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Family leaves room to grow
Nov 21, 2012 4:00 pm
When Kirk and Heidi Weimer got married, Kirk wanted two children and Heidi wanted four children. They decided to compromise and have three.
By early 2007, they had Brandon (now 13), Isabella (now 10) and Justice (now 7). This summer, the Weimers welcomed their 11th child, 7-year-old Simona, from Ethiopia.
“We had three biological kids before we adopted,” said Kirk. “For me, life was nice and comfortable, and I didn’t want to stir that up. But once I pictured my three biological kids over in some orphanage in some other world with no one to love them, I had a hard time reconciling the reality that there were kids in that position.”
In 2007, Heidi and Kirk decided to adopt a baby girl from Africa.
That year, while on a missionary trip to Ethiopia, the Weimers met three siblings in an orphanage.
“We just fell in love with them,” said Heidi. “We knew they were supposed to be in our family.”
The Weimers brought home the three siblings, Bereket (now 17), Bethlehem (now 13) and Selam (now 10) in January 2008.
Six months after the adoption, the Weimers saw another set of three siblings waiting in an Ethiopian orphanage.
“We hadn’t really planned on adopting again,” said Heidi. After trying to find a family who would adopt the siblings, the Weimers decided to adopt again.
“We just felt like God was calling us,” said Heidi.
While the Weimers did not have the money to pay for the adoption on hand, they found other ways to cover the costly process.
“We raised every penny of it,” said Heidi. “We did massive yard sales; we did cookbooks; we got a couple grants – any kind of fundraiser we could think of.”
Eden (now 16), Joseph (now 8) and Micah (now 6) joined the Weimer family soon after.
Five months after the second adoption, the Weimers learned that Heidi was pregnant with their fourth biological child, Dominic (now 2).
Heidi and Kirk both admit that there are challenges to having 11 children.
“Besides the financial challenges, there’s not a lot of time for yourself,” said Heidi. “But you kind of get to a new normal, and you have to be more intentional about carving out time for yourself and for each child.”
Heidi said the family is careful financially.
“We have a very modest income, so we have to stretch every penny,” said Heidi.
Heidi home schools the children and earns money by writing children’s books, blogs and magazine articles, while Kirk works full-time in human resources for a company in Nashville.
With the challenges, though, come benefits as well.
“Our house is a lot of fun,” said Heidi.
There are several pairs of the children who are close in age, so there are close sibling relationships.
“They always have someone to play with,” said Heidi.
Despite any inherent challenges of having 11 children, the Weimers said they do not rule out any future adoptions.
“We’re not going to say no until God tells us to,” said Heidi.
“We have room in our hearts to bring in more kids, and we have room in our home to bring in more kids,” said Kirk.
“All of our kids have a huge heart for adoption, so they’re always talking about their next sibling,” said Heidi.
“I never thought I would see myself as a dad to 11 kids,” said Kirk. “I can’t imagine life any other way right now…It’s a house that is full of life and it’s full of love, and it’s been great.”
For more information about the Weimer family, visit wehaveroom.org.