volunteers. I think what fascinates me the most about this photograph are everyone's expressions. Their world is about to change. They have no idea that I will be born in a year, that they will adopt two more children, and that my brother Mark will also be born.

They will move to Waukesha, Wisconsin where they will buy a house, and work the same jobs for 30 years. It is amazing to settle into such domesticity after living on so little money with people who had very little money, in addition to adopting a new son Franz, who had never even been to America.



This photograph was taken at my parents 45th wedding anniversary. When I show this picture to people I have to explain that their are 9 children in my family (3 adopted and 6 biological). My family is German, Polish, Vietnamese, African-American and Caribbean. To other people this is very interesting and odd, to me it is just my family. I feel lucky to have been brought up in such a culturally mixed environment. No family is perfect and I could go on for days about our failures, but in general my large family has been a good thing for me.
Marilyn is pregnant for the first time, but no one in the family knows but me and her husband Taylor. They are deciding where to sit for dinner, and how to announce the pregnancy. Both of them were still confused, scared, and unsure about how this would change their lives. 

Most of the couples bring food to share. I made this salad myself. (I don't know why that is important.) I guess I am my own family in some strange way. Being single in a family full of married people can sometimes be lonely. I wonder if it is even possible to be married for 25 years at my age. It is possible - but my mom was 47 at her 25th - and I would be much older than that.

submitted by Annie Feldmeier
Providence, Rhode Island, USA

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