Our Family

When I was a young girl, I dreamed of having four kids ~ two girls and two boys. When I told my husband my plans while we were dating he laughed. He wanted two kids. God had a different plan for us.

Our first born we named after my husband and my father (Timothy Joseph) and we call him “TJ” or “Teej” for even shorter. He is thoughtful and quiet and very hard to read for a mother who thinks being verbal is very important. TJ’s goal is to use as little words in a day as possible. He’s a right and left-sided brain. He’s a musician and a computer nerd. He loves God purely and sincerely. He’s a senior at North Carolina State University majoring in filming. He was the President of BYX (Brothers Under Christ) fraternity. He makes us so proud!

Our second son, Joshua Paul (middle name is LOML’s father’s name), was absolutely the easiest baby ever. He was so quiet, there were times I forgot he was there. BEST MOM AWARD FOR ME! He’s kind and very determined. Everything is black and white. It’s right or wrong. No gray areas with him. He gets that from his mother (ME!). He is intolerant of sin in himself or others. If I do something wrong, I’m going to know about it. He makes me accountable! Math and Social Studies came naturally to him but his love of music drove him to Appalachian State University to major in Music Education. He’s debating about a double major in voice! AMAZING!

Our third son, Caleb O’Brien (my maiden name), has always been my “wild” child. He goes full speed as soon as his feet hit the ground and he doesn’t stop until he crashes into bed at night. When he was little his nickname was Tigger because he didn’t walk, he bounced everywhere! He’s an athlete, a musician, and a lover of all things on ESPN! He’s a sophomore in high school. He plays safety on his football team and he runs the 800 meter race for track and field. GO COUGARS! He has a sweet tender heart and has a great sense of humor. He plays the saxophone and  piano by ear which always amazes me. He also loves singing in the high school chorus.

Our fourth son, Jacob Sean, is definitely the baby of the family and Mama’s little boy! And his older brothers will never let him forget it. He’s the first one in our family to run for office. He ran for Student Council President for his elementary school two years in a row. We were in awe! He had to give a speech and make posters…we may have a politician on our hands. Except he will be honest and good-hearted. Like his brothers, he loves music but hates to practice. A positive of being the youngest, he gets to see first-hand what practice leads to. All his brothers are amazing musicians. I encourage them to start a Christian boy band but they all laugh. Between them, they have 4 piano players, 2 trombone players, a trumpet player, a saxophone player, and a couple of guitar players. A plus…they can all sing. That spells BOY BAND to me!!

When my youngest son went to preschool, I asked God to show me what He wanted me to do with my life now that all of the kiddos were in school. He spoke loud and clear “I WANT YOU TO ADOPT!” I said, “No really, what do You really want me to do?” He said it again and again and again until one day I said, “Yes Lord, but you’re going to have to get the LOML on board.” Be careful what you ask for because He did and our life has never been the same.

August 2005 we brought home our two daughters from Kazakhstan (I had never even heard of this country until God made it possible). If you want to read the whole story of our journey to adoption, we wrote a blog to communicate with our boys for the five weeks we were over there and away from the boys. You can read it here.

Claire Jazira is now eight years old and tries desperately to rule her world. Mama and daughter bang heads a lot but in the end she knows I’m here to take care of her and I’m not going anywhere. Good or bad, I’m going to love her. She’s got a memory like no one I know. She learned all her times tables (0-12) in one day. She knows every word to every song she’s ever heard. She’s amazing! She loves basketball and horseback riding. She wants to be a professional singer when she grows up.

Ciara Jenya is a tiny, sweet, tomboy who weighs 20 lbs soaking wet. She’s the only one in the family who can do pull ups. Her attention span is as long as a blink and, like her older brother Caleb, never stops until she puts her head on her pillow at night. She loves her mother except when I make her do her homework. She has to sit for that and that doesn’t make her happy. She also loves basketball and horseback riding.

I always wanted a large family and God blessed us with an even larger family! Everything He does is bigger and more wonderful than we can ever imagine!