Adjusting: Family of Seven Becomes Family of Thirteen

At the beginning of the month, Christina and Christopher Sanders welcomed six more children into their family of seven. Now they’re trying to figure out the best routine to accommodate everyone. It’s not easy. “There has not been a calm day since that day,” Christina told WCPO, who interviewed the family a couple weeks after the adoption day.

The Sanders don’t write down their schedule, but they still know that everything has to be done within a precise amount of time so that everyone can get where they need to be on time. On weekdays, they have to get 11 children out the door within 25 minutes of each other. The key to peace is working together: Christina and Christopher working together, the parents working with the kids, the kids working with the parents, and the kids working with each other. Otherwise, their situation wouldn’t be possible.

They even have a special way to deal with conflicts. (With 11 children, they’re bound to come up!) The Sanders have their children sit at a roundabout table and discuss the situation. The goal is to make sure everyone gets a say, and hopefully, they’ll all be able to do better tomorrow.

The sudden increase in numbers has taken some adjustment, but the Sanders are definitely up to the task. Christina is proud of her biological children. “They share their parents and they’re OK with that,” she said.

On top of all the other changes, the Sanders also needed a way to get around town. Their new 15-passenger van has only two empty seats when everyone piles in. Christopher refers to it as a bus, a label that doesn’t seem entirely inaccurate. They raised money for the van with a gofundme account, and have raised almost double their original goal of $35,000.

To read the story of their adoption day, click here!